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exhibitions.

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I SWALLOWED A FLY / heads

Matt Crookshank / Britt Randle

Toronto Sept13 - Sept30 2023

Reception: Sept16, 1pm to 8pm

Matt Crookshank - I Swallowed A Fly: Show Text 

 

"I Swallowed A Fly" takes its name from the classic folk poem, "There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly," a tale that echoes with the curious and the absurd, much like the human experience itself. In this collection of new paintings, Matt Crookshank embarks on a visual journey that transcends the whimsical surface of the rhyme to delve into the profound and interconnected aspects of human existence.

 

In these artworks, viewers are invited to contemplate the paradox of life—how we are both swallowed up by the vast currents of existence and yet, in turn, swallow life itself with each choice we make. Just as the butterfly's delicate wings in one corner of the world can set off a hurricane in another, each brushstroke in these paintings represents an infinitesimal decision, a minuscule choice, and the potential for far-reaching consequences. The butterfly effect, a concept from chaos theory, reminds us that the smallest actions can cascade into monumental events, forever altering the course of our lives.

 

As we navigate the currents of life, making choices and facing consequences, we are challenged to reflect on the boundaries of our agency. Are we truly masters of our destiny, or are we mere passengers, being carried along by the inexorable flow of time and circumstance? Each painting becomes a portal into this profound contemplation of our capacity to shape our lives while being shaped by them in return.

 

Through a vivid tapestry of colours, forms, and emotions, "I Swallowed A Fly" captures the essence of the butterfly effect, where the mundane and the extraordinary intersect. Each painting invites viewers to explore the intricate web of causality that shapes our lives, from the most trivial to the most profound moments. In this exhibition, the fly swallowed is not merely a creature in a nursery rhyme but a symbol of the complexities, absurdities, and interconnectedness that define our human experience.

 

Join us at the Drey Gallery for the opening of "I Swallowed A Fly" on September 16th, from 1 pm to 8 pm, as we embark on a visual odyssey that challenges us to reflect on the profound consequences of the smallest actions and the intricate interplay between free will and fate.

Britt Randle - heads: Show Text

Britt Randle is a multidisciplinary queer artist whose creative passions encompass drawing and experimental filmmaking.

Their artistic journey began with a transformative childhood experience. A family friend, who owned a paper mill, delivered an overwhelming stack of paper to their home. As an 8-year-old, Britt was awestruck by the towering pile. This moment ignited their artistic spirit, leading to two years of relentless drawing.

At the age of 10, Britt's older brother gifted them an 8mm movie camera from a Salvation Army thrift store. This modest camera became the catalyst for a lifelong passion. Britt's early fascination with filmmaking led them to recreate classic horror films, involving family and friends as actors. The world of cinema became a captivating realm of exploration.

Today, Britt finds enduring fulfillment and purpose in the dual realms of drawing and short film creation. These artistic avenues provide constant challenge, enchantment, and joy.

In their drawings, Britt seeks to imbue their work with depth and soul. Their art transcends mere representation, delving into the essence of everyday objects, faces, and intimate moments. Through their creations, they explore a wide spectrum of human experiences, from isolation and desire to anxiety, laughter, and fear. Britt's intention is to craft art that feels vulnerable and ephemeral, echoing the transient nature of life itself.

Britt's cinematic achievements have graced prestigious screens at TIFF and various international film festivals. Notably, their work received the distinction of Best Experimental Film at the Worldwide Short Film Festival. They proudly represented Canada at the Roundtable of Independent Filmmakers in New York, and the Canada Council for the Arts selected their creations to represent the nation at Internationale Tanzmesse in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Beyond the world of film, Britt's drawings have found homes in personal and corporate collections around the world. Their artistry has been showcased through two solo exhibitions in Toronto and participation in a notable group exhibition at O'Flaherty's Gallery in NYC, curated by the esteemed Jamian Juliano-Villani.

To explore Britt Randle's captivating world of artistry, please visit their website: brittrandleart.com

Image: Curtains, Oil on board, Matt Crookshank 

NEW PLASTICS / DARTH 8

Aaron Nemec / Andrew Harwood

Toronto Jul 26 - Aug 13

Aaron Nemec: ‘New Plastics’

 

Aaron Nemec is an artist living near the northern shores of Lake Michigan. There he enjoys the quiet treasures of nature and the local thrift stores. His sculptures, paintings, drawings, performance, audio, and video projects have been shown nationally and internationally. You can find his work at www.defmess.com.

 

“I like to mess with the recognizable and collectable nature of mass-produced ephemeral junk. Some of these knick-knacks, toys, and figurines have attained value through forces of time, scarcity, oddness, or cultural reference. However, much of the stuff is already in or at the threshold of the town dump. Inspired by these old objects, the sculptures I make are composed out of hot glue castings and combined fragments that I can replicate, chop, paint, and reassemble as I see fit. The hot glue has a somewhat unpredictable quality that I enjoy manipulating into new collectables- new objects for the kitchen window sill or art gallery.”

