After a successful début last year, the Rover Art Fair is back with a slate of fine artists and a new location, just in time for the shopping season.
Join artists and members of the Rover team on
Friday, December 2 for the
OPENING of Rover Art Fair 2011
135 Van Horne
2nd floor of a popular Mile End artists’ studio space
PREVIEW Thurs Dec 1, 6–9 pm FAIR Sat/Sun Dec 3–4 from 1–6 pm
Rover Art Fair 2011 brings together an exciting array of painting, photography, sculpture, etchings, drawing and multimedia by a diverse group of talented artists. All sales will be split between creators and The Rover. Help celebrate Rover’s 3rd anniversary as a vital platform for high-quality writing about culture. Treat yourself and friends.
Raise a glass to art!
Curator: Marianne Ackerman
Diana Shearwood * Fiona Ackerman * Füsun Baser * Glen Lemesurier *
Gregor Hiltner * Heidi Barkun * Isa Dawson * Jane Stewart * Jay Gillingham
Leigh Gillam * Linda Rutenberg * Luc Paradis * Rouge Lefebvre * Wil Murray
Diana Shearwood got her first camera at the age of 14 — an Instamatic — and took her first photography course in high school. Since the late 1990s, she has pursued her early passion seriously, showing work at home in Montreal (Darling Foundary, Articule), as well as New York, Paris, Reykjavík, Houston, Vancouver and Toronto.
In the intervening years, she lived several other lives, including a turn in the 1990s dotcom boom as co-founder (with Richard Szalwinski and Simon Mowbray) of Discreet Logic, the storied Montreal software leader.
When Discreet Logic purchased the J & R Weir building in the Old Port (a 19th century repair depot for ship boilers), she picked up her Leica and spent a year shooting the once-bustling hub of Montreal’s economy in its final moments. The result was ZONE, a powerful series revealing the beauty of an industrial behemoth. Several are on sale at the Rover Art Fair, as well as Sublime, from the Silo No 5 series. A book about ZONE, published by Behaviour Communications, will also be available.
Fiona Ackerman brings a series of eight paintings on canvas and paper, from a show called Wonderland. Imagined landscapes, underwater, dreams, skies, deserts, fog. Globe and Mail arts writer RM Vaughan wrote of this exhibition:
When you describe the individual parts of a given Ackerman painting, then add said parts together, the math ought not to hold. But her paintings do cohere, and cohere wonderfully, largely because they remain true to their own interior, wholly idiosyncratic, systems of logic. … mad colour combinations, cement greys sidling up to neons, tangerines making nice with paper-bag browns, would cause sensible colour theorists to throw up their twiggy arms in high dismay. But Ackerman makes the odd couples dance, mostly by knowing exactly how much ballroom floor space to give them. It takes a lot of careful planning to make a painting come across as both superficially haphazard and, on further inspection, deeply studied.
Originally from Montreal, Fiona lives in Vancouver. Her next solo exhibition will be at the Winsor Gallery, March 2012. She also shows at the Oeno Gallery in Prince Edward County. Fiona and Luc Paradis will be giving an artist’s talk on Saturday, Dec 3 at 5 pm.
Füsun Baser was born in Istanbul and returns often. Moving back and forth between Turkey and North America from an early age instilled a permanent sense of displacement, allowing her to observe the edges of society. She is interested in rejected materials, as well as contrasts such as old and new, east and west, industrial and natural. Working in a studio on de Gaspé, she is inspired by stone, wood, wax, bone, paper, welding steel, manipulating sheets of copper, creating sculptures that are imaginative and distinctive.
She rarely exhibits her work publicly, but when she does, her whimsical dancers, dervishes and sailboats fly out the door.
“I’ve always felt a bit like a stranger,” she says. “Maybe that’s why I like giving life to dead things, cast away the marginality. I’m a real socialist in my studio. And I like to laugh. Humour is important in life as in art.”
