FEATURE REVIEW EXCERPT www.visualartsnews.ca by Laura Kenins
“Digging around in the gallery archives earlier this year, Mount Saint Vincent Gallery staff Ingrid Jenkner and Katie Belcher unearthed a few late 1990s drawings by Michelle Gay that hadn’t been exhibited in a while. Wanting to give these drawings context, they began seeking out other work that could be shown with them, and Somewhere along the line was born.
“What we were drawn to had patterns connecting to Michelle’s work, and we found the work [we chose] was about process,” Belcher explains. Gay’s drawings, a series entitled “Portraits from the End of the Day,” were ink-wash portraits done on wet paper. The process here determines the portrait—in this case, the elements of chance creating double lips, distorted noses and an overall undefined feel to the faces.
Starting out with the drawings, Belcher and Jenkner then found common ground in an exhibition both had seen by Massimo Guerrera, mounted last year at the National Gallery. Guerrera made a room-size installation there, then created several book works of drawings based on viewers’ reactions to the piece. Two of these books are on view at MSVU, along with large-scale drawings based on the books.
Guerrera’s larger drawings are on paper mounted on canvas. Thematically, both the books and larger drawings use similar elements, bringing to mind everything from medical illustrations to mythology to science fiction. Guerrera has a meticulous method of mark-making—his lines looking like veins, egg shapes suggesting mythological cosmic eggs. Elsewhere, superhuman figures recall ubermensch and mother figures. This feeds into what seems to be a secondary scientific theme in the exhibition.”
Somewhere along the line
Curated by Ingrid Jenkner and Katie Belcher. MSVU Art Gallery, Halifax.
10 October – 22 November, 2009.
Image: Cover image: Sophie Jodoin, Small Dramas and Little Nothings, 2008-09. Conte and collage on Mylar, 24 cm x 19 cm.