Andrew Harwood: ‘Darth 8’

 

Andrew Harwood is a Winnipeg-based artist, curator, drag queen and writer. Among the first artists to establish a presence in what is now called the Queer West Village Toronto, Art and Design District, his gallery, Zsa Zsa, operated in Queer West from 1998-2005. Andrew was also a founding member of the Toronto Alternative Art Fair International Collective and served as Board of Directors President of A Space Gallery and Board Member of Gallery TPW. He has given lectures on visual art and related topics at the University of Texas, Ontario College of Art and Design, University of Waterloo, Georgian College and at artist-run centres in Ontario and Alberta. His work is held in permanent collections at the University of Guelph, Queen’s University, and in private collections. With nearly two dozen solo shows, and twice as many group shows, for his practice Harwood has received support from the Toronto and Ontario and Arts Councils. Andrew briefly relocated to Winnipeg in 2010 where he completed his MFA at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art. 

“Darth 8 is about the parallels of fashion, science fiction and queer identities. This new body of work looks at one of the most infamous villains in the history of cinema, Darth Vader. Despite Vader's rap sheet, he is also colossally inept at his attempts at universal domination. In some regards, I think, we as the audience, come to view the myriad of Star Wars films because we are so interested in the evil that is personified by Vader. He is part human, part machine and part demon...and now he appears as a decorative object/being covered in and made up of sequins.”

Image: TF1 Peter Fly, hot glue and enamel, Aaron Nemec 

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GATELESS TEMPLE / THE TONGUES OF HYPNOS

Romas Astrauskas / Andy Fabo

Toronto Jul 05 - Jul22 2023

Romas Astrauskas - Gateless Temple: Artist statement 

 

“When I hear the bird, the bird is me already. Actually, I am not listening to the bird. The bird is here in my mind already, and I am singing with the bird.”

 

~Shunryu Suzuki

Andy Fabo - The Tongues of Hypnos: Show Text

When Drew invited me to exhibit at The Drey Gallery, he expressed interest in a drawing & video installation titled Aphasia that I created in 1991, using hundreds of shishiki - better known as Japanese haiku cards. This installation showed at Canada House in London UK, The Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, Chapter in Cardiff Wales and the Hansard Gallery in Southhampton England, as well as a component of my 2005 Survey at MOCA Toronto. It’s now in the collection of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.

 

Given the challenge, I thought it would be interesting to revisit some of the themes of the initial work as a marker of change in myself and the world around me.  Aphasia was created in the midst of the AIDS pandemic and I used the pandemic as a metaphor for the fragmenting of my understanding the world because of the intensity of the crisis and as a means to illuminate the impossibility of describing the devastating effect it was having on so many marginalized communities. But I was also trying to create a foil to a more activist & polemical drawing installation that I created in the same period titled Diagnosis. Aphasia was meant to be more poetic and meditative, more elliptical and enigmatic – while still capturing the affect of an intense health crisis.

 

The Tongues of Hypnos is a recent creation that manifests this odd period when we are emerging from the Covid pandemic. It tries to grapple with the isolation and dislocation of the past three years by using sleep and its ensuing dreams and nightmares as tropes for our shared experience. Always interested in surrealist notions of the unconscious and stream of consciousness, the words on the cards are like utterances in your sleep, a theme I had visited in the late 1990s in a body of work called The Somniliquist. Unlike AIDS, the entire planet had to deal with Covid. Unlike making art, dreaming is a universal activity.

 

In Greek mythology, Hypnos was the god of sleep and he had a twin brother, Thanatos, the god of non-violent death. Their mother was the goddess of the night, Nyx, who was even feared by Zeus. Hypnos and Thanatos had a host of other siblings who were lesser gods called the Oneiroi which included Moros (doom), Momus (criticism and blame), Oizys (pain), Keres (destiny) Nemesis (retribution), Eras (discord) and numerous other abstract personifications. I was hoping that at least some of this complex web of mythology would emerge from this installation.

Image: Thanatos, acrylic and pencil crayon on Japanese haiku card, Andy Fabo 

BEST IN SHOW / CARDBOARD & CLOTH

Michael Stecky / Margaret Glew

Toronto Jun14 to July 1

Best In Show Exhibition Statement:

Best in Show unveils the mesmerizing world of Michael Stecky's latest exhibition at Drey Gallery. With an innovative approach reminiscent of his sculptural reinterpretation of jigsaw puzzles, Stecky now turns his gaze to vintage paint by number kits, a beloved pastime steeped in nostalgic charm since their emergence in 1950s America.

Through a rich interplay of materials and techniques, Stecky transforms familiar images of animals—dogs, birds, and deer—into captivating distortions. Layer upon layer of paint stripper, resins, gels, mesh, and pigments exert their weight, causing the subjects to bend and contort, sometimes evoking an unsettling aura. Amidst this surrealistic exploration, one also encounters unexpected beauty.

