Gabrielle Moser

  • View of “Karen Kraven,” 2014.
    picks November 24, 2014

    Karen Kraven

    The title of Karen Kraven’s first institutional solo exhibition, “Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah,” signals the Montreal-based artist’s infectious enthusiasm for mimicry, subterfuge, and speculation across a new body of work comprising sculpture, photography, and ceramics. Like a modern-day incantation, the phrase begs to be spoken aloud, evoking the shimmering strands of cheerleaders’ pom-poms and the emphatic sounds of exploding fireworks. Such exuberance is everywhere on display here, including in a series where six elaborately decorated women’s hats made of delicate straw latticing are perched

  • View of “CounterIntelligence,” 2014.
    picks February 20, 2014


    One of the largest works in this group exhibition, Abbas Akhavan’s Study for Blue Shield, 2011, is only visible by aerial surveillance. A piece of the gallery’s drywall has been cut out and painted in a pattern of blue and white diamonds. Located on the roof of the gallery, the shield, which replicates a crest designed by UNESCO to identify and protect sites of cultural heritage during armed conflict, is invisible to viewers but is on display for passing helicopters or drones.

    Akhavan’s gesture—an incisive commentary on the threats posed by, and to, art in a surveillance state—is a fitting

  • Elizabeth Zvonar, Marcel Meets Judy, 2013, ceramic candy dish, 10 x 5”.
    picks June 01, 2013

    Elizabeth Zvonar

    “Banal Baroque,” Elizabeth Zvonar’s current exhibition of sculpture and collage, riffs on themes of bodily and sexual excess, recontextualizing mass-produced objects, magazine advertisements, and mannequin parts to animate the uncanny treatment of the human figure that lies dormant in this source material. While her juxtapositions might recall the psychically charged scenes of Surrealist and Dadaist collage (particularly Hannah Höch), in Zvonar’s work the human body is truncated and interrupted, broken down into a series of useless but fascinating objects for visual consumption.

    Marcel Meets Judy

  • David Askevold, Two Beasts, 2007–10, digital video, color, 14 minutes, 7 seconds.
    picks May 03, 2013

    David Askevold

    If there remains any doubt that a goofy sense of humor and amateurish enthusiasm—alongside a reliance on rational systems and a dry self-referentiality—underpinned much of the conceptual art produced in the 1960s and ’70s, this retrospective of work by the late Halifax-based artist David Askevold should convince even the most committed skeptics. Curated by David Diviney, “Once Upon a Time in the East” brings together sculptures, installations, films, photographs, and computer-generated images made by Askevold over his forty-year career, offering a portrait of an artist whose work seems to

  • Jon Sasaki, Microbes Swabbed from a Palette Used by Tom Thomson, 2013, digital print, 38 1/4 x 38 1/4”.
    picks February 20, 2013

    Jon Sasaki

    Jon Sasaki has perfected the persona of the eternally optimistic everyman in his video and performance works over the past several years. In his latest exhibition, he turns his conceptually inflected wit to the messy particulate matter that underpins the Canadian obsession with the landscape, unearthing both its lyricism and its bathos.

    A suite of three large-scale photographs anchors the exhibition, which comprises painting, photography, sculpture, and video projects. Documenting bacterial cultures that the artist grew in petri dishes from swabs of the palettes once used by Group of Seven

  • Jason de Haan, Future Future Age, 2011, driftwood and inset gold ring, 47 x 20 x 11".
    picks April 12, 2012

    Jason de Haan

    Jason de Haan’s solo show takes its title, “Year Zero,” from a moment in time that does not exist. The term is absent from the traditional Anno Domini calendar system but is used by astronomers and science fiction authors to denote a fixed point in time after a significant event, connoting apocalyptic ends as well as cycles of rebirth.

    It is a fitting title for a body of work that is obsessively engaged with creating visual records of the deep geologic time of the earth and the speculative future of human development. In the two works that form the centerpiece of the exhibition, New Jerusalem,

  • Valérie Blass, Femme panier  (Basket Woman), 2010, fiberglass and resin mannequin, basket, fishnet stockings, polyester shirt, wood, cement, paint, 50 x 59 x 28”.
    picks February 28, 2012

    Valérie Blass

    Valérie Blass’s clever sculptures engage viewers in an engrossing but disconcerting guessing game, suggesting familiar forms while purposefully resisting easy recognition. Comprising almost thirty works, Blass’s largest exhibition to date provides an overdue survey of the artist’s recent (the earliest work dates from 2005) but prolific practice. Curator Lesley Johnstone has assembled some of Blass’s strongest pieces here, including a wide array of her arresting, life-size human-animal hybrids that combine traditional sculpting materials with found objects.

    Blass’s works are not discordant

  • Glen Fogel, Glen from Colorado, 2009, fluorescent lights on powder-coated steel, MP3 player, motion detector, solid state relay, variac, amplifier, speaker, powder-coated steel chair, 100 x 48”.
    picks January 16, 2012

    “Coming After”

    Spanning installation, drawing, photography, performance, and video, this ambitious exhibition brings together sixteen artists—almost all of whom were born after 1970—whose works reflect on the period of queer radicalism witnessed in North America from the 1980s through the ’90s. Meditating on themes of nostalgia, loss, and latency, the show consistently evokes a feeling of having arrived too late to directly participate in this traumatic but galvanizing political moment.

    Curator Jon Davies opens the show with a smartly selected group of video works that link past cultural icons with contemporary

  • Didier Courbot, Hylla, 2011, color photograph, 33 x 45".
    picks November 14, 2011

    Didier Courbot

    A relentless but fraught optimism informs Didier Courbot’s works. In his latest suite of eight large-scale color photographs, the French artist documents a series of actions he carried out in Parisian streets. On encountering discarded furniture, the artist used the items’ constituent parts to create site-specific temporary objects that take on personalities all their own. In Oh No! (all works 2011), for instance, the metal base of an office chair has been twisted into the form of a human figure falling into, or hurling itself against, a stone wall. French Thonet reworks a coatrack designed by

  • Barbara Astman, 12, Daily Collage, 2011, collage, digital print, 34 x 43".
    picks October 17, 2011

    Barbara Astman

    Barbara Astman’s latest series of photographs, all reproductions of collages, takes the artist’s long-standing interest in the circulation of iconic public images into the rich territory of the quotidian. Astman collected the images presented in this exhibition from newspapers over the course of a year, clipping each as she read the daily paper and pasting them into a small Moleskine notebook. A selection have been reproduced as large-scale photographs and sixteen are exhibited in the gallery.

    Rather than being an attempt to distill news stories, Astman’s combinations are playful and impulsive,