The gallery will be open by appointment only this summer. You can reach us by email (info@LKAP.ca), or by phone at (204)510-0088.
We will reopen September 2 with Neil Farber's solo exhibition, 9 Paintings. This exhibition marks the first Canadian solo for the artist in over a decade. This exhibition will be followed by a solo show of beloved outsider artist, Daniel Johnston- the inaugural solo exhibition of Johnston's work in Canada. Thank you for the support through our first year. We look forward to seeing you this fall!
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"However clichéd the sentiment, Asher’s photographs give the compelling impression of a raw moment not intended for the camera. It’s why the style remains a fixture of many independent and counter-culture publications, as well as a staple of social media. It’s immediately seductive, endowing celebrities with rebellious scrappiness and rendering them accessibly quotidian. Conversely, and perhaps more importantly, it endows our own photographs with a glamorous sheen."
To read full interview, click here.
PUBLIC INSTALLATION at TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX
The Long Weekend: Paul Butler, Galen Johnson, Julia Anne Leach, Guy Maddin, Caelum Vatnsdal, with special guests Jonah Corne, Simon Hughes, Alicia Smith
April 27–May 31
The Long Weekend is a collective of Winnipeg artists, filmmakers,and designers who, working under the aegis of Paul Butler’s enduring Collage Party practice, have produced movie posters that imagine an alternate history of cinema. The Collage Party, started by Butler in 1998, is an experimental studio where artists are invited to work alongside each other in a social setting, often for days on end. The posters that comprise Coming Attractions depict a fanciful Hollywood realm, one presided over by movie moguls who never quite finalized their plans for global domination, never quite mastered their formulas for churning out blockbusters, never once dreamed of rewiring and homogenizing the public’s perception of itself.
Covering the street-level windows of TIFF Bell Lightbox—the epicentre of the Toronto International Film Festival—Coming Attractions creates the appearance of a welter of one-sheets plastered in the style of advertisements found on construction site hoarding. The montage of posters creates a direct confrontation between The Long Weekend’s specifically contrived film world and the corporate hegemonies of the real film world. These movie-industry détournements, fashioned from advertisements and illustrations cut and recontexualized from old books and magazines, were created in the convivial freedom of near-utopian Collage Party environments. But The Long Weekend has no utopian vision, no illusions about their political impact, no nostalgia for avant-garde movements of the past. The simple act of artmaking in the present is its way of engaging with questions that preoccupy its members, both individually and collectively.
Presented in partnership with TIFF
Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein
FEATURED EXHIBITION at DRAKE HOTEL
April 27–June 22
May 12, 6pm–8p
Filmmaking, like a lot of lens-based artwork, is frequently driven by new developments in the medium, where aesthetics evolve in step with new technologies. Guy Maddin challenges that notion, bringing the viewer back to a time when images were processed by hand with results that often included unpredictable effects. His celebrated films recurrently evoke dreamscapes from the past while addressing contemporary issues of identity and memory. The artist brings a similar approach to his collage practice, and it is this work that grounds his solo exhibition. Maddin brings a narrative approach to these works, and has written of his collage process: “I suppose the playroom of this gluey and scissory medium is where I find refuge whenever cinema’s laws feel too literal-minded, where I can secretly fashion the blueprints for the little visual collisions I hope will work on the big screen.”
Curated in partnership with TIFF, this exhibition brings together original work and mural-sized reproductions that invite the viewer to revel in the subtle details and layered imagery of Maddin’s vision. An installation of his 11-channel film Hauntings, commissioned on the occasion of the opening of TIFF Bell Lightbox in 2010, rounds out the exhibition.
Curated by Laurel MacMillan and Mia Nielsen
Winnipeg photographer makes confident, challenging return from illness
By: Steven Leyden Cochrane
Where do I even start with Karen Asher?
I met her a decade ago but you’ve known her forever after 10 minutes of conversation. She’s a compulsive over-sharer and an irrepressible gossip, a misplaced scene queen in a classic, anachronistic vein, a Jewish girl from the Maples reared on late-night cable access and candy from the 24-hour Shoppers. She loves people but it’s a love entwined with curiosity: she’s not above causing a scene just to see how it plays out.
If I’m getting personal up front it’s because I think that’s what Karen would do, and because destabilizing candor, like a general air of calamity, is a hallmark of the work she makes. Asher is a character, and she’s one of the city’s most distinctive photographers and artists.
Shot on medium-format film in revealing but not altogether flattering light, her photographs capture moments of surreal, unintelligible intimacy. Staged but not pre-meditated, the scenes she directs and documents can be viscerally awkward, though the final compositions seem effortless. Behind the camera, Asher is uncannily perceptive, quick to react to developing situations. Her images are provocative, weird and essentially humane.
