image: Ben Reeves, Untitled (parallel 3), detail.
A specific amalgam of spirit and dirt
Keeley Haftner, Ben Reeves, Sean Weisgerber and Ambera Wellmann
January 15 to February 27, 2015
Opening January 15, 8pm
Artist Talk with Keeley Haftner, January 14 at 12pm Gordon Snelgrove Gallery
“Introductory note on dirt (and spirit)” by Chris Down
A specific amalgam of spirit and dirt is an exhibition which snapshots the work of four artists whose practices have emerged or are emerging through the re-examination of contemporary painting. The exhibition meanders through gently manipulated found material, process-driven abstraction, and the bodily Baroque, all the while maintaining a dark comedy with plenty of room for optimism. Through elevated castoffs, dismembered parts, and unreal realities, the artists in this show explore a complex sincerity in medium that Chris Down refers to as an “uneasy alloy” of the sensual and rational.
Keeley Haftner is a Chicago-based Canadian artist whose works result from investigating value-driven material hierarchies. Haftner obtained her bachelor of fine arts degree in 2011 from Mount Allison University. Haftner is the New Brunswick winner of the 2011 BMO Financial Group’s 1st Art! Art Competition, she participated in Toronto’s 2012 Nuit Blanche, she has participated in residencies within Canada, the U.S, and Iceland. She has exhibited work nationally and internationally, and received national attention for her 2013 public commission by Saskatoon’s Placemaker Program. Haftner is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Ben Reeves’ drawing and painting practice is an intensive, personal accounting of perception and how the world is realized through pictures. He has exhibited his work extensively in national venues as well as in the US, England and China. His work has been featured and reviewed in Canadian Art, Border Crossings, The National Post, and The Globe and Mail.
Reeves received a BFA from the University of British Columbia and an MA from Chelsea College of art and Design, UK. He is represented by the Equinox Gallery in Vancouver and Jessica Bradley Art Gallery in Toronto. Reeves is currently Associate Professor in the Faculty of Visual Art + Material Practice in the Audain School of Visual Arts and in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Emily Carr University.
Sean Weisgerber is a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Currently based in Toronto, his work has recently been shown at Wil Aballe Art Projects (Vancouver), Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon), 330G (Saskatoon), Cooper Cole Gallery (Toronto), and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa). He was a finalist in the 2013 RBC Painting Competition.
Ambera Wellmann was born in 1982 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Ambera Wellmann studied painting and drawing at the Nova Scotia College of Art in Design where she earned a BFA in 2011. A recent recipient of the Government of Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Creation grant, Wellmann is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Guelph.