Stecky's artistic practice extends beyond conventional boundaries, utilizing repurposed materials and labor-intensive craft. Sculpture, paintings, videos, audio works—his creations span diverse mediums, often converging to create thought-provoking experiences. Rooted in the history of painting and sculpture, his works captivate with their aesthetic allure while offering conceptual depth.

With recent participation in Art Karlsruhe 2023 presented by Karl Oskar Gallery and a featured artist position at Art Toronto 2022 with Drey Gallery, Stecky's artistic breadth is undeniable. His works have graced the walls of Plug In I.C.A. and The Winnipeg Art Gallery, while his videos have been showcased on platforms such as CBC and Spanish Public Television. Renowned festivals in Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, Australia, Japan, and China have celebrated his creations.

A Winnipeg native, Stecky holds a B.F.A. from Concordia University in Montreal and currently resides in Toronto. His art exemplifies a compelling fusion of visual allure and conceptual depth, honoring the lineage of painting and sculpture with each stroke and composition.

Cardboard and Cloth Exhibition Statement:

Enter the captivating realm of Cardboard and Cloth, an exhibition by Margaret Glew. Born in the UK and raised in the Canadian Maritimes, Glew's deep connection to nature blossomed amidst the woods and ocean that surrounded her. Drawing the natural world, particularly animals, played a pivotal role in her formative years. As she ventured into the wider world, first in Toronto and then in London, England, Glew discovered the vibrant realm of art and galleries, which became the foundation of her artistic education.

After travels across Europe and North America, Glew settled in Toronto in the mid-1970s. It wasn't until the late 1980s, when her youngest child started school, that she fully embraced her practice. Since then, her artwork has graced numerous exhibitions in Canada and the United States. Glew's talent has been recognized through various grants, and her work has been the subject of insightful essays. Notably, she has become a valued presence in public and corporate collections within her hometown.

For Glew, art is an intrinsic part of her being—a means of thinking, self-understanding, and making sense of the world. Employing a diverse range of media, her artistic process is characterized by nonlinear progression. It ebbs and flows, often doubling back upon itself. Ideas, gestures, shapes, and textures are visited and revisited. The interplay between color and black and white unfolds over time, while previously explored and discarded ideas resurface, inviting fresh examination from new perspectives. Through this transformative journey, both the artwork and the artist undergo profound changes.

Cardboard and Cloth beckons viewers into Margaret Glew's profound artistic realm, where creativity intertwines with introspection and the ever-evolving process of creation.

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"Art is as essential to me as breathing. It is how I think, how I understand myself, how I make sense of the world. 

I work in a variety of media, and while the physical processes differ, the underlying process does not. This process does not follow a straight line. It proceeds by fits and starts, and it frequently turns back on itself. Ideas and gestures, shapes and textures, are visited and then revisited. Colour surrenders to black and white and then, perhaps months later, reasserts itself. Ideas that were explored and then abandoned re-emerge, to be examined from a new perspective. The work changes and I am changed in the process." -MG

Image: Best Black Masked Dog, found painting, mixed materials, swarovski crystal elements - Michael Stecky

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POORTRAITS

Jordan Sullivan, Daniel Hughes, Mat Brown, Deadly Prey, Melissa Steckbauer, Matt Crookshank, RF Pangborn, Jennifer Humphries, Charlie Visconages, Ron Hotz, Peter B Hastings, Britt Randle & Cameron Emerson Wylie

Toronto May19 - Jun10 2023 

Group portrait exhibition featuring artists from Ghana, NYC, Berlin, Washington DC, Georgia & Toronto
“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself.”

- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Image: Masks / A Motley Crew - Mixed Media on Plywood - Matt Crookshank

THE GREAT AMERICAN THRILL RIDE / YUP

Evan Jones & Andrew McPhail

Toronto Apr19 - May13 2023

Evan Jones draws heavily on the visual language of America, especially the Deep South. He likens his paintings to an antique market, in which objects are juxtaposed without consideration for their original meaning or context but rather for their aesthetic qualities. By bringing together varying and disparate references and ignoring their original meaning, Jones presents them on the equal plane of the canvas as a kind of visual archive. In this way, his subjects can be considered in a new way, having been distilled by paint. Jones was born and raised in Cashiers, in the mountains of North Carolina. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from SCAD Atlanta and has exhibited throughout the United States. In 2017 Jones’ work was included in the annual publication New American Paintings South. His work was chosen a second time for inclusion in New American Paintings/South, 2020 edition.

Andrew McPhail is a Canadian visual artist. He was born in Calgary Alberta in 1961 and studied at York University where he received his MFA in 1987. Living in Toronto in the 1980's and 90's his work focused primarily on drawing, often with pencil crayon on a polyester film called mylar. After moving to Hamilton in 2005, his interest shifted towards three dimensional work and performance. In  his accumulative, craft oriented practice he uses ephemeral, disposable materials such as  band aids, Kleenex and post-its to create epic, monumental sculptures and installations and performances . He has exhibited nationally and internationally and in 2013 was the recipient of the Canada Council International Studio in Paris. He is also cofounder, with Stephen Altena, of the Hundred Dollar Gallery and a founding member of The Assembly in Hamilton, Ontario.

