B.C. Binning Gallery, Alvin Balkind Gallery and CAG Façade
This group exhibition gathers works by six Canadian artists who bring abstraction to the edge of representation. Eli Bornowsky (Vancouver), Eli Langer (Los Angeles), Kika Thorne (Victoria/Toronto), Holly Ward (Vancouver), Geoffrey Farmer (Vancouver), and Derek Sullivan (Toronto) all question the use of abstraction through their own formal explorations. Many of the works directly reference and represent Modernist paradigms. In some ways the works are like caricatures of Modernism, simplifying and exaggerating its familiar and canonized aesthetic concerns. Vivid colours, bold forms, elaborate compositions become tangible objects that relate to intangible ideas, materializing abstract ideas through abstract forms. This investigation into form for form's sake is not to set Modernism up as a foil, but is used to bring out the specific qualities of aesthetic exploration, using form as a viable and particular method to communicate specific ideas.
Eli Bornowsky holds a diploma of Visual Communication: Design and Illustration from the Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton (2001), and a BFA in Visual Arts from the Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver (2005). Bornowsky has participated in solo exhibitions, In Advance of the Coffee Table Book. Or Reterritorialized Deterritorializations of a Stream of Consciousness at the Helen Pitt in Vancouver (2003) and Great Drinker and Chandelier at the Lobby gallery in Vancouver (2006 as well as group shows including Chamomile Testerosa at the 1066 Project Space in Toronto (2003), Dept at the Other Gallery, Banff Centre in Banff (2005), and most recently Way Crafty at Blanket Gallery in Vancouver (2006). Bornowsky has also performed at various sites including untitled sound pieces at Blim in Vancouver (2004, 2005), and collaboratively with the Tokyo Orthodox Noise Choir at Studio 80 in Tokyo, Japan (2001). Bornowsky lives and works in Vancouver and is represented by Blanket Gallery, Vancouver where he has an upcoming solo exhibition.
Eli Langer was born in Montreal in 1967. Langer has been exhibiting both internationally and within Canada, including solo exhibitions at Daniel Hug in Los Angeles (2006), Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto (2005) and Platform in London, UK (1999). He has also participated in various group exhibitions at the Helen Pitt in Vancouver (2001), Ben Kaufmann in Berlin (2006) and Raster in Warsaw (2006). He currently lives and works in Los Angeles and Canada.
Geoffrey Farmer has exhibited widely holding solo exhibitions at The Power Plant in Toronto (2005), the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver (2003) and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto (2002). He has forthcoming exhibitions scheduled at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in Montréal in 2008, Witte de With in Rotterdam in 2008 and the Drawing Room in London, UK in 2007. Selected group shows include the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst in Antwerp, Gasworks in London, Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Vancouver Art Gallery, Seoul Museum of Art, Melbourne International Biennial and forthcoming at Tate Modern. Farmer lives and works in Vancouver and is represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery. He is currently exhibiting Announcements for Art School at the Chelsea Space in London, UK.
Derek Sullivan was born in Richmond Hill, Canada. He received a BFA from York University in 1999, and an MFA from the University of Guelph in 2001. His work has been featured at the 2004 Toronto International Art Fair, as well The Power Plant in Toronto in 2005. His work has also been shown at ARTFirm, Red Gallery, and YYZ in Toronto, as well as exhibitions in Montreal, Vancouver, Shanghai, Berlin and New York. In 2001, Sullivan was the youngest artist awarded a permanent outdoor sculpture commission for the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre’s Sculpture Park at the University of Guelph. He is completing projects for the Art Gallery of York University and Optica in 2007. Sullivan is currently based in Toronto.
Kika Thorne graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Media Production and Cultural Theory in 1990. For a decade she has made film and video art which spans the super 8 underground, experimental public access television, and mainstream broadcasting. In the late 90s, Thorne participated in the October and February Group actions against the Ontario Conservative government. She has had solo shows at the Helen Pitt Gallery, Vancouver (2001), Kino Arsenal in Berlin (2003). Group exhibitions include A Better Place, McKenzie Art Gallery (2000); Substitute City, The Power Plant (2001); Zones, Art Gallery of Hamilton (2003); 25hours, CCCB, Barcelona (2003); Metro-Ago-Go, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2004); Old Habits Die Hard, Sparwasser, Berlin + touring (2004-6); and E-Flux Video, KW, Berlin (2005-7). Based in Toronto, she is completing her MFA at the University of Victoria.
Holly Ward recently received her MFA from the University of Guelph, Ontario. Ward also holds a BA English degree from the University of New Brunswick, and a BFA Interdisciplinary degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her work has been shown in solo shows across Canada and internationally including the Or Gallery in Vancouver and Oeil Du Poisson in Quebec. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions at the Susan Hobbs Gallery in Toronto, Art & Idea in Mexico City, and the VTO Gallery in London. Recently, Ward’s work was featured in Until Then Then at Western Front in Vancouver, as well as How Soon is Now at Western University ARTLAB in London, Ontario. She currently lives and works in Vancouver.