Sunday, 7 September 2014

JOHN SCOTT - NEW ART FROM DISTINGUISHED TORONTO ARTIST


John Scott is a Governor General Award winner, a teacher at OCAD, a lover of Science Fiction and an artist of international fame. I am helping with his upcoming show - Dark Star - at the Nicholas Metievier Gallery
Dark Star, is an exhibition of new works by John Scott. The exhibition will open on September 11 and will be on view through October 11 with a reception for the artist on Thursday, September 11 from 6– 8 PM.

John Scott, Innocent Pope, 2014, oil on canvas, 81 x 53 inches
John Scott, Innocent Pope, 2014, oil on canvas, 81 x 53 inches

This fall marks two important milestones in Scott’s distinguished career; his fifth solo exhibition opens in September at Nicholas Metivier Gallery and his first comprehensive survey exhibition, Dark Commander – The Art of John Scott, opens in October at the Faulconer Gallery in Iowa. The survey will include over 60 drawings, canvases and sculptures from the early 1970s to present day including a re-fabrication of Europe, a seminal sculpture by Scott exhibited at The Powerplant in Toronto in 1991. Daniel Strong, Associate Director and Curator at the Faulconer Gallery, discovered Scott’s work in 2010 at Nicholas Metivier Gallery’s booth at Pulse art fair, New York. He has been at the helm of organizing Scott’s survey exhibition and promoting his work in the United States ever since.

Over the last 40 years, Scott has developed a devout following for his raw-edge drawings about the dark, often callous, world we live in. The work’s appeal lies in Scott’s disarmingly childlike visual language that is embedded with remarkably sharp intelligence, insight and wit. In preparation for his exhibition at Faulconer Gallery, Scott sifted through his archive of earlier works. This process inspired Scott to revisit some of his most iconic images about war, technology and the human condition. In his latest body of work, Scott uses these timeless themes and revitalizes them with contemporary subjects. Perhaps the most compelling of these new characters is Innocent Pope, Scott’s wheelchair rendition of Francis Bacon’s visceral interpretation of Diego Velázquez’s painting, Portrait of Pope Innocent X.
The title of the exhibition, Dark Star - an object composed of dark energy that outwardly resembles a black hole – is a nod to Scott’s long-time fascination with space and science. The oxymoron also references the sinister side of our notions about heroes. In his drawing and canvas of Iron Mike, (Mike Tyson), Scott highlights the vulnerability of this fallen athletic giant. Tyson’s boxing gloves are lowered and he dons bunny ears, (a trademark symbol of Scotts’ representing humans’ likeness to scared animals). These, as with many other works in this exhibition, are poignant examples of Scott’s everlasting creativity and timeless voice.
Iron Mike - John Scott

The exhibition will also include two recently released lithographs. The prints were published by Scott and Nicholas Metivier Gallery and printed at Open Studio in Toronto. The images - a two-headed figure, (The Disappointed Gaze), and a bunny in armour, (Imperious Rabbit) - were resurrected after first appearing in Scott’s artist issue of General Idea’s publication, FILE Megazine, in 1985.

Scott was born in Windsor, Ontario in 1950. In 2000, Scott was awarded the inaugural Governor General’s Award in Visual Arts and Media. He has exhibited extensively across Canada for the past 30 years and is collected by almost every major institution in the country including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Scott’s work is also held in numerous museum and private collections outside of Canada including the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Scott is currently an instructor at OCAD University where he has taught for the last 15 years.

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