Exhibitions / Notices

SUBMIT View

Current notices

There are no notices at this time.

Today's notices

  • ANCESTRAL MINDSCAPES

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Ancestral Mindscapes is an autobiographical collaboration using video, sound and photography to explore..
    View notice

  • Clay Tile Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Participants will be working with clay to hand-build tiles using a variety of..
    View notice

  • Edible and Medicinal Gardening Lecture

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Ukrainian settlers brought with them a wide range of traditional knowledge and practices,..
    View notice

  • Acrylic Painting for Beginners

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Do you want to create a bright & beautiful acrylic landscape in one..
    View notice

  • Willow Heart Weaving Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Willow Heart Weaving Workshop In this workshop, participants will learn how to trim and..
    View notice

  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition, invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
    View notice

  • Invisible by PAINTER8

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Please join us at PAINTER8, and other Edmonton art lovers alike, for the..
    View notice

  • 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    The 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour is an event you don’t want to..
    View notice

  • Wheat Centrepiece Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this class to learn how to make a didukh-style centrepiece that can..
    View notice

  • Radio Silence

    Location: Quebec city, QC

    Québec, August 19, 2019 – Folie/Culture invites all those who express themselves through..
    View notice

  • LOOK AGAIN!

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    LOOK AGAIN! PAINTINGS BY KATHLEEN SLAVIN AND GAIL PRPICK AT UNIVERSITY..
    View notice

  • Watercolour Workshop with Frank Townsley

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Sunday 22nd September 10.00 AM - 5.00 PM ..
    View notice

  • Figureworks 2019

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Figureworks 2019 Call for Artists The call for submissions to the 10th annual juried..
    View notice

  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
    View notice

  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
    View notice

  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
    View notice

  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
    View notice

  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
    View notice

  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
    View notice

  • 32 Points- 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace

    Location: Toronto, ON

    32 Points - 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace International Exhibition September 6-27, 2019 Cedar Ridge..
    View notice

VIEW ADVERTISING

Gary Spearin: Name Paintings

By Gil McElroy March 1, 2004

} Gary Spearin: Name Paintings by Gil McElroy September 11 - November 9, 2003 The Robert McLaughlin Gallery Oshawa, Ontario, Canada The childhood game of laying on the ground and looking for the shapes of familiar things (animals, people, etc.) in cloud formations comes in adult sizes. We are, after all, the species best able to hear the signal amidst the noise, to discern pattern in what might otherwise seem random and incoherent. In the visual arts, our approach toward abstraction perhaps best exemplifies the craving we have to find (or even create) something representational where it is not. Maybe it’s a genetic thing. Gary Spearin, Big Name, 2003,oil on canvas, 180 x 150 cm. Whether or not we’re hardwired to see this way, Gary Spearin has made the representational urge central to the abstract paintings of his Name Paintings. The exhibition title refers to Spearin’s conceit of resisting the idea of titling abstract paintings “untitled” —what he calls “the post-1950 convention” — and instead using the word “name” within the title of every work. The result is paintings called Big Name, Name?, Left Unnamed, etc. Beyond a titular denial of what has come to be a convention of abstraction, Spearin’s very markmaking is a rejection of the spontaneous and gestural kind of painterly activity that have become hallmarks of abstraction courtesy the historical pre-eminence given Action Painting. Spearin’s work is, instead, intentional and deliberate — qualities we associate, like it or not, with representation. Gary Spearin, Being Your Name, 2003,oil on canvas, 75 x 75 cm. All this by way of saying that we come to Spearin’s paintings with representational expectations. How do you spell that name? (2002) is one of the larger pieces in this exhibition, a work primarily composed of a large painterly mass of intertwined red lines that is no amalgam of abstract swipes and daubs, but rather a composite of carefully and individually delineated markings. Spearin laboriously painted each one, creating something representationally akin to, say, a disordered pile of yarn, a mass of worms (like the “red wigglers” of WKRP in Cincinnati notoriety), or perhaps even something more personally biological, like the lengthy mass of our lower intestines squashed into a compact area. This large and intentional gathering of shapes is disrupted by, and juxtaposed with, an area of truly abstraction intentions. Here, Spearin vertically smears and combs a section of canvas, blurring the colors of his palette into fuzzy bands of reds, pinks and whites of non-representational intentions. This tug of war between abstraction and representation is enhanced by other smeared and combed areas that are worked in behind Spearin’s red wigglers — an effect that optically adds loads of depth to the canvas. In Image Name (2002), Spearin has reduced the number of red wigglers to three small and lonely strands that extend into the central part of the canvas from three edges. The work is otherwise engulfed by the abstraction of a large combed and smeared area, its blurry bands of paint blending from black at its fringes to narrow filaments of yellow in the middle that make for plaintive echoes of the lively intertwining red shapes of other works. Gary Spearin, Image Name, 2002,oil on canvas, 180x 125 cm. With Being Your Name (2003), Spearin digs further into the possibilities of the representational/abstract dichotomy. Here, set in isolation from one another, six small red wigglers lay scattered across the canvas, each situated within painterly whorls of light colors that are set against a background of vertical lines of candystripe reds, blues and pinks that ascend and descend the canvas in long continuous loops. Gary Spearin’s arguments with abstraction boil down to the deceptively difficult question, “what’s in a name?” The give-and-take dynamic between abstract and representational in his paintings affords some fresh lines of aesthetic enquiry, and if names are named in the process, so much the better. This review originally appeared in Art Papers Magazine, January/February 2004. ___________________________________________ Gil McElroy is a critic, independent curator, artist, and poet currently living in Colborne, Ontario. His latest books are Gravity & Grace: Selected Writing on Contemporary Canadian Art (Gaspereau Press), and a book of poetry, Dream Pool Essays (Talonbooks). View Gil's curriculum vitae.