“The Phoenix Art” is an inquiry into, and a demonstration of, the vitality of contemporary Canadian and Quebec painting. I have chosen 10 of the best young painters in the country – from Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal - and have presented their recent work (each of the artists has made work especially for this exhibition) as a sort of discrete inventory of aesthetic approaches and styles. In the exhibition the viewer will encounter everything from compelling personal and cultural image-making, to a provisional surrealism filtered through the rigours of feminist practice, from the various ways painting negotiates the line between representation and abstraction, to the ongoing conversation that the art form is conducting with photography, and from the refinements of lyric mark-making, to the muscular rhythms of the contemporary sublime. Painting’s dance is an endless choreography; it keeps inventing new steps along the way. Painting is the art form that, more than any other, has managed to re-form itself out of the ashes of its previous achievements. Painting is the true phoenix art, beautifying itself with its own feathery touch.
Curator: Robert Enright.