Category Archives: Contemporary Art

Nathan Eugene Carson tagging at AGO

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Visit the Italia Galleria tomorrow night at the AGO’s First Thursdays Event “Close Encounters, where artist, Nathan Eugene Carson and 5 other artists will be tagging 300 bright orange notebooks to be given away on a first come, first served basis.

Nathan’s solo painting exhibition will be held at VERSO Gallery, October 2015.

image: a boy in progress, Nathan Eugene Carson, 2014

Nathan Carson Live Drawing at Basquiat Opening

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We’re so pleased for Nathan! He’s been chosen to live draw at the
opening for BASQUIAT at the AGO tomorrow night 7:30-10:30.

Irresistible Bowness: ART REVIEW

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IRRESISTIBLE BOWNESS
Artist makes whimsical marvels from organic materials

NOW TORONTO BY   DECEMBER 17, 2014

MICHAEL BOWNESS at Verso Gallery (1160 Queen West), to December 24. 416-533-6362. Rating: NNNN


The white Pierrot face of artist Arnaud Maggs, painted delicately on tiny pieces of paper affixed to open walnut shells, is just one of the understated marvels in Michael Bowness’s tidy, compact show, Nutty.

This portrait (or, rather, portraits) of Maggs, a long-time associate and friend, bears witness to a lifelong practice of making subtle assemblages and sculptural objects that wear their whimsy gracefully.

Bowness subjects organic objects from around Toronto to contextual sleight of hand.

He positions water-worn bricks fished out of lake Ontario with bits of wire, morphing them into odd little proto-animals. Fallen from a 19th-century foundry long since demolished, the bricks also speak to the creative repurposing that drives the ecology of the city.

The walnut shell series makes up half the show, the objects in wall-mounted glass cases bringing Joseph Cornell’s dream boxes to mind. In 12th Of Never, crisp hand-twisted paper numbers nestle in individual shells. It’s both cryptic and formally precise, taking us back to a point where number intersects with figuration.

In Beaver Lodge, inverted shells stand in for the fat bodies of beavers swimming on a printed blue lake. It’s a scene that borrows heavily from the artsy-crafty chic of the DIY 70s, serving as an aesthetic time capsule. It’s also strangely pleasing and unmistakably Canadian.

The show’s modest scale means these tiny, carefully constructed objects are easy to miss. On further scrutiny, however, they’re impossible to overlook.

Image: Michael Bowness. Arnaud. Walnuts, dental plaster, ink. 2014

Michael Bowness: Show Extended

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Michael Bowness, NUTTY:
Show extended until December 24.
Beaver Lodge, 2014
Walnut shells, birch bark, pastel.
31×31 inches framed.

VERSO Gallery & INabstracto Present: Michael Bowness

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Nutty — 
New constructs by Michael Bowness
November 20 – Show Extended until December 24
Opening: Thursday, November 20 from 6-8 p.m.

Nutty
 is a show of constructs by Michael Bowness. Using one of the earliest foods consumed by primitive man, Michael uses walnut shells as his “canvas” alongside a collection of found stone sculptures.

Artist Biography
Michael Bowness was born in 1937 off the coast on England in the Irish Sea on a small island called Walney. He was fifteen years old when his family emigrated to Ottawa as his father was made Assistant Director of Submarines for Canada.

Michael graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1967 winning the Bronze Medal for Proficiency in his year. His career as an Art Director, Illustrator, and Sculptor spans over 35 years and he has been honored with many awards, including a Juno for Best Album Cover and a contributor to the book “Caribou and the Barren Land” which won a Governor General’s Award.

Michael lives in Toronto. He enjoys riding a bicycle, walking, and, eating walnuts.

Image: 12th of Never

Moe Casino, The Neon Series

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Moe CasinoCalifornia 1960 from The Neon Series. 2014
Acrylic on panel, 48″ x 36″. INQUIRE
Currently at VERSO Gallery/INabstracto.

The Burt Bacharach Series

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The Burt Bacharach Series,
Paintings by Kurt Swinghammer
Acrylic on canvas, 14×14″. $500/each.
VERSO Gallery/INabstracto

New Arrivals: Red Canoe Series

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Kurt Swinghammer, The Red Canoe Series
Just Arrived: Two new 48″ pieces and a  24″x24″ (above)

The Red Canoe Series is an ongoing body of work in which the
composition remains unchanged, but the colour relationships of
the water are unique each time. The initial inspiration was to find
an image that related to landscape painter Tom Thomson,
who was the subject of a song cycle that I wrote and recorded
called Turpentine Wind. One of my goals was to depict an iconic
Canadian subject matter in a contemporary manner.

—Kurt Swinghammer

Kurt Swinghammer is a Toronto-based musician/visual artist. He has established a diverse career as a singer/songwriter, film composer for CBC’s
The Nature Of Things, session guitarist for artists including Ani DiFranco, Serena Ryder, and Royal Wood, producer for Ron Sexsmith, co-writer with
x-Bahaus Goth icon Peter Murphy, art director of music videos for rapper Maestro Fresh Wes, illustrator of a children’s book by Stompin Tom Connors,
T-shirt designer/ artist for Barenaked Ladies, CD cover designer for The Art Of Time Ensemble, Stuart McLean, and The African Guitar Ensemble, and wardrobe designer for the jazz group The Shuffle Demons. He has been the cover story of NOW Magazine, Artist Of The Week on Bravo’s Arts Minds, and is represented in the permanent collection of the Canada Council Art Bank. He has won Best Local Guitarist in the annual NOW Magazine Reader’s Poll. In 2012 he was the first Artist In Residence at The National Music Center in Calgary, and is currently an artist endorsed by the legendary synthesizer company Moog Music.

Works available: Red Canoe Series, 2014. Acrylic on canvas.
48” x 48”  and 24” x 24”

Ice Age Scotty Review by David Jager

Ice Age Scotty_Jager Review

Ice Age Scotty Review
David Jager for NOW Magazine

May 22, 2014
Her enigmatic, occasionally haunting images pay homage to the imagination and to unusual and beautiful toy design.” …David Jager read the full review —

www.nowtoronto.com/art/story.cfm?content=198081

MAX LUPO Opening: Objects of Note

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VERSO Gallery Presents
MAX LUPO: Objects of Note
April 5-27, 2014

Opening Reception & Performance
Saturday April 5 from 4-6 pm

Additional Performances
Saturday, April 12: 1-4
Sunday, April 27: 1-4

***BlogTO—Must See Art Shows

Max Lupo’s Objects of Note takes all of the things you never knew you wished you had, and puts them in one place. Are you your own worst enemy? Do you need a portable confidence booster? Or are you disturbingly lonely while sitting around the house? These, and many other essential human dilemmas, can all be solved by an Object of Note!

The devices on view present themselves as an object waiting to be touched, and it is through the user’s interaction that the limit of the device’s functionality is revealed. Together the viewer and artist will find that what the objects purport to do is both a very real reality, and an obvious sham.

Artist Statement
In my most recent work I become both inventor, and television infomercial host. The devices I create present themselves as an object waiting to be touched, and it is through the user’s interaction that the true character of each device is revealed. The power of the objects reside in their ability to engage with the viewers on both a tactile and conceptual level.

The objects may attempt to offer a concrete solution for some deleterious human ailment, or perhaps they are simply a lightning rod for irony. In either case, the objects are created to be reactive to the user, in a way that allows them to reveal truths about themselves, the user, and myself – all at once.

Max Lupo is an emerging artist/inventor who travels the world (not really) in order to bring the most exotic and fascinating inventions to life.

Image: Dial Me a Story. Modified vintage telephones, 2014