The Full Catastrophe (opened April 15 at Aceartinc.) is Asher’s first new body of work and first solo show in Winnipeg since 2010. Five years ago, just as her work was coming to national attention, overlapping and hard-to-pin-down health problems forced her from her practice as she learned to cope with unfamiliar limitations. The show has the hard-won urgency of a real comeback, with Asher exploring new subjects and artistic strategies, all while refining her focus and retaining her inimitable character.
The new work began in earnest two years ago, with illness serving starting point both personally and conceptually. Insightful, abstract, and absurd in equal measure, Catastrophe considers breakdowns of the body’s normal function as they’re felt across all aspects of life, finding parallels in blurred social boundaries and moments of visual ambiguity. The point is of finding in chaos, if not "meaning" or even the illusion of order, something worth celebrating or at least looking at again.
Though she’s never been "conventional," Asher has moved away from conventions of portraiture that informed her earlier work. In the new multi-figure compositions ("collisions" might be the better word), the identities of her subjects are often obscured and not necessarily relevant. It’s not even clear how many people are in the frame sometimes, making the images hard to describe and leading to more than one alarming double-take. Who these people are, what they’re doing together, and how they relate are questions left open by design.
Asher arranges her subjects like sculpture, architecture or rickety Rube Goldberg machines. Bodies collide, fuse and break apart. Partly undressed women fumble into one another like drunken caryatids, a tottering colonnade that rounds a corner into a sequence like a hazily pieced together memory of a makeout party on the couch, one which looks different on closer inspection. As we read, re-read, and misread each new situation, the tone shifts from amorous to awkward to aggressive to tender to inscrutable and back.
If unpredictability is a requirement when Asher is shooting, no decision after the shutter clicks goes unconsidered. The 27 prints were painstakingly selected from a larger group and carefully arranged in the gallery to both suggest and disrupt narrative sequence, direct the viewer’s movement through the space and highlight visual echoes and startling juxtapositions. This focus on installation is a new development, one that underscores Asher’s skill, sensitivity, and precise artistic vision.
After five years on the sidelines, Asher is at the height of her oddball powers and the top of her game. Saturday’s artist talk won’t be one to miss.
Originally published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Thursday, April 21, 2016.
L’art que seul peut permettre le papier
16 avril 2016 | Claude Lafleur
Just a reminder the gallery will be closed until April 30 while we attend Papier in Montreal, QC. We will reopen on April 30 for Michael Dumontier | New Body.
Thanks, and see you in two weeks.
Review by Courtney R. Thompson in the current issue of Border Crossings.
“I've been going increasingly public with the results,” Maddin told us, “because the collage parties my friends and I throw, which are nothing less than Jack Smith-style happenings, but with more taffeta, are simply getting to be too much fun not to share with the world.” And he added a bit of advice to the amateur collagist: “Don't throw out your old porn magazines, they can be recycled in far tonier ways than any old paper shredder could dream up!"
To read the whole write up, click on the image.
This past week, the gallery participated in the second edition of Feature Contemporary Art Fair. The booth presented the work of Karen Asher, Shaun Morin, and Kristin Nelson, and Erica Eyres was included in the video programme. NOW Magazine wrote an article on the fair and LKAP was highlighted:
"Learning about artists we're unfamiliar with is one of the important functions of art fairs, and Winnipeg’s Lisa Kehler Art + Projects obliged: Shaun Morin effectively assembles awkward high-schooler’s-notebook-style doodles into wacky and appealing paintings that circumvent the annoying cuteness sometimes associated with this kind of art, and Kristin Nelson weaves convincingly realistic sheets of notebook paper out of cotton."
Read the whole article here.
We are disappointed to announce the gallery will temporarily be ceasing operation at 171 McDermot. As the ongoing construction concerns have made it impossible to maintain regular hours, we have no choice but to close the doors. While the current exhibition of Erica Eyres' has been cut short, we will work at remounting the work in the near future. For those lucky enough to see it, thank you. To those unable to make it in, we have added installation and detail images to the website.
We are still available to meet outside of the gallery on a consultation basis, as we did from January to June. Our website remains an excellent resource for viewing current works, information about our artists, and upcoming projects and events. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates about our re-opening dates.
In the meantime, please enjoy the current show, opening this evening at 84 1/2 Albert Street. We will also be in Toronto for Feature Contemporary Art Fair from October 21 - 25, more details to follow shortly.
Thanks again for continuing to support our gallery, our commitment to important contemporary art, and most importantly, the artists. We look forward to seeing you again in the near future.