Image: Evan Jones ‘That Blessed Hope’ 31” x 24” Acrylic on canvas 2023

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THIS BURNING LIQUID BEING THAT I AM / PINK RUFFLES IN TIME

Gillian Frise & Peter B Hastings

Toronto Mar22 - Apr15 2023

"Every normal human being (and not merely the 'artist') has an inexhaustible store of buried images in his subconscious, it is merely a matter of courage or liberating procedures ... of voyages into the unconscious, to bring pure and unadulterated found objects to light."

-Max Ernst

Image detail: ‘I am no longer dull you say. I am an experimental bag of bones' - Gillian Frise

MY CULT LEADER

John Nobrega

Toronto Feb22 - Mar11 2023 

The new exhibition by John Nobrega, My Cult Leader, is comprised of two discrete but related bodies of work. A series of text-based paintings based on soft-core magazines and exploitation film posters from the 1970’s, and a group of landscapes with palm trees inspired by the orange sunset mural in Franks office in the 1983 Brian Depalma film Scarface.

 

These small mixed media paintings on canvas and panel, interrogate the relationship between figuration and abstraction, text and material, Art and bad taste. The artist was fascinated by the way fonts, phrases and graphics from cheap pulp sources suggested a late-twentieth-century cultural anthropology of sex and death. Out of context and often incorporated into dense abstraction, these references still retain their transgressive charge. 

 

The palm tree paintings explore a similar dichotomy, expressed in the famous Scarface tagline “the world is yours”: a version of the American Dream that wallows in profanity and excess, ending ultimately in a massacre. Some of these pieces are sensitively rendered, others are shadowy silhouettes on an abstract ground. A few suggest a hazy 70’s Hollywood romanticism, while others show palm trees burning in broad daylight.

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RADIANT FLUX

Jenn E Norton

Toronto Feb4 - Feb18 2023

Jenn E Norton is an artist using time-based media to create immersive, experiential installations using stereoscopic, interactive video, animation, augmented reality, geolocative sound, and kinetic sculpture. Often using video as a starting point within her process, her imaginative compositions use a combination of pre-cinema and contemporary display technologies while exploring the blurring boundaries of virtual and physical realms. Norton’s recent animations and augmented reality apps draw upon her interest in the ways in which information is exchanged between humans, technology, and plants. Current research areas within Norton’s practice explore the use of metaphor in physics as a conceptual genesis, communicative device, poetic practice, and demonstrative application of technological and natural phenomena. Norton has shown her work nationally and internationally, with recent exhibitions in Nuit Blanche (2022, Toronto), Platforms (Athens), and Berlin (public augmented reality series), and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Visual Arts at York University and is an Assistant Professor in Film + Media at Queen’s University.

OVERSEAS CONSCIENCE / ORANGE CRUSH

Ron Loranger & Rod Grigor

Toronto Jan 7 - Jan28 2023 

“Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.”

 

The principle of polarity, Kybalion

The

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VICTORY OVER THE SUN 2

Andreas Golder

Toronto Dec7 - Jan14 2022

 Andreas Golder cannibalizes the history of art, filtering it through the lenses of nightlife and pop culture to create nihilistic figural paintings dealing with the medium’s “eternal subjects”—love, decay, and the circle of life. The Berlin artist creates monstrous characters that call to mind the work of Francis Bacon—grotesques painted in his signature pink that combine notes of Rembrandt, Rubens, Manet and Matisse with a slaughterhouse sensibility. He works with a soundtrack of death metal music or Baroque opera to find a place of meditation as he paints portraits of his friends and himself, often in images that question his role within the continuum of art history. Such sinister forms are also present in his sculptures, which he calls memorials to the lowest classes.

Image detail: ‘Destroyed Sun’ - Andreas Golder

PAPER TRAIL$

Ron Loranger, Nicholas Di Genova, John Nobrega, Romas Astrauskas, Matt Crookshank, Margaret Glew, Andrew Ooi & Stephanie Cormier

Toronto Oct19 - Nov19 2022 

This group exhibition highlights contemporary artists who utilize paper as a site of rigorous formal and conceptual inquiry through direct manipulation and engagement with its materiality. The exhibition includes work by Ron Loranger, Nicholas Di Genova, John Nobrega, Romas Astrauskas, Matt Crookshank, Margaret Glew, Andrew Ooi & Stephanie Cormier. 

