Monday, August 9, 2010

loop Gallery presents Faithful and Faithless Messengers

Faithful and Faithless Messengers 

Mark Adair
Catherine Daigle
Patrick Jenkins
Alistair Magee
Mary Catherine Newcomb
Rochelle Rubinstein
August 11 - 22, 2010
Reception: Thursday, August 12th, 6 - 9 pm
loop Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition entitled Faithful and Faithless Messengers by Mark Adair, Catherine Daigle, Patrick Jenkins, Alistair Magee, Mary Catherine Newcomb and Rochelle Rubinstein. The exhibition addresses the dual nature of the artist as both messenger and art historian aware of the long history of messengers in art, be it The Virgin Mary, The Lord of the Flies, The Redeeming Angel, or just  language itself  "... lost in a sea of paint."  Works range from sculpture, printmaking and painting through to animated film.

Mark Adair:  “After my father died my mother told me that she wanted an angel for her tombstone. Now angels are not rare in art history so I did my due diligence and tried to figure out what one would look like. Then I found a slab of marble in the ruins of an old insane asylum and chipped and scraped away at it for about a decade on and off until I came up with this piece. The style comes from a Sumerian cylinder seal I saw in The Louvre. Perhaps angels were still around then as the Mesopotamians were closer to the beginning of time.”  

Catherine Daigle:  Between 2001 and her death in 2006, Catherine Daigle did a number of works using insects and stenciled images of flies. The little piece in this show Hissing for Flies was by inspired by Isaiah 7:18 (in the Old Testament), "And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will whistle for the fly". Daigle made works on acetate, plexiglass, and paper that were suggestive of clouds of flies, a phenomenon most us associate with foreboding.

Patrick Jenkins:  In this exhibition Jenkins presents two films along with Giclèe prints of some of the individual paintings created in the making of the movies. Labyrinth is a surrealistic mystery in which a detective encounters strange phenomena and beings from the afterlife. Towers Rising, an animated film loop, was created spontaneously, and in retrospect, Jenkins realizes it was a response to 9/11. Jenkins’ work explores the journey of the spirit through life, the imagination, and in Towers Rising, a desire for gentleness in a post 9/11 world.

Alistair Magee:  The technique employed to make these paintings involves repetitive stenciling of written language used as a system or grid to support more expressive brushwork. Palimpsest is central to the work. In all of his work since 2000, Magee has attempted to unmoor legibly meaningful but formulaic language and pull it back into the realm of abstraction. The stasis of inscription is released to ambiguity in a sea of paint.

Mary Catherine Newcomb:  Assumption of the Virgin 1996. “I have always been interested in the relationship between the spiritual and the corporeal, partly because I was raised to think that there wasn't one and partly because I am a sculptor. This piece plays off the Catholic feast of the Assumption (celebrated August 15th) when the BVM was bodily received into heaven. There is an intellectual debate as to whether she died before the ascension or was vacuumed up just as she was about to die - I can't see that it matters as she was only dead for a bit. Assumption can be an active or passive verb - meaning two different things... the gesture of the legs suggests questions about the relationship between the body and the sacred. The beeswax refers to, and smells like, Catholic church candles of my childhood. Beeswax has also been used to sculpt bodies over the bones of the saints – i.e. flesh out relics. The piece is cast from my own body and the legs are hollow.”

Rochelle Rubinstein:  Over & Above is the newest addition to an ongoing project called Marginalia, which consists of hundreds of printed, painted and carved wood panels. It was originally inspired by the 16th century codices of Mexico. When the Spanish army of Cortez converted the Aztecs to "the true faith" at sword point, it was under a banner bearing an image of the Virgin Mary. In Over and Above, a blond Mary holds her boy, surrounded by archangels and messengers and by the Hebrew phrase, "And his banner over me was love" (Songs of Songs in the Old Testament). It is a riff on The Book of Kells, the 7th to 9th century Irish manuscript codex. Images of woman, boy, angels, stones, babies, and words have been printed and over-printed on the four large wood panels. This repetition leads to variation and invites reflection.

Please join the artists in celebrating the opening reception on Thursday, August 12th from 6-9 pm.