Well, this is awkward
Winnipeg-born artist's new work as odd as always, but she makes 'otherness' relatable
By: Steven Leyden Cochrane
Posted: 10/1/2015 3:00 AM
Since visiting Holidays in the Future, Erica Eyres' exhibition of new drawings and video at Lisa Kehler Art and Projects, I've been having an uncomfortable change of heart about her work. Since awkward transitions are her stock-in-trade -- generational divides, the indignities of adolescence and aging, distortions in narrative that arise through retelling and re-adaptation -- I guess this means it's working as intended.
Born in Winnipeg but based for more than a decade in Glasgow, Scotland, Eyres makes cable-access-style narrative videos, gawky ballpoint-pen and pencil caricatures and, most recently, small ceramic objects. Beyond low-budget production values and a preponderance of feathered bangs, the work shares common themes of uncertain self-presentation and an ambiguous tone. I've never really liked it.
Eyres is known for her drawings in pencil and ballpoint pen, often scenes from the pages of Health and Efficiency magazine.
Eyres' video Pam's Dream, an absurd, scene-for-scene re-enactment of the prime-time soap opera Dallas played by cheaply bewigged Scottish schoolchildren, could be used to extract confessions from terror suspects (it screened here a few years back), but it's the drawings that have always rubbed me the wrong way.
Eyres finds her subjects in anonymous studio portraits, 1970s amateur porn and back issues of a leading "naturist" magazine. She reproduces these images in a fastidious but stilted hand, a style she fully owns and which suits her needs. Removing all but the barest background details, she leaves her characters stranded, stark naked in empty space.
The drawings fixate on markers of difference, exaggerating oddly proportioned features and lingering on dated hairstyles. These distance us from the figures in time, opening space for either reflection or mocking, but they could just as easily read as markers of class, an unintentional but unpleasant ambiguity. With so much taken away, I've struggled see what Eyres was adding beyond scrutiny and scorn.
So why the change of heart?
In an interview accompanying the current show, Eyres jokingly concedes that the distortions in her drawings have grown less pronounced in part because she got better at drawing. There really is a newfound sensitivity in the most recent portraits, though: what read before as generic indications of "otherness" (or just ugliness) now seem like signs of individual character. It helps, too, that Holidays shies away from the boudoir photos that Eyres favours, with their more complicated, prurient gaze, focusing instead on scenes from the pages of Health and Efficiency -- naked people cheerfully going about their days, getting their hair done, bowling, feeding cheetahs and so on.
For me, however, the show's real eye-opener is Clay Head. Eyres never appears directly in the new video; instead, we watch her manicured hands purposefully sculpt a clay bust in the manner of a forensic reconstruction artist.
As features coalesce, she narrates the fictional recollections of a child actor on an unnamed horror program. Gouging out sockets and fitting them with glass eyes, she muses on the disconnect between the action on set and the image onscreen -- between performance and perception -- and the thrill of being transformed through makeup. When she tells us she lost the part because she didn't grow enough one summer, she crams a set of slightly outsized porcelain teeth in place, leaving the finished bust to stare pathetically in our direction.
The video is irreverent and odd, but it's also tender, touching on anxieties around self-image that child actors, horny housewives and geriatric nudists all experience equally. It helps clarify the tone of Eyres' practice, which I may have been misreading all this time. That puts me in an awkward position, but I think that means it's working.
Steven Leyden Cochrane is a Winnipeg-based artist, writer and educator.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 1, 2015 C15
Dagmara Genda's review of Paul Butler | Words Fall Short in the new issue of Magenta Magazine.
Paul Butler | Words Fall Short
Lisa Kehler Art + Projects
June 6 – 20, 2015
There seems to be a conviction among many artists that music is not quite at pains to justify itself the way visual art seems to be. From this side of the fence, music seems to enjoy unadulterated access into experience that words can never fully articulate. This belief is the impetus behind Paul Butler’s Words Fall Short, the inaugural exhibition at Lisa Kehler Art + Projects. Butler taps into a connection that, by now, might seem cliché: the relationship between art and jazz.
Perhaps the allure jazz had for many abstract expressionists resulted in art criticism’s pilfering of music terminology. Words like improvisation, syncopated rhythm and staccato became common terms to describe non-representational painting. Mondrian was inspired by jazz rhythms to create Broadway Boogie Woogie (1943); Jackson Pollock, who often listened to free form, had his White Light (1954) posthumously featured on an Ornette Coleman album cover; Julian Schnabel used a soundtrack of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker in his filmBasquiat (1996) to show the young artist at work. In conversation, Butler admits he’s no expert in jazz — he shows a greater affinity for Bob Dylan — though he cites it as an inspiration for his first Winnipeg solo show in a decade. Words Fall Short features fourteen new collages that employ the aesthetic of jazz album covers with their stylized artworld references, including many Mondrian-derived geometries and, in one case, an Alexander Calder mobile. Five of his collages stray toward art historical juxtapositions that, in their formatting, reveal the artist’s primary source material — art books. While the jazz pieces retain the shape of the original record sleeves, they too were sourced from a Taschen compendium of album covers. In the end, it’s not improvisation that marks Butler’s particular brand of collage as much as, if the music metaphor is to be used, a replay of standards with a notable tinge of sentimentality.
