Toronto based Monica Tap, received an MFA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1996. She is currently a professor of art at the University of Guelph. Her work has been collected and exhibited widely in Canada and abroad in public gallery and private collections including the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (On), The MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie, On) and, most recently, Rodman Hall Art Centre at Brock University (St. Catherine’s, On).
She 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.
In his review in Border Crossings for Tap’s last exhibition at W/TG, 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.”
Exhibitions from 2002-2012: on the archived WTG site.