Sunday, May 3, 2015

Stephen Andrews at the AGO

Last Saturday John and I visited the Stephen Andrews retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Mr Andrews certainly has an interesting "point of view"
His work has long been inspired by social and political themes but the show also contains more personal works as in Heaven, 2011, a "memorial to a deceased relative". The wall text calls our attention to Andrews' "increasing interest in the sublime".
One of the next paintings we encountered was this monumental portrait of Andrews' partner, the filmmaker John Greyson.
Here I'm photographing in a room dedicated to Andrews' interest in colour printing techniques.
John and I loved Andrews' small, unlabelled photographs. 
Reflections and magical layering are a constant theme.
As are views from above.
Andrews was inspired by these reproductions of two J.M.W. Turner paintings that visualize before and after the Biblical flood.
After Before (left), After After, both 2001
Crossing, 2011 and View from Above, 2011. 
X-men at Union, 2013. Almost like ghosts, I thought.
John admires Auditorium, 2009/2015. I love how Andrews' images seem to disintegrate and float away.
A detail
I'm just coming up on Entrance/Exit, 2014.
This one also seems about the sublime -- life's entrances and exits, no?
John liked this room of small drawings.
They were shown together as an animated movie, The Quick and the Dead, 2004. A soldier in Iraq extinguishes a semi-clad figure that is on fire.
John and I both loved this vitrine displaying Mr Andrew's sketch books and notes.
Process is always fascinating.
On a screen above the sketch books, Andrews himself discussed his work and process.

This exhibition is another great reason, along with the Emily Carr show, to get yourself to the AGO. You'll go home happily after an excellent art hit.

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