Paper, the traditional support of drawing, came to occupy a particular position in conceptual and minimalist practices during the 1960s and 1970s with the rising interest in process and materials. Given the ubiquity and malleability of the medium, artists have continued to interrogate its fundamental properties, formal qualities, and its broader artistic and cultural associations. As the title of the exhibition suggests, many of the works on view evidence the journey and active hand of the artist on and within their very surface, thereby complicating notions of drawing as necessarily dictated by conventional modes of mark-making or graphic lines.

Image: ‘Untitled’ ink on paper, John Nobrega

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ART TORONTO

John Kissick, Matt Crookshank, Michael Stecky, Melissa Steckbauer & Drew Simpson

Toronto Oct27 - Oct30 2022

Art Toronto 2022 featured 90+ galleries from across Canada, the US and abroad. 

Canada's art fair presented 20 installations and project spaces, a curated exhibition space and a full program of talks and tours. 

GIRLHOOD

Sarah Sproule

Toronto Sep15 - Oct15 2022

Sarah Sproule is an emerging artist and arts administrator with a BFA in Studio Arts and a BA in Art History from McMaster University. Sarah works primarily in sculpture, printmaking, and the casting and mould-making process. Their work explores the relationship between the abjected body and their experience of fatness, disability, and queerness and the intersections that exist between them.

Image: Triptych ‘Hide & Seek’ mixed materials  on wood

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THE WILD KINDNESS

Solo Exhibition by Drew Simpson

Toronto Aug17 - Sep3 2022 

I wrote a letter to a wildflower
On a classic nitrogen afternoon
Some power that hardly looked like power
Said, I'm perfect in an empty room

Four dogs in the distance
Each stands for a kindness, yeah
Bluebirds lodged in an evergreen altar

 

I'm gonna shine out in the wild kindness
I'm gonna shine out in the wild kindness
I'm gonna shine out in the wild kindness
And hold the world to its word

 

Excerpt from ‘The Wild Kindness’ by Silver Jews 

UNDER THE HAPPENSTANCE BRIDGE

Laurie Skantzos and Ian Leach

Toronto Jul27 - Aug13 2022

As two artists sharing their lives together, Ian and Laurie employ different physical approaches to their work, but share a common exploration of ideas within set parameters.

Ian works with salvaged findings - favouring cardboard, reclaimed wood and rescued house paint. The works are created with no preconceived idea before entering the studio, and have a physicality and immediacy to them. Laurie works with repeated, templated forms, exploring endless colour relationships and textures. Her work has evolved from assemblages created from detritus strewn on the studio floor and mounted on shaped plywood. They have been steadily refined over the past three years and are now painted directly on the wood.  Both artists' work retain an imperfection and rawness that references their beginnings. They offer a gentle invitation to be present with each piece and its surroundings. 

Image: Work by Laurie Skantzos

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APOPHENIA ZEPHYR NO. 8

Joe Becker, John Rogers, Charlie Visconage, Matt Crookshank, Cameron Wylie, Tyler Armstrong, Jonah Strub, John Kissick & James Hiyme Brummett

Toronto Jul6 - Jul23 2022 

Apophenia Zephyr is an ongoing series of group exhibitions by The Drey set on exploring the aesthetic whiffs that emanate from mistakenly meaningful connections between unrelated things.

Image: John Rogers

A SEAT AT THE TABLE

Solo exhibition by Cameron Wylie

Toronto Jun15 - Jul2 2022

Each seat at the kitchen table is an invitation. An empty chair calls for us to settle in and enjoy a meal. The other vacant seats ask for company, making the kitchen table an inherently communal space. Whether it be sipping a morning coffee, or sitting down for an intricate appetizer, dinner and dessert, a set table beckons us to enjoy one another’s company. Breaking bread together transforms the mundane and repetitive practice of eating into a transcendent ritual. Repeated differently with each dinner, the procession of a meal is spiritual simply through being together. The rites of eating connect us to one another – not by the specific food that is served, but through the conversations between bites, and the love that goes into preparing food for friends and family. The artwork in A Seat at the Table speaks to this sense of intimacy, and evoke the spiritual potentials of convening to eat together. These paintings motion for viewers to pull up a seat at the table, relax, and enjoy one another’s company.

 

Text by Hailey Kobrin

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THE WISDOM OF IMPERFECTION

An Exhibition by Romas Astrauskas

Toronto May25 - Jun11 2022 

I tend to use found materials in my practice, worn and weathered things that visually reveal an obvious temporal history. Often my ensuing decisions and choices are informed or influenced by these arbitrary elements of degradation. My pursuit is to make something elegant, meaningful or poetic out of something that is superficially very crude and simple. To disregard fussiness and achieve results with a minimum display in an effort to frame and highlight the wisdom and truth found in imperfection. 

image: Romas Astrauskas

DOUBLE RAINBOW

Solo exhibition by Michael Stecky

Toronto May04 - May21 2022

The Drey Gallery, Toronto presents a collection of new sculptural works from artist Michael Stecky.

