Pio Abad, Rebecca Brewer & Rochelle Goldberg exhibit at Oakville Galleries

Pio Abad
Pio Abad, Rebecca Brewer & Rochelle Goldberg exhibit at Oakville Galleries
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Oakville Galleries is delighted to announce the opening of our spring exhibitions: Splendour: the first public exhibition in Canada by Manila-born, London, UK-based artist Pio Abad; Waves and Waves, an exhibition that emerges from an ongoing dialogue between longtime friends and artists Rebecca Brewer and Rochelle Goldberg.

Pio Abad:

Splendour

Gairloch Gardens

Splendour is the first public exhibition in Canada of the work of London, UK-based artist, Pio Abad. The exhibition features objects and images that draw connections between specific moments of political and economic upheaval, from the fall of Cold War-era dictatorships that erroneously heralded “the end of history” to the economic crises of 2008 that brought us to our current age of political disenchantment.

Pio Abad

Pio Abad, Notes of Decomposition No. 13 (detail), 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

Taking its title from a play by Abi Morgan, which takes place in a drawing room amidst the imminent collapse of an unnamed autocracy, the exhibition imagines Gairloch Gardens as the setting of another scene of political devolution and decay. Among other things, photographs of Nicolae and Elena

Ceausescu’s chintzy interiors, replicas of Margaret Thatcher’s black leather handbag, and drawings of the Lehman Brothers’ collection of Chinese porcelain occupy the rooms of the former house to comprise an inventory of neoliberal fantasy through decorative things.

Splendour continues Abad’s ongoing interest in the role that domestic objects play in these narratives.

Deployed strategically by those in power, they are often the only things left to remain after the inevitable fall from grace—artefacts and auguries of cyclical histories. Drawing on Gairloch Gardens’ status as an architectural copy of HG Wells’ Surrey home, Splendour reflects on the roles of repetition and mistranslation in our understanding of history and asks how we might meaningfully go forward at this moment of worldwide political unease.

Rebecca Brewer & Rochelle Goldberg:

Waves and Waves

Centennial Square

In Waves and Waves, longtime friends and artists Rochelle Goldberg and Rebecca Brewer engage in a dialogue between their respective practices, with their distinct ideas unfolding in a shared space for the first time. The project sees both artists explore our assumptions about ecology and human life. Brewer’s recent textile works recall dream-like perceptions—with a permeability that suggests translation, exchange and the hallucinatory—seen here alongside new paintings that stem from an early childhood memory of being carried out to sea on a wave. Goldberg’s sculptural works evoke material transitions, tactility and the traces that contact leaves on human bodies, landscapes and other living beings.

Evocative of a drowned world, the exhibition engages the sensorial, emotional and perceptual experience of submergence.

Throughout the gallery, Brewer has suspended a series of mesh-like silk and wool textile works. As with Brewer’s other works in the exhibition, these pieces grapple with the relationship between sensation and systems of intelligence—both those stemming from human life and those endemic to plants, animals and the broader biosphere. A pair of new paintings in the show evoke a fragmented world of flora and fauna— frogs, nautilus shells, seaweed—alongside traces of its decline—suggesting an ocean marred by garbage and a diminishing aquatic habitat. These works are accompanied by embossed abstractions on vellum, framed by worn, pearlescent resin that recalls ocean flotsam and glistening algae.

Alongside these works, Goldberg presents For Every Living Carcass, a fleet of human-scaled fish forms, both fleshless and animate. Rendered in ceramic and steel, these ghost-like species upend the relationship between predator and prey, a reminder that current patterns of consumption and declining ocean life presage a precarious future. Corporeality, extinction and the passage of time are also central to Goldberg’s Intralocutors, but through a starkly different lens. Comprised of sculptures that bring together unexpected combinations of materials—from lost-wax bronze casting to luminescent fiber optics—these works reframe the legacy of Mary of Egypt. Considered a sexual deviant according to fourth-century moral law, Mary turned away from the temptations of the carnal and material to pursue a life of scarcity in the desert. In these works, Goldberg posits Mary as a self-liberated and transcendental figure rather than a merely penitent one, one whose body and environment would eventually become one and the same. In reshaping this narrative, Goldberg highlights the ways in which our understanding of life—and how we think about bodily decay, survival and our relationship to the tactile world—is always shifting, tethered to larger forces, both ecological and cultural.

ABOUT PIO ABAD

Pio Abad (b. 1983, Manila; lives and works in London, UK) began his art studies at the University of the Philippines before receiving a BA from Glasgow School of Art and an MA from the Royal Academy Schools, London. He has recently exhibited at

  1. 12th Gwangju Biennale (2018)
  2. Art Basel Hong Kong (2017)
  3. Para Site, Hong Kong (2017)
  4. Kadist, Paris (2017)
  5. Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2016)
  6. 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2016)
  7. EVA International Biennial, Limerick (2016)
  8. e-flux, New York City (2015); Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2015)
  9. Museum of Contemporary Art and Design Manila (2015)
  10. Gasworks, London (2014)
  11. Jorge B. Vargas Museum, Manila (2014)

ABOUT REBECCA BREWER

Rebecca Brewer (b. 1983, Tokyo; lives and works in Vancouver) has had solo exhibitions at:

  1. Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2014, 2016)
  2. Exercise, Vancouver (2012)

Her work has been included in group exhibitions, at institution such as

  1. Vancouver Art Gallery (2016 & 2017)
  2. SFU Galleries (2016)
  3. Marcelle Alix, Paris (2014)
  4. Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff (2013)

Brewer received an MFA from Bard College in 2013, and a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2007. She was the winner of the 2011 RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Brewer is represented by Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver.

ABOUT ROCHELLE GOLDBERG

Rochelle Goldberg (b. 1984, Vancouver; lives and works in New York) has had solo exhibitions at institutions such as:

  1. The Power Station, Dallas (2019);
  2. GAMeC, Bergamo, Italy (2016);
  3. SculptureCenter, Long Island City, USA (2016)

She has also been included in numerous group exhibitions, such as:

  1. Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris (2017);
  2. Whitney Museum, New York (2016);
  3. Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund, Germany (2016);
  4. The Artist’s Institute, New York (2016);
  5. Swiss Institute, New York (2015)

Goldberg holds an MFA from Bard College, and has done residencies at The Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas (2018); Atelier Calder, Saché, France (2017); and Thun Ceramic Residency, Bolzano, Italy (2016). In 2018, she was awarded the Battaglia Foundry’s Sculpture Prize #03, by the Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, Milan (2018). Goldberg is represented by Miguel Abreu, New York, and Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver.

 

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