Nov. 17, 2011 - Feb. 20, 2012
Carnovsky, Amanda Clyne, Yuval Pudik, Lizabeth Eva Rossof, Sergei Sviatchenko, Diana Thorneycroft and Chad Wys
We often think of art in linear terms, that imagery and iconography evolve over time. We wander through museums and watch as stiff Gothic imagery swells into lush representations of the Renaissance, how Impressionism fractures into Cubism. But styles don't always develop so succinctly. Artists often sample ideas from generations past, incorporating images from another time which leads to a re-imagining of art history. Not to mention editing contemporary culture and remixing our visual history through selection and repetition. This exhibition examines some of the ways that contemporary artists are using historical art references in their work.
The show opens with a suite of sculptures in the vestibule by LA-based artist Lizabeth Eva Rossof. Here the artist presents commissioned replicas of the famed Terracotta Warriors. The replicas of these artifacts are commercially available and easy to order; their promotional material boasts: "Now you can bring Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di's warriors to your own home, garden or office!" For the artist's project, she worked directly with a company in China to develop unique faces for the statues, all based on American pop cultural figures such as Ronald McDonald, Batman and Bart Simpson.
In the lobby Amanda Clyne and Yuval Pudik bring a collage aesthetic to their finely executed paintings and drawings. Pudik mashes up pop culture with imagery from different historical periods in delicate, surreal drawings that reference everything from Queen Victoria to Freddy Mercury. Clyne's lush painting presents a 16 year old Margarita Teresa of Spain, whose childhood image was made famous by Valezquez. In the hotel stairs, Denmark's Sergei Sviatchenko collages bright fields of colour with stills from, Andrei Tarkovsky's Soviet-era films.
The back of the lobby is transformed by a site-specific installation by Italian collective Carnovsky whose RGB activated imagery changes depending on the lighting. Watch as the images evolve depending on the shifting light. The Lounge takes on a more subtle guise. American artist Chad Wys juxtaposes delicate digital interventions with 18th and 19th century paintings. The Cafe offers a bit of Canadiana care of Diana Thorneycroft's Group of Seven Awkward Moments which re-envision iconic 20th century paintings with playful diorama.