Work by rising stars in visual arts added to Sarick collection


The Faculty of Fine Arts has acquired two more works by recent graduates of the MFA Program in Visual Arts for its Samuel Sarick Purchase Award Collection of contemporary Canadian art.

Jaime Angelopoulos’ large-format drawing, Thief, and Julieta Maria’s four-minute digital video, Soil, are now part of this outstanding collection of works created by then-emerging artists, reflecti "Thief" by Jaime Angelopoulosng  the evolution of artistic sensibility, technology and expression over the past 35 years.

Right: “Thief” by Jaime Angelopoulos

Toronto philanthropist Samuel Sarick established the Purchase Award in1976 – just two years after York’s Graduate Program in Visual Arts was established. Each year since then, one or more works have been selected for acquisition from the thesis exhibitions of students graduating from the program. In addition to serving as a showcase of the leading edge of contemporary work, the collection is an important component of the historical record of the visual arts department and its alumni.

Angelopoulos (MFA ‘10) identifies herself as a sculptor who also works in installation and large-scale drawing.

“My drawings often depict aspects of my sculptural forms, while also informing the sculpture-making process,” she said. “My current drawings combine graphic geometric fragments and bright color hues with organic shapes and textures evocative of animals. To reconcile oppositional elements within a drawing is to discover a balance between contradictory ideas.”

Angelopoulos has an upcoming solo show May 4 to 21 at Toronto’s YYZ Gallery, located at 401 Richmond St. W. The opening reception takes place Friday, May 4 from 8 to 10pm.

Angelopoulos has presented her work across Canada and beyond. Her solo exhibitions and performances include venues such as Parisian Laundry in Montreal, Stride Gallery in Calgary, Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax, Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, Texas, and at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

In contrast to Angelopoulos’ physical art-making, Maria (BFA ‘04, MFA ‘10) is a new media artist working in a variety of media including video, interactive video installations and web. Soil is a prime example of her recent work, which centres on video documentation of staged actions.

Soil shows the artist’s face in profile, open-mouthed, lying horizontally against a white background. Soil starts pouring down from the upper side of the frame, gradually filling her mouth.

A scene from "Soil" by Julieta Maria“Closeness to the earth implies being close to life and death, to the visceral,” said Maria.

Left: A scene from “Soil” by Julieta Maria

“In the video, I take the soil trying to engage in minimal movement or expression. The openness of the mouth, however, gives a sense of willingness to receive the dirt. It’s a situation that is not resolved, as the soil keeps falling and accumulating. The soil comes from above, as a kind of fate.”

Maria is a co-founder of e-Fagia Visual and Media Art Organization in Toronto, where she currently serves as executive director. She has participated in several international screenings and exhibitions, including Scope Basel in Switzerland in 2010, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in Colombia in 2009, and the Interactiva Biennale in Mexico 2009, among others.