Robert Fones

S.L. Simpson

Robert Fones’ latest show finds him mapping out fresh territory into his investigation of the history and problematics of letterforms. The exhibition comprised two distinct sets of works: “Lathed Letterforms,” 1997, a series of sculptures derived from individual letters; and “Date Tablet Paintings,” 1997, which many visitors did not see since the paintings were hung adjacent to the main gallery space and bizarrely cordoned off with a metal bar.

The “Date Tablet Paintings” are actual-size oil-on-linen renditions of the stone and galvanized metal date-tablets found on buildings throughout southern Ontario. The original proprietary tablets trace capitalist expansion in the area from 1850 onward through the transition from handcrafted materials to industrial fabrication. While the early tablets proudly announce ownership of a particular building, later tablets appear to drop the possessive

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