 

Jigsaw puzzles, before completion exist in an abstracted state with an embedded set of rules for transformation into a photographic image. Stecky’s series of sculptural paintings or assemblages explore the idea of an alternative organization of puzzle pieces. The overpainted puzzle images influence the artwork’s organization, acting as a schematic for a new work. The repetition of pattern and colour creates a magnetic energy below the surface. The compositions read at once within the tradition of abstract modernist paintings but also suggest textile works or the modular nature of data streams. The exhibition title, considers the premise of the double rainbow being a rainbow and its shadow self, composed of both intense colour and monochromatic black or dark elements. 

Image: Detail from 'Orange Transient Spike'

mixed media sculpture

Found objects, spray-paint, wood                 

H33cm x W 28cm x D4cm   

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IT'S AN INSIDE JOB

New Work by Michael Nathaniel Green

Toronto Apr13 - Apr30 2022

Much of our existence overwhelms, bewilders, and causes us to function on auto pilot. Whether I want it to be or not the surreal is at the foundation of my work. My first hand experience of psychosis has revealed to me that there is so much more to reality than what we take in from our five senses. This invisible world is something I want to touch in my work and immerse the viewer in. I want to evoke the question, “What exactly is going on here?” like a bewildering still life.  By emphasizing the relationship of the in-between; the objects and their placement unfold a poetic dialogue that points to the invisible. The objects become more of potentialities than solid objects with strong hints of the Ephemeral lingering in the work. These Ephemeral moments in the invisible world point to emotions, fragility, and mental health, all themes I use in my work. 

Image: Detail from 'Invisible Offering' mixed media sculpture

MY WILL IS GOOD

Solo exhibition by John Nobrega

Toronto Mar26 - Apr9 2022

“My Will is Good” an exhibition of new paintings by John Nobrega, takes the form of 12 portraits of Catholic Nuns, each in a state of heightened ecstatic experience. The individual Nuns, depersonalized in their traditional habits become icons of grief, ecstasy, or rage, respectively. The imagery for these portraits is drawn from Nunsploitation films , a genre of primarily European soft-core exploitation films that peaked in the 1970’s.  The plot of these films generally describe  a downward spiral, wherein the Sisters of a convent descend into decadence, madness and violence. Nobrega isolates these profane images, and in painting them in the mode of Classical European Religious Art, restores them to the status of Sacred Iconography.

 

The Drey Toronto, 1229A Woodbine Ave, M4C 4E1, East York

Image: 'Untitled' 9"x12" oil on canvas

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I'M A TERRIBLE PERSON AND EVERYBODY KNOWS IT

New Work by Kineko Ivic

Toronto Mar02 - Mar19 2022

Kineko Ivic is a Toronto-based multi disciplinary artist and curator, currently  creating hybrid works that fluctuate between figurative and abstraction. 

 

Ivic’s current exhibition at The Drey titled ‘I’M A TERRIBLE PERSON AND EVERYBODY KNOWS IT’ is a series of paintings that depict personages that he refers to as ‘Goblins’ 

Each Goblin carries an emotive text across their torso, usually derived from a pop  culture limerick. 

 

Greener Pastures gallery was the brainchild of Ivic which for over half a decade put on some of Toronto’s most diverse and well received international exhibitions. 

Apart from exhibiting others works across Canada, USA and Europe, Ivic’s art has been featured at Andrew Kreps Gallery NYC, Angell Gallery Toronto, Anne deVillipouix Paris, Gavin Brown’s Passerby NYC and Freight and Volume NYC. 

 

All paintings, oil and acrylic on canvas, 

Hearts

16” x 20"

Oil and acrylic on canvas 

WILDING

Solo exhibition by Melissa Steckbauer

Toronto Feb12 - Feb26 2022

Through her work, the artist, reiki teacher and lifelong student of metaphysics-Melissa Steckbauer seeks to increase possibilities of intimacy and communication by emphasizing the ecstasy of everyday human experience.

Steckbauer was a member of the collaborative artist network ƒƒ, and founding director of the exhibition space, The Wand, she now runs The Sensortorium and lives and works in Berlin. For the last several years – and after a comprehensive focus on painting – she has been developing a body of work on paper, exploring all of the facets and complexities of human sexuality through this medium.

(Refreshments generously provided by our friends at Great Lakes Brewery)

 

The Drey Toronto, 1229A Woodbine Ave, M4C 4E1, East York

Image: 'Untitled' 9 1/2" x 7", acrylic on paper

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SUDDEN DEATH

New Work by Tyler Armstrong

Toronto Jan 15 - Feb 5 2022

Tyler Armstrong is a Canadian artist enveloped in highly expressive figurative and still life acrylic and oil based paintings, collages and drawings. His painting ‘Hypocrite’ was chosen by Spanish publisher, Fulgencio Pimentel, to be featured on the cover of author Ruben Lardin’s latest novel, “La hora atomica” (The Atomic Hour). He has showcased work in solo and group exhibitions in Toronto, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Mississauga, Hamilton and London.

