Michael Dumontier co-founded The Royal Art Lodge collective in 1996 and continued as one of the three remaining members with Marcel Dzama and Neil Farber from 2003 until they officially concluded the RAL in 2008. He continues to work with Farber, meeting every Wednesday to collaborate on paintings and drawings. In 2011, Drawn and Quarterly published their book Constructive Abandonment. He has collaborated with numerous other artists, including Tom Elliott, Todd Martin, and Micah Lexier, as well as being a part of Paul Butler and Guy Maddin s Keyhole Experiment. Throughout, Dumontier has continued to work independently and has presented solo exhibitions in New York, Boston, and Padua, Italy. He recently had a major solo exhibition at the Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art in Winnipeg. The Royal Art Lodge has had solo exhibitions in New York (The Drawing Center), Toronto (Power Plant), Los Angeles (MOCA), Dublin, Madrid, Brussels, Burgos, London, and produced a major commission for the 2008 Liverpool Biennial. Dumontier s work is held in international private and public collections, including The National Gallery of Canada, The Vancouver Art Gallery, Folkwang Museum, FRAC Picardie, Fondation Antoine de Galbert, and Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos.
EMMELINE DE MOOIJ, MICHAEL DUMONTIER, ANDREA HELLER, MINA TOTINO, UNTIL WE HAVE A HELICOPTER, DANIEL G. WONG
November 17–January 12, 2013
Bringing together six international and Canadian artists, As Far as I Can See contemplates a theme of running away from home. The exhibition investigates the metaphorical space of running away—the lost, explorers and wanderers, and meandering thoughts and dreams—and the physical act of escape—traversing other worlds, ghostly creatures, the dark forest, and the unknown. The exhibition presents both a voyage provoked by the imagination and the beacon that brings us home.
Among the works included is Cloud Studies by Mina Totino (Vancouver), an ongoing series of Polaroid photographs of clouds taken since 1997. Marked with a date, time and occasional anecdotes, the Polaroids reference both the idle pursuit of cloud watching and the transcendent nature of the sky. As a sobering counterpart to Totino’s clouds, Michael Dumontier (Winnipeg) presents a series of foil-stamped books in which the sky is grounded by uniformity and repetition. While no photograph is alike in Cloud Studies, Dumontier presents a scenario in which the intangible sky suddenly feels defined and decisive.
In her 2011 work Hello Trouble, Emmeline de Mooij (Amsterdam) subtly points to the dark and foreboding aspect of fleeing. Composed of plastic, burlap, mud and fabric, the work insinuates a welcoming of the ominous, underlining the possibility that despite the potential for danger, running away breaks us from the confines of the ordinary. The desire to explore the uncharted extends to Daniel G. Wong’s (Lethbridge) work, Are You Wild Are You Free (2012). Wong’s practice is an exploration of wonder, mystery, and poetry in everyday living. He embarks on adventures to immediate and faraway surroundings, wandering to encounter the mundane and remarkable. Wong produces meditations on his findings, questions, and discoveries in the form of zines, posters, and blogs, and his work in this exhibition is generated from recent excursions in Iceland.
Inspired by the memories of her childhood, Andrea Heller (Paris/Zurich) creates a sombre universe populated by creatures and shadows. The playful aura in her work is juxtaposed with suggestions of gloom and abyss. Heller’s work examines the forest as hiding place, incorporating elements of mischief, cheerfulness, and humour. This excursion to the edge of the woods is met with Beacon For The Moonshined Wanderer (2009) by Vancouver-based collective Until We Have A Helicopter, a work comprised of a collection of antique lanterns suspended by rope. The work hangs from the window of the gallery, acting as the destination and departure point for those that stray and the ones that return.
Postscript 49: Sheryda Warrener on As Far As I Can See (PDF)
SHANNON BOOL, JEN CURRIN, MICHAEL DUMONTIER, ANTHONY HUBERMAN, BRIAN KENNON, TOSHIE TAKEUCHI
August 1–August 31, 2013
Please enjoy these summer reading “picks” from a selection of local and international artists and writers, including Shannon Bool, Jen Currin, Michael Dumontier, Anthony Huberman, Brian Kennon and Toshie Takeuchi.
The PDF is available here.