MOBILE FORMS : PARISIAN ABSTRACTION TO AMERINDIAN POP
November 4th – December 4th, 2016
Mobile Forms: Parisian Abstraction to Amerindian Pop juxtaposes Alexandra Roussopoulos’ curvilinear shaped canvases, minimalist self-abstractions (libre et mobile formes), and skin-like geometries with the work of experimental Canadian First Nation artists, Steve Smith and Sonny Assu. From mobile formes to form lines, Western European thought and feminism, on one side, and First Nations’ art practices and post-colonialism, on the other, come together in dialogue. They’re seen to mirror conceptions of selfhood and presence in history and its representation Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw artist Steve Smith merges autobiography with tradition, representing the unified but transformative principles of indigenous personhood. ‘Form lines’ – iconic North West Pacific Coast design elements – swell and diminish, both defining and obscuring foreground and background, individual and totality, while stylized representations of the natural world – raven, eagle, trout head and human – are experienced in perpetual motion and transmigration, sharing hands, wings or eyes, and moving in multiple directions simultaneously.
Meanwhile, Canadian artist Sonny Assu elides Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw and Pop Art practices to deconstruct perceived identities and overturn the myth of the virgin continent and its vanished peoples. He re-inserts his people’s iconographic presence onto art-historical landscapes – from Paul Kane to Emily Carr to Pablo Picasso – to interrupt the imperialistic and romantic narrative. Creating exuberant and refined meditations on psycho-geography, political space and personhood, Parisian artist, Alexandra Roussopoulos explores the free and mobile body – abstracted to pure presence, at once changeable, responsive and creative – that dwells in the urban landscape or the distilled geometries of space.
– Rooted in divergent traditions, Roussopoulos, Assu and Smith distill, expand and embody personhood: mobile, changeful, grounded, singular and collective.–