 

Image: 'Birds of a feather' 10" x 8", acrylic on canvas

UNCOMMON DENOMINTATOR

Digital Still Lifes by Matt Crookshank

Toronto/Berlin Dec 4 2021 - Jan8 2022

Matt Crookshank’s new series of large digital Giclee prints address an odd but strangely topical trifecta: Our current pandemic death anxiety, our growing interest in the tradition of ancient wisdom of plants, and the uses of contemporary art. Being Crookshank, however, his approach is appropriately unpredictable. No jewel toned fractal lotuses to be found here, this isn’t psychedelic art from your local headshop. Crookshank reimagines the genre, as he has always exhibited an adventurous and gleeful disregard for convention or restraint, along with a staunch refusal to rest on his laurels. This fearless willingness to blast himself into new territory has birthed a series that is both wildly slapstick and intensely metaphysical. There is humor, horror and food for thought in equal measure.

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DEN OF DAGGERS

Romas Astrauskas, Michael Stecky and Simon Petepiece

Toronto July 24 - Sept 1 2021

While our Toronto storefront gallery gets finalized, The Drey is hosting its second huiskammer exhibition featuring the constructively heavy works of artists Romas Astrauskas, Michael Stecky and Simon Petepiece.

"Found objects, chance creations, ready-mades ( mass-produced items promoted into art objects ) abolish the separation between art and life. The commonplace is miraculous if rightly seen" Charles Simic

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SMEARBALLS: CRYPTODUMPS

New Work by Nick DenBoer

Berlin Jun 19 - July 19 2021

Director and animator, Nick DenBoer is exhibiting a montage of his Cryptodumps at The Drey Berlin's street front video booth.

DenBoer is an internationally recognized artist in the medium of animation with a recent Juno nomination for his work as well as holding tenure as a content creator for Conan O'Brien.

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CANDY JAIL

Hiyme Brummett, Ed DeRyke, Laurie Skantzos and John Kissick.

Toronto Jan 1 - March 1 2021

Pain works on a sliding scale
So does pleasure in a candy jail
True love doesn't come around any more than fate allows on a Monday in Ft. Lauderdale
I came all this way to see your grave
To see your life as written paraphrased
I have tried be it is written in the furnace of affliction
This is what you couldn't face

Life in a candy jail
Peppermint bars
Peanut brittle bunk beds and marshmallow walls
Where the guards are gracious
And the grounds are grand
And the warden keeps the data on your favorite brands

-The Silver Jews

TWENTY ONE IMPROVISED EXTINCTIONS:

Tasman Richardson

Berlin Oct 29 - JAN 1 2021

1200 digital paintings, drawn by the artist, interpreted by gauGAN, the AI app. Each iteration has been an attempt to steer a narrative, not knowing how each step would be interpreted by the AI. I draw, it responds, then I respond with small revisions, always building on the previous result. Each landscape was evolved slowly and then suddenly scrubbed by a cataclysm, wiping the slate to begin a new world. Meanwhile, day and night, meeting and working at my screen, my window started to feel like another screen, under glass. Window browsing virtual and real are more alike now. We cast ourselves into the screens and the screens respond, interpret our wants, and narrow our field of view until our landscape is reduced to a soliloquy to ourselves.

 

1 min 20 sec loop, 1080x1080p, 30 fps, stereo.

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APOPHENIA ZEPHYR

Melissa Steckbauer; Matt Crookshank; Romas Astrauskas; John Kissick; Michael N Green; Ron Loranger; Christopher Lori; Drew Simpson and Casey McGlynn.
Berlin Sept 26 2020

An exploration of the aesthetic whiffs that emanate from mistakenly meaningful connections between unrelated things.

IMMACULATE MISCONCEPTION

Michael Nathaniel Green and James (Hiyme) Brummett with Ulysses Castellanos, Kiniko Ivic, Matt Crookshank, Jubal Brown, Ron Loranger, Christopher Lori, Ed de Ryk, SP38, Casey McGlynne, John Kissick and Romas Astrauskas

Toronto July 18 - Jan 1 2020

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”


― Mark Twain

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UNLIMITED HANGOUT

Ulysses Castellanos, Kiniko Ivic, Matt Crookshank, Jubal Brown, Ron Loranger, Christopher Lori, Ed de Ryk, SP38, Casey McGlynne, John Kissick, Romas Astrauskas and James (Hiyme) Brummett.

Toronto July 24 - SEPT 1 2020

The Drey will distance itself from the current climate of mass manufactured likability and divisional descentism through the creation of a fictitious art collective we’re calling “Unlimited Hangout’

A Limited Hangout is "spy jargon for a favourite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting—sometimes even volunteering—some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further."

TERRITORIAL PISSINGS

Ron Loranger, Pascal Paquette, Romas Astraukas, Istvan Kantor, Mat Brown, Joe Becker, Peter Wilde, Derik Mainella, Matt Bennett, John Kissick, Robert Farmer, Jubal Brown and Tony Toccalino.

