Lee Henderson on Ian Carr-Harris
From Sea and Sky: A True Diary Covering the Period of March 21st to April 5th, 2013,
Containing Several Fictions.
— March 21, 2013 Three books, three tables, three ships, three oceans. A variable edition or a tripartite object with variation built into its singular makeup. Three epochs of exploration are invoked by galleon, corsair, and steamer ...
by E.C. Woodley
Border Crossings, Issue no. 125
The three small rooms of Brian Groombridge’s retrospective at YYZ were unique and spacious precincts populated by words and numbers, signals and signs. Printed onto objects or positioned as titles, words in themselves seemed to take on the qualities of things, giving the term “printed matter” a new turn.
Didier Courbot on Simple Present
A few years ago I was preparing a show at Susan’s gallery. During the week of the installation I was invited for dinner at the French consulate in Toronto. While Susan drove me to the consulate that evening I started to talk about the fact that I was badly dressed to meet diplomats and government officials - I was in dirty working clothes that I had been wearing during the set up.
Patrick Howlett on Simple Present
I made two works for Simple Present Future Anterior. One is called you can always come back (but you can’t come back all the way).
The title comes from the last verse of a song by Bob Dylan called Mississippi. It’s a looking back-travel song, with a litany of mistakes and troublesome observations balanced with a defiant and brazen will to press on.
Governor General's Award
in Visual and Media Arts 2013
“She is one of the most important artists of her generation, a generation associated with issues of the body
and identity.” — Marnie Fleming, Curator (nominator)
For almost 40 years, Colette Whiten has quietly and powerfully challenged gender dynamics, political power and mass media imagery. Her works—whether they are large cast wooden sculptures, tiny needlepoints or beaded curtains work—reveal the vulnerability and strength of the human body and spirit.
Ian Carr-Harris on Simple Present
Ten Sentences on Susan Hobbs: courtesy of Sol Lewitt
Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.
Brian Groombridge: YYZ & Susan Hobbs Gallery
by Charles Reeve
frieze 153, March 2013
Early in Brian Groombridge’s self-curated retrospective ‘small telescopes’, at YYZ, was a photograph of his storefront installation Model (interior) of Piet Munson House, Utrecht, 1922–24 (2010), in which boxes and cubes describe what his accompanying essay calls ‘a structure based on an untruth’.
Brian Groombridge on Simple Present
Twenty years ago I was lucky enough to have Susan ask me to be part of her new gallery.
When we talked about exhibiting, most times I would not have a particular idea of what I wanted to present. If I did put shape to an idea, by the time the show happened, it bore little resemblance to the initial idea. Something else always seemed to happen along the way. Susan allowing that complete freedom to do anything was remarkably generous.
Liz Magor on Simple Present Future Anterior
I’m sure that all the artists who work with Susan have experienced her ability to provide unusual support for projects and passions. She’s concierge-like in her arrangements for securing funding, making donations or finding a seat sale. She’s paralegal in pursuing insurance claims, getting into or out of contracts, and checking the fine print.
I have learned to value her input on both professional and personal matters and absolutely trust her discretion and fairness. More than once I have leaned on her with problems so pathetic that I choose to suppress them from memory. On the occasion of celebrating 20 years of partnership with Susan I involuntarily recall this story.
Sandra Meigs on Simple Present
A Powder of Feelings
Charles S. Peirce writes: “Time consists in a regularity in the relations of interacting feelings. Like begins to produce like. Then even pairs of unlike feelings begin to have similarity and then these begin to generalize
. . .
Brian Groombridge: YYZ and Susan Hobbs
by E.C. Woodley
Art in America, February 2013
Signs of engagement with the cosmos appear frequently in Brian Groombridge’s work, representing a hunger for knowledge beyond ourselves and a faith in such knowledge even if it is miniscule compared with what we don’t know. With our ambitious but limited vision, we are the “small telescopes” in the title of Groombridge’s retrospective at YYZ.
Kim Neudorf on Patrick Howlett
A sketch, a drawing, shavings of colour floating across a crammed shape of wood. Blinking, tiny with eyes glazed in the knot-hole of a naked expanse of white wall. An arrow shape of flag. Plain fruit. Plastic blues and curving snips of green. Edges held fast. Flue closed. Soup tin and the slope of water. Balanced, hunched forward. Flat-rinse, watery lens. Get inside the shape, inside the outline of a thought.
