Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lanny Shereck at Loop Gallery

Lanny Shereck's exhibition entitled In Between is currently on display at Loop Gallery. This new body of work started as a search for in between spaces where people don’t tend to look.  Shereck noticed the spaces between buildings on the side streets of the Lower Annex where he lives and works. These spaces revealed a hidden world of garages, gardens, coach houses, fences and the flotsam of domestic life. Some of Shereck’s early work – particularly the Pedestrian series – dealt with the theme of watching and targeting individuals as they went about their business on the streets of Toronto; this new work is also a bit intrusive and odd. Shereck walks close to private homes, and takes pictures of these less public, more private spaces; often experiencing the same discomfort he did when taking people’s photographs on the street without permission.

What has drawn Shereck to these particular images, aside from the narrative concerns of public and private spaces, are formal concerns of design, colour and light. As a painter and sculptor, Shereck brings together the constructive nature of sculpture with questions about the nature of painting.  Using collage as a way to construct a painting with wood and board pieces of flat shape and colour, Shereck creates a relief with the painterly effect of close up abstraction; upon standing back, the image both flattens and gains clarity.

Another aspect of this new work is the repetition of images. The spaces are all different and although they share many common features, each one is a unique and real space built around a shared social, environmental, and architectural setting.  Each space can be interpreted formally and narratively in a unique way.

Lanny Shereck is an artist and art teacher working in acrylic and oil paint and using photographic collage to create images of urban life in Toronto, Montreal, Havana and Mexico City.  Shereck’s work, although based in realism, explores the relationship between perception and abstraction. This is expressed through the experience of standing close to the work and seeing formal shapes and colours and then standing back from the work and seeing the emerging image come into focus.  Shereck has been a member of Loop for three years and is represented by The Fran Hill Gallery in Toronto. Shereck has been an art educator for thirty years teaching painting, sculpture, drawing, ceramics and art history.

Lanny Shereck will speak about his work during a Question & Answer Session at the gallery on Saturday, May 8th at 3pm.