Glimmers of the Radiant Real
Glimmers of the Radiant Real is a curatorial collaboration between Ruth Jones and Sam Mogelonsky. It is an exhibition featuring Canadian artists for whom surface is an integral element of the work. The works glimmer, sparkle and shine, revealing far more than just their surface value.
Artists: Katie Bethune-Leamen, Broadbent Sisters, Daniel Griffin Hunt, Sanaz Mazinani, Sandy Plotnikoff, Mary Pratt, Cole Swanson, Catherine Telford-Keogh, Xiaojing Yan
Exhibition Tour and Dates:
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa: May 12 – September 9, 2018
Art Gallery of Peterborough: October 13, 2018 – January 6, 2019
McIntosh Gallery, London: January 17 – March 16, 2019
Learn more abut the exhibition at glimmersoftheradiantreal.ca
What happens when surfaces glitter, gleam, sparkle, and shine? In Glimmers of the Radiant Real, radiance, that quality of projected light we associate so often with the marvelous and the modern, is subverted by the relationship between the quality of a surface and what it covers, reflects, or contains. Surface is the point of contact for the body, it’s skin and texture and touch. The glistening, shining surfaces of works by Katie Bethune-Leaman, the Broadbent Sisters, Daniel Griffin Hunt, Sanaz Mazinani, Sandy Plotnikoff, Mary Pratt, Cole Swanson, Catherine Telford-Keogh, and Xiaojing Yan manipulate the viewer’s perception of dimension through reflections and refractions, thereby un-forming the object and making the familiar strange.
The artists and works featured in the exhibition use a variety of materials to generate these surface effects, from glass to gold, foil, plastic, and pearls. Each material has its own qualities of shine and reflection, and each combination of qualities reacts with a work’s source and subject to yield a different effect: gilded insect wings sketch a house’s morbid geography, material treatments upend expectations of form and colour, and dollar-store detritus, sunk in resin, seems to glow behind glass. For the viewer, the result is a combination of material familiarity and perceptual distortion.
In video, sculpture, painting, drawing, and installation, these works invite us to transform as they do, through interactions with surfaces that dazzle, using light to obscure or fracture the images and clarity we expect. They answer a craving for radiance, a desire to be like them, shining and seemingly limitless. They offer the promise of the object made new, but even if they speak in the same material language of the glittering and the precious, the modern, and the transcendent, they speak its opposite, too, a language of obscurity and disappearance, complicating the shining and ideal. They layer the surface substances that gloss the world we know, offering glimmers of a radiant reality where light becomes, not truth illuminated, but something else.
Exhibition documentation photographs at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery courtesy of Toni Hafkensheid.