Glen LeMesurier, writing on his blog: I believe that by using recycled material in unexpected ways the survival of these materials becomes heroic and their transformation from object into Art becomes part of a mythological process.
As a self taught artist I have spent twenty years learning the techniques of construction that have allowed me to move from working on small pieces in wood to working now in an industrial studio, and mostly in iron. I have given a lot to my work and have also gotten much from it and I owe a debt to other artists who have gone before me, traveling this road of sparks and steel.
Glen creates art from materials of proven durability. What better talismans to ward off the hyper spirits of our cyber-saturated environments? His studio, Van Horne Ironworks, is located just below the Rover Art Fair space, at 135 Van Horne.
For more about the artist, his personal journey and where he’s at these days, see: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Love+anchor+heart/5275832/story.html#ixzz1dsralbLm
In the late 1980s, Gregor Hiltner’s only surviving older relative, Uncle Walter, startled him by confiding he had once been the paramour of a very beautiful wealthy woman. Since then, Walter’s life had taken a meandering route, leaving him without means as old age approached. Now he and his lost love had reconnected, and she was determined to leave her fortune to him. In response to his uncle’s query, Gregor put Walter in touch with the appropriate professionals, who helped the woman draw up a new will. Months of discussion, all went well. The notary was scheduled to arrive at her bedside on a certain day at 5 pm to get her last will signed. However, the woman died at 3.
All this was more than 20 years ago. Since then, Gregor and his brother have taken care of Uncle Walter.
In the aftermath of disaster, Gregor wrote a children’s book, Der Riese Sandelphon, featuring Walter, the free-spirit brother up against a traditional hero. He also did a series of five etchings called “Four Point Five Million” to immortalise the loss. These etchings are from that series, a reminder of a promising day that turned such a sharp corner shortly after lunch.
Gregor Hiltner is a painter, filmmaker and author living in Berlin and Nurnberg. His work can be found at www.gregorhiltner.com and www.gregor-hiltner.de Information about the bilingual children’s book Der Riese Sandelphon/Giant Sandelphon can be found at http://www.gregorhiltner.com/chbook.html.
Heidi Barkun works in wax, recycled materials and finely finished hardwoods. Her appreciation for the beauty of discarded building materials is matched only by her love of fine new materials. She is currently working on a new series of ex-voto paintings made from beeswax. In the meantime, her excellent picture frames are a great gift-giving idea. The one large-scale work we have on display is called T’Cha, from the earlier series, Mémoires.
Isa Dawson is an accomplished Montrealer who has worked as a muralist, sign painter, translator and animator.
A series created for the Rover Arts Fair, Boletus (Latin for mushrooms) marks her debut as a visual artist. After graduating from the Chelsea School of Art in London, she studied at the Emily Carr School of Art and Design (Vancouver) and under Eric Mannella at Atelier de Brésoles (Montreal). She has a strong interest in the human figure and has completed several fine portraits to date — all as private commissions. This is the first time she has worked with food as her model. For Boletus, exotic mushrooms purchased at Jean Talon Market are drawn with fine strands of copper and silver on painted birch panels. Delicate, accurate and beautifully rendered, these drawings are all the more impressive when you know that each of the thousands of strokes was done without the possibility of erasure.
Jane Stewart was part of Rover’s first Art Fair in 2010 and has since been painting steadily, focusing on human models, still life and landscape.
Her new work shows a consistent interest in mood and texture, giving the paintings a dream-like quality, especially the landscapes, which exude a marvellous sense of calm. The nudes show a deepening interest in anatomy, all the while not losing site of the relationship between painter and model, or the model’s attitude to the act of being painted. The Reluctant Model exposes the sitter’s mood with an exaggerated grimace. Wait Now depicts a subject actively resisting the role of model. Going Home is a perfect fusion of landscape and human form. An elderly couple clothed for winter clasp each other’s arms and head into a snow-filled path toward an obscure destination. Is it home, or death?
A professor emeritus of Concordia University (psychology), Jane Stewart has been painting since 2001. She will speak about her right turn from a career in science to painting at the Rover Art Fair, on Saturday, Dec 3, 4 pm.
