Black To Back And Light: Group Exhibition

Jeremy Jansen
Richard Serra
Niall McClelland
Ellsworth Kelly

An exhibition pairing the young Toronto artists Jeremy Jansen (b.1979) and Niall McClelland (b.1980) with two works by the senior Americans Richard Serra (b.1939) and Ellsworth Kelly (b.1923). The exhibition, almost entirely black or grey, will contain photographs, folded drawings, large photocopies, bedsheet “skins”, sprayed stencils on paper, silkscreens, a newsprint work and a sculpture.

Jeremy Jansen is known in Toronto primarily for his black and white photographs of bands, landscapes and urban situations. Recurring motifs of pattern, opacity, diffusion, gloaming and chiaroscuro pervade much of his imagery. Also to be shown for the first time is a new sculpture of wood, staples and organic matter that has been meticulously built up and aged over the past several months to resemble an old fragment of a “gig pole;” the much-used telephone pole used downtown for announcing shows and cultural events. Niall McClelland’s work, meanwhile, radiates aspects of texture, process, geometry, formal elegance and hinted-at rituals (particularly in the “bedsheet skins”, which resemble batik but are made with a more restrained, black and grey palette than the usual full-spectrum excesses. Richard Serra is a titan of sculpture whose works have been shown continuously around the world for decades. His analogous works on paper project a similar heft and balance to his trademark steel sculptures. Ellsworth Kelly is widely known for his work with colour and shape. When Kelly’s geometric abstractions were first exhibited in 1959, they were already perceived as having “hard, crisp edges (that) commanded the eye to feel them as the hand would feel soft flesh” (E.C Goosen, Sixteen Americans – Moma).

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