Aaron Peck

  • Stanley Brouwn

    Of nine works in this exhibition, two came from Stanley Brouwn’s “This Way Brouwn” series from the early 1960s. In these legendary pieces, he asked passersby to give directions to specific locations and encouraged them to draw him maps. The results on sheets of paper were small street plans, city blocks hastily sketched to accompany verbal directions. (It should be noted that Brouwn refused to allow his work to be reproduced in print.) The artist then stamped the phrase THIS WAY BROUWN on the documents to authenticate them as artworks.

    Brouwn, who died in May, devoted his artistic life to an

  • Studio for Propositional Cinema, UNFURLING WITHIN NETWORKS OF GAZES / REFLECTIVE PLANES OF & IN TIME CATCH & CONTORT / BEFORE & BEHIND & BESIDE THEM & FOLDING OUT LIKE SKINS, 2016, spray paint, dimensions variable.

    Studio For Propositional Cinema

    At an exhibition with a number of works claiming to respond to the paintings of Édouard Manet, you might expect to see, at the very least, pictures. Instead, “(TO THE SPECTATOR:),” staged by the anonymous collective Studio for Propositional Cinema, presented a series of texts, plus a performance, concerning spectatorship. Though the four main works offered oblique commentaries on different canvases by Manet, their art-historical points of reference, at least at first glance, appeared much more contemporary, as evinced, for example, by fragments or statements painted directly onto the walls in

  • Katherine Bernhardt, Playing Games, 2016, mixed media. Installation view.

    Katherine Bernhardt

    Katherine Bernhardt’s images—of running shoes, cigarettes, and Pac-Man—are messy; her large-scale spray-paint-and-acrylic canvases feature graffiti, cartoon characters, and emoji. What makes her works more than just decorative is that they present the viewer with unsolvable visual and verbal puzzles. They achieve this semiotic ambiguity because her simple renderings of things don’t always make it clear what is being represented. The ten paintings and one quilt in Bernhardt’s recent exhibition, “Product Recall: New Pattern Paintings,” saw the artist on familiar ground: juxtaposing

  • Owen Kydd, The Boss, 2015, self-adhesive digital print, 64 × 95".

    Owen Kydd

    At what point does a picture cease to be one? Owen Kydd previously pondered this question through works he describes as durational photographs, which utilize extended single-shot video recordings to present static pictures of unmoving objects. The selection of new works on view here, however, marked a significant turn toward large-scale photography; the most salient feature of these works is that of their having been printed on adhesive-backed mural paper. These new works prompted a separate question: What is the point at which a depiction loses coherence?

    Destiny and Gabriel (all works 2015)

  • Rochelle Goldberg, Pit Organ (detail), 2014, ceramic, clear resin, fiber optics, LED lights, steel, mirror-finished cans, water, 22 × 45 × 49".

    Rochelle Goldberg

    Ceramic forms that resemble excrement and snakeskin, fiber-optic cables drenched in resin, deflated pleather cushions—Rochelle Goldberg’s sculptures beckon like abject sirens, compelling the viewer to touch them. Lust, which appeared as a parenthetical in “The Local Link (Lust got in the way),” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the Apartment, demonstrated the centrality of desire in her production of objects that simultaneously attract and repel.

    Two of the sculptures were self-illuminated by LED lights embedded within their fiber-optic-cable limbs in an otherwise nearly dark gallery.

  • View of “Roy Arden,” 2013. Foreground: Procession, 2013. Wall: Teenager, 2013.

    Roy Arden

    Black light was one of five different light sources used in Roy Arden’s recent exhibition at CSA Space—an arrangement of miniature sculptures, readymades, and collages, the central component of which was a long table cluttered with items and titled Procession, 2013. Many of the objects in the room, from toy figurines to bracket fungi, were colored with phosphorescent paint. Aside from the various sources of low light, the gallery was kept dark throughout the run of the show, giving the installation a chemical glow.

    Arden’s emphasis on light is telling, as he first came to be known as a

  • Felix Schramm, Accumulator 1, 2011–12, drywall, wood, metal, filler, polyurethane, acrylic paint, soil, glass, 98 3/8 x   109 x 54 3/8".