Jay Gillingham and his bicycle are familiar part of the Mile End landscape. His practical talents in home restoration are highly sought after. Over the years, he has become a great dispenser of wisdom by virtue of long experience with humanity during times of crisis and hope. Few if any of the many who know Jay realise that he studied art at Concordia, keeps a studio and creates wonderful sculptures from materials normally appreciated for their functionality. A natural blend of life and art, Jay’s sculptures have soul. They are rare. Hopefully, not for long.
Leigh Gillam works in video and theatre design, but her heart is in sculpture. The Rover Art Fair presents her dolls, loveable macabre troll-sized beings with crows’ beaks in their bellies, and a video she made using her work as material. She also creates miniature animals in papier maché. She has already cast one of her sculptures in bronze, and hopes to repeat the process again sometime soon. A young woman to watch.
At first glance, the American painter Georgia O’Keefe comes to mind.
Linda Rutenberg’s astoundingly beautiful nighttime photographs of flowers exude sensuality and mystery, as if she has captured these exquisite works of nature doing something almost sinful: staying up, fully dressed and coiffed, after midnight. With three books published internationally and a fourth in the works, Rutenberg’s chance discovery of nature’s insomniac beauty has become her signature. A popular teacher, one-time gallery owner and professional photographer for 30 years, she came upon the garden at night almost by accident.
Assigned to shoot a garden near Quebec City for an architectural magazine, she decided the best way to capture dawn was to spend the night there in her camper van. Rutenberg’s husband Roger Leeon held a flashlight while she focused her lens. Thus was born The Garden at Night (2007). The husband-held flashlight has become a key part of her intimate nature portraits, now sold internationally as framed pieces and in beautifully-produced books.
Don’t miss this opportunity to meet one of Montreal’s most successful fine art photographers in person. She will be giving an artist talk on Saturday, December 3 at 2 pm, about entrepreneurship and art.
Luc Paradis is part of the great Vancouver-Montreal tide that washes into town periodically, and out again. The two cities are polar opposites yet at some level soul mates, defined by being at the extremes of ROC. He moved here 13 years ago to play music and try art, without a long-term plan. Fled to Atlanta, Georgia after a decade to focus on music. But a chance invitation to attend an artist residency in Baie Saint-Paul two summers ago brought him back for second fling.
Luc is now one of Parisian Laundry’s “project artists.” He had his first group show with PL and has been noted as a young artist on the rise. Drawing is his passion. Recently he works in oil because “it’s romantic,” he says. The collision of a very old art form with imagery familiar to the world of graphic art lends a sense of gravitas to his paintings. Catch a young artist at a turning point in is career. Luc and Fiona Ackerman will be giving an artist talk about the medium of painting on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 5 pm.
A sometime model, Rouge Lefebvre is a “concept artist” who walks the line between art and fashion. Body art, photographic mise-en-scène, disguise, embellishment, fantasy, cuisine — her creativity is unrestricted, unclassifiable. A frequent collaborator with other artists in Montreal and internationally, she worked with video artist Adad Hannah on his installation All is Vanity. Her work has been published and shown in Europe, Mexico and the U.S. She has just been published in the collectable book Art in Vogue. See www.mastersoftoday.com.
Calgary-born Wil Murray spent five years in Montreal forging his totally original vibrant collage style, before moving to Berlin last year.
A young artist (33) with a strong personal voice, he has discovered how to fuse the vibrancy of a thoroughly contemporary pallet with the depth of well-conceived structure. Wil is to painting what Chuck Berry is to the piano. Parts seem to slide off the wall, shout out, and yet, like all great music, meticulous composition is the key. He’s coming to Montreal next fall for a big event at Arsenal. This is your chance to see (and acquire) the last remaining pieces of his Montreal work. The curator’s advice: buy Wil Murray now, before he’s out of our league. I took my own advice at last year’s Art Fair and have been glad of it every day since.