News Archive

April 12, 2012

Monica Tap
Six Ways From Sunday
New Paintings
April 14 – May 5, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday April 14, Artist Present 2-5pm

Six Ways From Sunday: Tuesday, 2011, oil on canvas, 60” x 100”

We are pleased to present Six Ways From Sunday, an exhibition of new paintings by Monica Tap

Monica Tap has based her paintings of the last few years upon stills extracted from low-resolution video. Her paintings are rooted in her experience as a commuter watching the landscape whip by through the windows of buses, cars and trains. Brushstrokes trace and amplify the pixels of the still, giving the impression that the paint is pulled across the canvas by sheer speed. Tap’s work has been exhibited widely at both private and public galleries including recent solo exhibitions at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (On), The MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie, On) and, most recently, the Rodman Hall Gallery (St. Catherine’s, On). In his review in Border Crossings for Tap’s last exhibition at WTG, writer Dan Adler observed:

“---Based on stills extracted from low–res video, captured in moving vehicles using the video feature on her cell phone. These works are partly about the failure of both technology and humanity to represent – in the face of media – cultures that are moving faster by the minute, like a train without a conductor. ---

“---This ambivalence to verisimilitude is undoubtedly dictated by limitations of the software on Tap’s cell phone camera. But these works lead back to the idea of temporality coming undone and broken down into individual units that may refer to individual sensations-of light, colour, form and atmosphere-and the ways they become exposed and subjected to media. Such exposures affect even our most innocent and everyday perceptions, like picturesque scenery seen from a bus. Tap’s landscapes thus inhabit a space that is a long way from those composed strictly according to the humanist and rationalist traditions - dating back to Claude Lorrain’s 17th century pictures with the staggered terrain and recessional progressions, suitable for civilized contemplation in a manner that reinforces the ideology of humanity’s control over its surroundings. Her practice may be seen as a reflection on what it means to lose this control while still striving to maintain a palpable sense of wonder and beauty.”

Tap says about this series: “'Six ways from Sunday' is an old expression for attacking a problem in many different ways.
The problem I’ve been working with is how to translate a razor-thin video still into a large, information-dense, physical painting. The source images derive from video shot from the vantage of a moving vehicle, in this instance, of trees caught in dramatic, early evening light. The strong lighting and fast movement of the scene pushes the video capture system to the edge of breakdown.

“That breakdown opens up space of possibility, of shifting reading, balanced between the seen, felt, observed and intuited. Trees shift into figure; reflections on the car window seem suddenly ghost-like.”


Angela Leach
Five Small Paintings
Recent Paintings
April 14 – May 5, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday April 14, Artist Present 2-5pm

AR- Wave #101, 2009 acrylic on board, 24” x 24”

We are pleased to present an exhibition of five small paintings by Angela Leach.

Angela Leach continues to explore colour within the confines of the basic grid. Experimenting with the configuration of line particular to a composition, vertical and horizontal sections of the painting are designated light or dark value in an attempt to shift the perception of depth. While the result is barely perceptible in the vertical application it becomes a major design element in the horizontal format.

In the essay on Leach’s work for the travelling public gallery exhibition, Shimmy, curated by Gordon Hatt, he states: “Toronto-based painter Angela Leach has been creating acrylic paintings entitled Abstract Repeat since 1999. The works consist of ordered sequences of colour that form patterns and add volume to the picture plane. These complex repetitions are often related to the work of British Op artist Bridget Riley. However, Leach’s paintings are a brilliant amalgamation of her studies in weaving, textile design and painting. The artist was employed for eleven years as a hand weaver for a coat manufacturer. Leach states, “In order to incorporate the experience of weaving into the practice of painting – order and repetition, elementary to the process of weaving, were applied to the placement of colour. By using a strict regimen to arrange colour, a certain number of colours, a certain order in which to repeat the colours, and marking out grid combinations using curved templates, an effect similar to woven fabric occurred.” In their earliest manifestation, the Abstract Repeat series consisted of small, detailed works---”

Leach is included in the major book by Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada. Nasgaard wrote the following in Chapter 15, At the Turn of The Millennium;

“Her small abstract paintings dazzlingly juxtapose stripes of patterns of colour, closely packed and often sporting themselves in distorted, undulating waves that dizzyingly flow in and out of pictorial space, performing spatial swoops --”

Leach has participated in group and solo exhibitions, at the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Power Plant, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, and the Edmonton Art Gallery. Gordon Hatt, director at the time of the Cambridge Galleries, organized a major exhibition of her work, which traveled nationally to public galleries including the Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto, Scarborough. Leach also had two major paintings selected by the curators for the 2005, important international exhibition, Extreme Abstraction, at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo.


Please note: on Saturdays, free parking for building visitors is available in the 401 Richmond building lot, located at the rear of the building. Enter off Richmond St., at the east end of the building. The building and gallery can be accessed from the back entrance, off the parking lot. There is also parking available in several lots off Peter St. and on the north side of Richmond St, across from the building.