Convened by: Jonathan Middleton
NADA New York
299 South Street
New York, New York 10002
The Or Gallery is pleased to announce its participation in NADA New York 2016. The gallery will exhibit a small selection of editions and single works by Canadian and Vancouver-based artists pertaining to the city’s strong history of conceptual photographic and textual practices. These include Guilty, 1950 (2010), a previously unreleased photographic edition by Stan Douglas from his acclaimed Midcentury Studio series; Temporary Structures II (2012) by Steven Brekelmans; and Sentences on Conceptual Art 1st Draft (2008), Bungled Open Cube (2008) by Hadley+Maxwell, Ray Tracings (2013) by Jessica Eaton, Cast A Pall by Rodney Graham, and Never odd or even (2012) by Una Knox.
Stan Douglas produced his “Midcentury Studio” series in 2010, meticulously staging a collection of photographs under the conceptual premise that they were the work of an anonymous Vancouver photographer practicing between 1945 and 1951. Work in the series includes studio shots of fashion and hair models, promotional shots for entertainers, candid street scenes and film noir-like snapshots of possible crime figures caught in the glare of a blinding flash bulb, destined for the newspaper pages. Guilty, 1950 is of this latter category. Reminiscent of the crime photography of Weegee (Arthur Fellig), the work depicts a well-coiffed man walking up a narrow stairwell, covering his face with his open palm against the ambushing photographer. The work stems from the same body of research used to produce Douglas’s critically acclaimed stage play Helen Lawrence.
Steven Brekelmans’ series Temporary Structures draws on the artist’s interest in model kits and hobbies combined with an affinity for high modernist sculpture. The works were produced as a series of timed photographs, between which he reconfigured simple household craft supplies into new sculptural arrangements. Each print depicts 16 of these momentary works.
Hadley+Maxwell’s Bungled Open Cube (2008) and Sentences on Conceptual Art 1st Draft (2008) both started with a passage from Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote: “The reason of the unreason with which my reason is afflicted so weakens my reason that with reason I murmur at your beauty.” Envisioning this sentence as part an early draft of Sol LeWitt’s 1969 Sentences on Conceptual Art, Hadley+Maxwell further extrapolate “prototypes” for LeWitt’s sentences and artworks, rendering them as crumpled notes rescued from the dustbin.
Jessica Eaton has been widely acclaimed for her innovative experiments in colour photography. She creates vibrant images using unique analog techniques that manipulate properties of light. The photographs in the Ray Tracings portfolio are derived from the effects of light bending through glass prisms. As in previous works, here she pushes the rhetoric of abstraction to provoke a sensory experience of colour and space. These optically-charged photographs animate the flux between objects, image, and perception. Making explicit the fact that photographs come from drawing with light, this series references modernist art, such as Berenice Abbot’s science photographs of light rays. Presented at NADA New York in partnership with the Canadian Photography Portfolio Society.
Rodney Graham’s two portfolio images that constitute Cast A Pall are the artist’s favourites from his Black Squares (My Top 100) monochromes that were exhibited at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. The series is composed of record albums that are overpainted with India ink; the visibility of the underlying image is dictated by the ink’s adherence to the surface finish. This diptych was originally designated as the front and back cover for the artist’s second rock album, to be called Cast A Pall. The project evolved into Rock Is Hard, a double LP of original songs, which was ultimately released with a revised cover. Presented at NADA New York in partnership with the Canadian Photography Portfolio Society.
In imitation of the way in which the human eye registers colour, Una Knox’s series of images of a museum interior, Never odd or even, is produced using the trichrome photographic process, in which each wavelength of light is captured on a separate black and white negative and then combined afterwards to produce a single chromatic print. This process renders visitors to the gallery as brightly coloured shadows, as each remained stationary for only one of the three photographs required to produce the colour image.
The Or Gallery will also present an assortment of drawings and Risograph editions, including works by Lorna Brown, Raymond Boisjoly, Aaron Carpenter and Marina Roy.
About the Or Gallery
The Or Gallery (est. 1983) is a non-profit artist-run centre committed to exhibiting work by local, national, and international artists whose art practice is of a critical, conceptual and/or interdisciplinary nature. Since its inception, the gallery has acted as a space for research, proposition making, conceptual experimentation and documentation. The works presented in this sale were contributed by the artists to assist the Or Gallery in its operations and to establish an international residency apartment and studio in Vancouver. We extend our deep thanks to the contributing artists and their gallery representatives, including David Zwirner Gallery (New York) and Catriona Jeffries Gallery (Vancouver).