Joel Herman on Brian Groombridge
A florigelium is a medieval text that is composed of fragments of other texts, which is what Joel Herman has done here. It translates, literally, to ‘gathering of flowers’. The chair has always looked a little out of place in the library. If only Lotherton had an observatory — but it hasn’t and the Gascoigne family who lived here doesn’t seem to have had any interest in stargazing. The chair is so interesting and unusual that we couldn’t possibly just leave it in store. Perhaps if we had a telescope to show alongside it . . . ?
The Potency of Ordinary Objects: A conversation with Liz Magor
by Rachel Rosenfield Lafo
Sculpture, November 2012
Vancouver-based Liz Magor uses found materials, often from the domestic sphere, as a springboard for investigating the social and emotional life of objects. In mining their history, use, and relationship to the body, she molds, casts, and alters them to explore issues of authenticity, replication, consumption, waste, value, and status. Magor continues this debate between the real and the simulated in her public artworks.
Benjamin Tong on Krista Buecking
Good jokes depend on a kind of compression. Things are left out in such a way that produce an explosion of associations. There is a form of pressure, kPa, that exists inside all of us that is released when provoked by the forces interacting between various levels condensed in a joke. The best jokes are economical. In her installation WE THING, Krista Buecking borrows the comedic device of the light bulb joke. The signature punch line almost always involves targeting certain traits of a defined group, revealed in their quest to screw in a light bulb.
YYZ Artist’s Outlet, Toronto
8 September to 1 December 2012
Brian Groombridge will be exhibiting sculptures and wall works in YYZ’s first YYretroZpective exhibition. Groombridge’s practice is characterized by a deceptive simplicity of form and an economy of materials. He makes evocative use of structural and poetic elements, including aspects of communication and perception, construction and measurement. He refers to the transient nature of things, to balance and to reciprocity. Recent work explores a perceptual notion that he has developed, called “undeliverable space”, which comes from a continuing interest in parameters challenged by the absence of a fixed dimension.
Scotiabank Photography Award 2012
We are delighted to announce that Arnaud Maggs has won the Scotiabank Photography Award. As this year’s winner, in addition to $50,000, he will also see his work published in a book published by Steidl and will receive an exhibition at the 2013 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.
Renée van der Avoird on Kevin Yates
While visiting New Orleans with his brother in 2010, Kevin Yates witnessed the effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico first hand. The devastation of the spill, set against the backdrop of a city still reeling from Hurricane Katrina, formed the impetus for Yates’ latest body of work. Currently installed at Susan Hobbs Gallery, the exhibition consists of two highly realistic miniature ship models, as well as two experimental video works that the artist produced in collaboration with his brother, Robert. Yates’ new works use water as a platform to collectively conjure up notions of ecological disaster, environmental exploitation and, ultimately, the precariousness of the human condition.
Arnaud Maggs: Identification
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
4 May to 16 September 2012
Arnaud Maggs: Identification is a survey exhibition that follows the senior artist’s production over four decades. Focusing on seminal and recent works, it showcases the artist’s various working strategies and subject matter. The show features his early portrait series, his monumental photographic installations of found historical ephemera, the typography used in signage and numbering systems, as well as pieces that centre on rare books, including his own Scrapbook (2009), which is filled with the inspiring items Maggs collected while working as a graphic designer. Each work on display records in some way the people, places and lived experiences that have marked him — they can be seen as portraits of the artist.
Rebecca Duclos on Arnaud Maggs
Arnaud Maggs describes a deceivingly simple impetus for his latest series of photographs entitled After Nadar currently installed at Susan Hobbs Gallery. As he paged through a book that included Nadar’s studio portraits of actor Charles Deburau in character as Pierrot, Maggs knew he would somehow incorporate the poignant poses of the mime into a project of his own. In 2011 he purchased the book and set to work reconsidering and reconstructing Nadar’s expressive documentation of the 19th century French pantomime figure. In a rare moment within Maggs’ long career, the photographs that resulted from this process place the artist himself at the centre of every image.