Toronto Apr 1 - June 1 2020

Territorial Pissings features the private collection of Gallery Overlord, Drew Simpson.

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DEN OF THE DAMNED

Istvan Kantor (a.k.a. Monty Cantsin)

Toronto Feb 1 - Apr 1 2020

The Drey has the privilege of hosting Monty Cantsin as our 3rd exhibiting solo artist during the Covid 19-84 Plandemic.

Istvan Kantor (a.k.a. Monty Cantsin) is active in the fields of robotics, sound, video, performance and new media. His work has been shown at many prestigious international art events, including Documenta and Ars Electronica.

Infamous for his "blood-x donations" to the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the National Gallery (Ottawa), AGO (Toronto), and the Ludwig Museum (Koln), just to mention a few, Kantor/Cantsin's criminal records are even longer than his list of awards. The media and critics have described his work as rebellious, anti-authoritarian, and intellectually assaulting, as well as technically innovative and highly experimental.

He has received the Telefilm Award for Best Canadian Video (Images festival, Toronto), the Transmediale 01 award in Berlin Germany, for his new video Broadcast, and the Canadian Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Internationally known as the founder of Neoism, Istvan has lived in Budapest, Paris, Montreal, Portland, New York and since 1991, Toronto Canada.

CLUSTER FCUK

Amanda Reeves, Romas Astrauskas, Andy DeCola, Drew Simpson

Toronto Dec 7 - Jan 15 2020

The Drey is pleased to announce its first salon-style exhibition on display from Feb 1 – April 1 at our new gallery in the Williams Mill.'Cluster Fcuk' features dozens of artworks by Amanda Reeves, Romas Astrauskas, Andy DeCola and Drew Simpson.
The Salon exhibition style was established in 1667, by the French Academie des Beaux-Arts and held in Paris at Louvre. In order to accommodate the vast quantity of work submitted by students of the Academie des Beaux-Arts, artworks were displayed from floor to ceiling with little space separating frames. This style has since been incorporated throughout history in museums and galleries, including the Art Gallery of Ontario’s display of its European collection.

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STAY POSITIVE

Jubal Brown

Toronto Oct 19 - Dec 1 2019

It has always been my dream to be an iconoclast, but having a good time got in the way. STAY POSITIVE marks my return to art object exhibition after a hiatus of 10+ years. My personal difficulty with the “arts community” split my loyalties between identifying as an artist and being a scumbag outsider, struggling with my place in the community while fomenting a decadent leisure as a rejection of social mores. Seditionary by nature, criminal by necessity, the degenerate lifestyle of a post-postmodern libertine suited me fine, on the wrong side of capitalism I found myself a facilitator of indulgence, most artists need a job. Grinding, chopping, slinging, balling… I enjoyed the spoils of my transgressions, the illumination of my sins was glowing, but rock ‘n’ roll was killing my life. After a series of personal disasters, a brush with death brought me full circle to my present vocation as an addiction and mental health support worker. STAY POSITIVE serves as a milestone of that personal development, my life and work.
The conceptual products in this exhibition are part of the photo series INSPIRATIONAL LINES created with photographer Shawn McPherson. Motivational words and aphorisms are spelled out using white powder. It’s a cheap one-liner. INSPIRATIONAL LINES is informed by the trickle down gangster politics of survival by any means necessary into the milieu of white middle-class art poseur and examines a relationship with substances, choices and consequences, while simply acknowledging a life of excess with dry humour and a positive attitude. It’s ironically appropriate now with the artist and the gallerist both facing serious health issues due to indulgent lifestyles, Brown (multiple organ failure) and his host Simpson (Diabetes) look to the future with naïve optimism and face the ongoing struggle to STAY POSITIVE! Buy art not drugs

POTLUCK DYNAMO

studio studies by John Kissick

Toronto July 18 2019 - Jan 1 2020

Trained as a painter and writer, John Kissick has held numerous academic posts, including Chair of Critical Studies at Penn State University’s School of Visual Arts, Dean of the Faculty of Art at the Ontario College of Art & Design from 2000 to 2003, and for the last nine years, Director of the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph. Kissick’s exhibition record includes numerous solo exhibitions in Canada, the USA and Germany, and his work has been included in a number of important survey exhibitions and public collections. A mid-career survey entitled John Kissick: A Nervous Decade, curated by Crystal Mowry, toured Canada from 2010 to 2012 and was accompanied by a major publication. Kissick is also the author of Art: Context and Criticism (1992,) was editor of the Penn State Journal of Contemporary Criticism from 1990 to 1995 and has written numerous catalogue essays and articles for periodicals. Two recent essays: “Elephants in the Room” for Canadian Art Magazine and “Disco and the Death Switch: Tales from Contemporary Abstraction” for Border Crossings were nominated for National Magazine Awards in 2009 and 2010. John Kissick was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy for the Arts in 2005.

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