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All Over

June 26, 2014 - Aug. 26, 2014

Drake’s summer exhibition looks at the various ways contemporary artists are engaging with repeating forms and patterns, inspired by references that include Islamic architecture, field studies, Carnival and Op Art.

All Over opens with an animated sculpture by Philippe Blanchard in the glass vestibule. Entitled “Colour Rhythms”, a programmed RGB strobe light animates the towering tips of modular architecture-like structures wrapped in RGB screen-printed patterns. The dizzying immersive result brings together elements that include computer graphics and Op Art.

In his site-specific lobby installation, Marlon Griffith’s delicate stenciled works on white paper features the age-old female nude — a figurative that harkens back to early prehistoric art — in a tangle of ornamental vines. Griffith, who started his practice as a Carnival designer in Trinidad, explores the myriad of ways pattern has emerged in decoration and the embodied experience. Inside the glass box coffee table towards the back of the lobby, delicate vinyl patterns originally intended as “Powder Box” neck stencils — a project the artist engaged the Queen West community in via his recent Drake Lab residency — wallpaper the glass surface.

In the back of the lobby and cafe, two large-format landscape photographs by Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatsky — otherwise known as Public Studio — hang. Taken from the artists’ 2011 “Road Shots" series, the conceptual photos of the West Bank’s segregated road systems are laser-cut on the surface with drawings created via Autocad of Islamic architectural ornamentation. Here, the repetition and symmetry of walls and fences suggest territories, barriers and culture clashes.

At the top of the lobby stairs, Amanda Reeves’s abstract work plays with the mechanics of perception, where carefully painted, seemingly flat planes ebb and flow in a layered space. Yet in the cafe, two of Maggie Groat’s collages attest to the ways in which the reconfiguration and recontextualization of found materials into self-defined field studies can envision possible futures that literally break the mold. (Indeed, it’s no accident that one of the works is featured inside our summer menu.)

We’d like to thank the artists for graciously sharing their work with guests. Special thanks go to p|m gallery, Erin Stump Projects, O’Born Contemporary Gallery, and the Art Gallery of York University for their support of the show.