Rising young artists showcase their work in Toronto and Montreal

Gallery-goers in Toronto and MoArt work from Andreas Buchwaldtntreal have the opportunity this summer to view cutting-edge work by rising artists in York University’s Department of Visual Arts.

MFA candidates Andreas Buchwaldt, Jon Claytor and Matt Gardiner, and BFA student Kaitlynn McQueston are representing York University in the exhibition Fresh Paint / New Construction at Montreal’s Art Mûr, one of the largest commercial contemporary art galleries in Canada.

Left: Andreas Buchwaldt, Aerobic Architecture 1, silk-screened lycra, mixed media and electronics. 20 by 20 by 6 inches, 2011

Now in its seventh year, Fresh Paint allows the next generation of visual artists to present their work to a discerning audience in a highly professional context. The current edition of this annual group show features work by 32 up-and-coming young artists from eight Eastern Canadian art schools. Along with York, Concordia University, Université Laval, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, University of Ottawa, Université du Québec à Montréal, University of Waterloo and University of Western Ontario were invited to participate.

Mixed media artist Buchwaldt – whose artwork was selected for the cover of the exhibition publication – shares work from his “flexible architecture” series: computer-generated blueprint drawings screen-printed on lycra fabric and attached to interactive eleArt work from Jon Claytor ctric motors. The motors randomly distort the stretchable drawings in a kind of rhythmic dance. Buchwaldt’s interest lies in the potential that these images represent as compared to the static, finished products that they inform.

Claytor, a painter and filmmaker, offers paintings from his latest series, “Easy Evolution”. The series addresses the space between humans and animals, and the rural/ urban divide.  Evocative images of animals covered in graffiti point to a beautiful decay as well as an ominous future.

Right: Jon Claytor, Girl with Crowns, oil on canvas, 78 by 60 inches, 2010

Gardiner contributes several paintings to the show that focus on themes involving the process of transposition from photographic image to representational painting. He selects found photographs from magazines, films and the Internet that present formal patterns that are evident throughout art history. With these images, Gardiner explores the dark side of western society’s search for Art work from Matthew Gardinerthe ideal lifestyle.

Left: Matthew Gardiner, Red Ski Mask. oil on canvas, 26 x 20 centimetres, 2010

Sculptor McQueston explores the terrain of our civilization using materials that reflect the personal/political dichotomy. Exhibiting outside the gallery, she is fascinated by the way in which the physical world, including architecture and landscape, contributes to her work.

Fresh Paint / New Construction opened July 16 and runs to Aug. 27. Art Mûr is located at 5826 rue St-Hubert in Montreal.

In Toronto, Isdud, a monumental photo mural by York PhD candidate Elle Flanders, is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA). The work, created in collaboration with architect Tamira Sawatzky, transforms MOCCA’s courtyard from the urban environment of Queen St. West into a seemingly idyllic countryside scene.

Kaitlynn McQueston, Credit Card, bronze
Above: Kaitlynn McQueston, Credit Card, bronze, 5.3 by 8.3 centimetres, 2011

Isdud portrays the site of a former Palestinian village of the same name that no longer exists. The work is a part of What Isn’t There, Flanders and Sawatzky’s ongoing photo installation project documenting the places where Palestinian villages once stood.

A filmmaker and photographer who grew up in Israel, Flanders has been photographing sites of former Palestinian villages for over 15 years. Hiking in the countryside as a child, she read the landscape through an Israeli narrative. Later, as an adult, she learned to see it from a Palestinian perspective, as a history of dispossession.

Blue sky and green grass
Above: Elle Flanders & Tamira Sawatzky, Isdud, 2009.

Confronted by a life-sized image of a rolling hill with a field of blossoming flowers, the viewer is asked to consider the function of photography and the underlying social dynamics that disrupt this idyllic scenery. By positioning a deceptively peaceful setting within an urban environment, the artists engage the viewer as a silent witness, raising questions about history and land ownership.

Isdud was installed as a part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in May and will be on display until August 31. MOCCA is located at 952 Queen St. W.