At 42 x 42 inches, many of the collages are closer in scale to a painting than an album cover though each retains strong references to its source. Butler’s cut lines always follow the contours of faces and abstract shapes to produce images that could be new releases of their Blue Note originals. His careful aesthetic decisions betray an intuitive reaction to surface rather than an investment in the messy, political history of jazz. About a third of the works, however, utilize an entirely different set of strategies. Butler points out one piece that marks a transitional moment. From his collection of imagery, an ancient Cretan vase made its way into a collage resulting in a shift to explicitly art historical content, territory obviously more familiar to the artist. The change marks a nuanced and personal approach to his material. Rather than following the outlines in the original images, Butler tears pages, cuts out rough rectangles, and employs content-laden juxtapositions. His use of iconic images, such as Rococo interiors and the Mona Lisa, read like a return to standards via the medium of the first-year art history survey. One image, Untitled (Words Fall Short, Art School) (2015), features a cut-out of spilled paint vertically flanked by two black and white photographs of a nude female body — presumably the painter’s model. The flow of paint is echoed in the curve of legs emerging from behind the photo, bringing to mind Yves Klein’s infamousAnthropométrie performance (1960), where naked women slathered in blue paint dragged each other across large swathes of canvas laid out on the floor. Another collage combines illusionary Baroque ceilings with the bare legs and gloved hands of a pin-up girl. The space between art model and sex symbol is collapsed and depicted through a boy’s gaze, specifically the new art student whose learned boundaries of the body, sexuality and depiction come up for particularity titillating transgression. Though the images always stay in the realm of suggestion keeping innocence safely intact.
The word innocence has been used by Butler in reference to his work in the past, as well as in the interview with Lisa Kehler that accompanies the show. “I’m trying to get back to the innocence I had before I became a ‘professional’ artist,” says Butler. In a 2003 interview for the artist’s exhibition My Mad Skillz at the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Robert Enright notes that Butler’s projects lay claim to innocence despite being “fraught with knowledge.” Responding with the “ignorance is bliss” dictum, Butler evinces a suspicion of words and their propensity to dictate the direction of art. Yet the innocence Butler repeatedly invokes is tied to one’s first fascination with art, replete in the youthful wonder and prejudice that reveals more about social construct than intuition. That moment can be remarkably formative and often remains a source of nostalgia for a time when things just seemed less complicated.
But, of course, things never really were less complicated, and Butler, in his various roles as curator, art dealer and event organizer, is well aware of that. The only thing less complicated was one’s level of understanding, which might still provide fertile ground for the peeling back of layers that create the illusion of simplicity. It is ironic, then, that in his art historical collages, Butler betrays a level of visual sophistication not present in the jazz works. His cuts and tears are simpler yet more decisive. His juxtapositions of images take content into account rather than just form. They feel, as Enright noted, “fraught with knowledge” even as they evoke sentimentality with their art school references. Perhaps Butler’s return to that initial innocent moment can reveal just how much knowledge has been intuitively internalized and is, in the end, inescapable.
Dagmara Genda is an artist and writer. Her publications include Border Crossings, Canadian Art, Momus, and C Magazine. She has written numerous catalogue essays for public galleries and artist-run centres, and served as editorial chair at BlackFlash Magazine. Genda’s art has been shown at the Walter Phillips Gallery, Esker Foundation, Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener + Area Biennial (2014), as well as numerous public and private venues across Canada and the US.
In an effort to present the current, exceptional exhibition under the best possible conditions, for the month of September, LKAP will be operating under BY APPOINTMENT ONLY hours. We hope that by the end of this month to be able to resume regular hours, and thank you in advance for your continued patience.
Please contact the gallery to arrange a viewing. (204)510-0088, or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are delighted to be a part of Canadian Art's 20th Anniversary Gala and Art Auction. Paul Butler and Kristin Nelson have both contributed works to the distinguished auction where all proceeds go towards continued publishing of the magazine, and supporting many of their important projects nation-wide.
We are pleased to stand behind fundraising efforts that support the artist. The Canadian Art Foundation has produced a beautiful catalogue that will be distributed with the fall issue of the magazine.
For more information, or to purchase tickets to their Gala, visit canadianart.ca