OVERSEAS CONSCIENCE / ORANGE CRUSH
Ron Loranger & Rod Grigor
Toronto Jan 7 - Jan28 2023
Opening Party Jan 14 1-8pm
“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
VICTORY OVER THE SUN 2
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
16” x 20"
Oil and acrylic on canvas
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.