Process as Work

29 February–29 March 2008

Process as Work

Process as Work presents a sig­nif­i­cant body of work by Roy Kiy­ooka, Damian Mop­pett, Jerry Pethick and Ian Wal­lace, call­ing atten­tion to the unique work­ing processes that mark their prac­tices. The work in this exhi­bi­tion is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the four artists’ com­mit­ment to con­tin­u­ous and rig­or­ous pro­duc­tion and their con­stant manip­u­la­tion of ideas, often through ser­ial works. The mate­ri­al­ity of the artist’s work­ing process in some cases man­i­fests itself as stud­ies for final works, but con­gru­ously exists as com­pleted works which are con­tin­u­ally being devel­oped upon through the use of reoc­cur­ring motifs and an ever-present ref­er­enc­ing between works. The exhi­bi­tion posi­tions the processes of this inter-generational group of artists in rela­tion to one another and in rela­tion to a broader con­text of inter­na­tional dis­course about approaches to sculp­ture, paint­ing and photography.

In a com­plete body of painting/collage works on paper by Ian Wal­lace from his New York series, cre­ated between 1993 and 2001 and never exhib­ited before, we see Wal­lace work­ing towards his large for­mat New York photo-monochrome paint­ings of 2001, from which Jazz Street II will be shown here. Wal­lace and Pethick have both been intensely inter­ested in the motif of the inter­sec­tion through­out their prac­tices. Since the 1970s Wal­lace has explored the social the­atre of urban inter­sec­tions through the jux­ta­po­si­tion of the painted mono­chrome and pho­tographs which focus on the meet­ing point of dynamic urban rela­tions: pedes­tri­ans, traf­fic, sig­nage and archi­tec­ture. In the New York series, Wal­lace sit­u­ates the his­tory of the jazz scene in New York on the Broad­way Boo­gie Woo­gie strip while recall­ing the min­i­mal­ism of Mon­drian. In what Wal­lace has termed a prac­tice of “melan­cholic mod­ernism,” there is a ten­sion between the every­day scenes of the pho­to­graph and the absence of ref­er­en­tial sub­ject in the mono­chrome, wherein the white lines of the cross­walk and the painted can­vas inter­play as real and abstract space.

For Jerry Pethick, the inter­sec­tion was a meet­ing point of opti­cal per­cep­tion. He ref­er­enced the inter­sec­tion in numer­ous works, point­ing to the influ­ence of tech­nol­ogy on visual per­cep­tion through the use of lenses and tele­vi­sion tubes as opti­cal devices and record­ing the occur­rence of exes in nature, such as the out­growth of a tree branch from a tree trunk. Pethick’s oppos­ing coloured vinyl tape mark­ings in the wall instal­la­tion Inter­sec­tion, 1971, are the begin­ning of a series of exper­i­ments which he con­tin­ued to develop in his explo­rations of holo­graphic space and large for­mat array pho­tographs. The inter­sect­ing marks appear again in a series of draw­ings and sculp­tural col­lages from 1965 and cul­mi­nate in the array cam­era he cre­ated in the 1980s. This cam­era enabled Pethick to take mul­ti­ple images of one shot and to cre­ate a pro­lific series of pho­to­graphic arrays which inves­ti­gated the inter­sec­tion of points as a means for call­ing atten­tion to the way we per­ceive what we are see­ing. This exhi­bi­tion of a sig­nif­i­cant body of Jerry Pethick’s work antic­i­pates an impor­tant forth­com­ing solo exhi­bi­tion at the Catri­ona Jef­fries Gallery to be pre­sented in 2008.

Roy Kiy­ooka also con­tin­u­ally embarked on exper­i­ments which led one work into the next, through per­for­mance, film and pho­tog­ra­phy. Kiyooka’s work is sit­u­ated in the every­day. Doc­u­ment­ing a road trip he took with stu­dents to the inte­rior of British Colum­bia in 1977 and his stay in a hotel room in Mis­sion, B.C. in 1978, he inter­twines poetry and sym­bol­ism within these local­ized moments from daily life, pro­duc­ing scenes which ques­tion notions of iden­tity and place. Kiyooka’s sub­jec­tive snap­shots of fam­ily and friends con­fig­ured in grid for­mats atten­u­ate dis­tinc­tions between ama­teur and pro­fes­sional, art and non-art; they are inscribed with a ten­sion between the uni­ver­sal­ity of mod­ernism and the rad­i­cal­ism of the avant-garde. In a series of pho­tographs in which the mask is the main char­ac­ter, there is a rela­tion­ship to earth art prac­tices through the mark­ing and stag­ing of per­for­mances in the snow. At the same time, Kiyooka’s use of mul­ti­ple still images imparts a cin­e­matic qual­ity which links to his orig­i­nal per­for­ma­tive actions and film works.

In Damian Moppett’s ongo­ing series of draw­ings and water­colours he works through sculp­tural forms using one dimen­sional strate­gies, draw­ing atten­tion to the con­stant inter­play between the two. Mop­pett probes notions of cor­rupted ideas and impre­ci­sion, empha­siz­ing process, not the end prod­uct. In his con­fig­u­ra­tions, he plays with our expec­ta­tion of resolve through the pro­duc­tion of stud­ies that are also com­plete works in them­selves, con­tin­u­ally dis­rupt­ing dis­tinc­tions between high and low art. Recall­ing Wallace’s pho­tographs taken in his stu­dio, Mop­pett offers up the messes of his work­ing envi­ron­ment in his draw­ings, record­ing the process of work­ing towards his mod­ernist assem­blage sculp­tures, one of which will be pre­sented in the exhibition.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion or press enquires please con­tact Catri­ona Jef­fries or Anne Low at +1 604 736 1554.