    Felix Schramm

    To encounter the new work of Felix Schramm is to go down the rabbit hole. His latest exhibition, “Accumulation,” consisted of three sculptures and a number of photocollages, all of which destabilize the relationship between viewer and sculpture by constantly altering scale. Though they represent a departure from Schramm’s previous large-scale sculptural interventions and his less familiar quasi-figurative polyurethane castings, these new works incorporate aspects of both, leaving the viewer uncertain of his or her relationship to the object. Much like Lewis Carroll’s hookah-smoking caterpillar,

  • Nicole Ondre, Cadmium Yellow Window, 2013, oil paint on wall, oil paint on paper monoprint, dimensions variable.
    picks March 25, 2013

    “After Finitude”

    Artist Eli Bornowksy, who curated “After Finitude,” claimed that he approached the exhibition in the same way he would paint a picture. As a result, the viewer can consider the work of all four artists separately or as part of a larger compositional unit, which creates tension between each piece and its participation in an ensemble. Ensemble seems a particularly apt term since the work by three paint-based artists, Neil Campbell, Nicole Ondre, and Cheyney Thompson, is accompanied by selections from Hanne Darboven’s musical compositions.

    Thompson’s paintings, which at first glance appear expressionist,

  • Ian Wallace, At Work 1983, electrostatic and dye-coupler print, 8 x 10". From the series “At
Work,” 1983–.

    Ian Wallace

    FOR TWO WEEKS IN APRIL 1983, Ian Wallace sat at a desk reading Kierkegaard’s On the Concept of Irony at Vancouver’s Or Gallery from midnight until 1 AM. The front door was locked, but Wallace was visible through the storefront window to occasional passersby. The performance, At Work 1983, also resulted in a film (later transferred to video), a backlit transparency, photographs, and prints. In 2008, Wallace restaged the performance, again transforming a gallery—this time Catriona Jeffries—into a kind of ersatz studio, with the change documented in four of his signature diptych canvases

  • Left: Rodney Graham, Small Basement Camera Shop Circa 1937, 2011, painted aluminum light box with transmounted chromogenic transparency, 71 x 72 1/2 x 7“. Right: Artist’s Model Posing for “The Old Bugler, Among the Fallen, Battle of Beaune-la-Roland, 1870” in the Studio of an Unknown Military Painter, Paris, 1885, 2009, painted aluminum light box with transmounted chromogenic transparency, 71 1/2 x 54 x 7”.
    picks August 20, 2012

    Rodney Graham

    It is easy to forget how smart Rodney Graham’s work is—in part because of its almost delightfully stupid humor—but, in fact, the majority of it slyly examines his métier. Take, for example, The Green Cinematograph Programme 1: pipe smoker and overflowing sink, 2010, a film (the only one in this exhibition of light boxes) that, Graham claims, explores the Kuleshov Effect. Coined by Lev Kuleshov in 1929, the said effect posits that, in cinema, meaning is made through editing only. When two images are montaged, no matter what they are, the viewer will connect them. The Green Cinematograph explores

  • Brice Marden, For Blinky, 2011, oil and graphite on marble, 29 3/4 x 11 5/8”.
    picks May 13, 2012

    Brice Marden

    “Timeless” is a clichéd adjective, particularly when applied to painting, but in the case of Brice Marden’s new works in his two solo exhibitions at Matthew Marks, it is especially apropos, referring less to the transcendent effect these marble paintings may have on a viewer than to the fact that they seem simultaneously anachronistic and contemporary. Formally, the fifteen paintings in the 526 gallery evoke Marden’s 1980s-era series of paint and graphite works on marble that are seen as transitional between his early monochromes and his later calligraphic paintings. Here, only minimal brushstrokes

  • Ian Wallace, The Imperial City, 1986, four gelatin silver prints, Plexiglas, each 97  x 24".
    picks May 01, 2012

    “C.1983 Part II”

    It is surprising how fresh an exhibition of film and photography from 1980s Vancouver can feel. It is even more startling, however, that over the intervening decades, the social, political, and even, to a certain degree, artistic concerns have remained the same. The lesser-known works of Share Corsaut, for example, whose colored photograms on view date from 1981, seem to anticipate current trends in abstract photography. Henri Robideau’s photograph July 23, 1983, Giant Crowd of 50,000 People . . . , 1983, documents a massive protest against government cutbacks that reads as particularly apropos