Psychotically Nice, Ben Woodeson

Psychotically Nice, Ben Woodeson

ARTIST TALK: BEN Woodeson, uOttawa 2018 Artist-in-Residence (AIR)

Thursday, November 29th, 2018, 7:00pm
Ottawa Art Gallery Studio

50 Mackenzie King Bridge, Ottawa

This uOttawa/OAG pilot AIR Program will see Ben Woodeson take up residence within the Department of Visual Arts for 2 weeks beginning November 20th, 2018.  He will be exploring 3-dimensional and technological creative art-making resources the department offers and lead students in various workshops and interactions.

Ben Woodeson is, at heart, concerned with traditionally modernist sculptural ideas, exploring and highlighting the physical properties of the materials that he works with. But Woodeson takes modernism’s ‘truth to materials’ maxim to a logical extreme by making the viewer aware not only of the materiality of the sculptural objects but also of the viewer’s very own physical properties: the softness of our flesh is never more apparent than when threatened by the edge of a tensioned sheet of unframed glass; the openness of our nervous system when in proximity to an electric charge; the skull beneath the skin when confronted by a rapidly swinging cobblestone. If a trend in recent art has been to view the artwork as an interaction not between viewer and object but rather between multiple participants – relational aesthetics’ intersubjective understanding of art – Woodeson’s work might instead be described as intrasubjective; making the viewer acutely aware of their own corporeality as the work forces them to rely on their own sense of proprioception. To achieve this, Woodson utilises a – sometimes literal – high-wire act, walking that narrow line that defines the limit of his materials, stressing them with potential energy until the weakest link in a molecular chain gives up and the sculpture’s sense of self is ruptured.

Recent projects include Between One Thing and Another a solo exhibition at William Bennington Gallery in London. CuratingSolid Gone, an exhibition for The Sordoni Gallery, Wilkes-Barre, PA of precarious work by forty-three international artists whose work uses or involves cast iron. He has also recently presented work in the following group shows: New Relics, Thameside Gallery, London and In the Belly of the Beast at Stephen Smith Fine Art in Fairfield, Alabama.
This talk is free and open to all.

Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven,  God , ca. 1917, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, God, ca. 1917, Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Wednesday November 20th from 12pm to 1pm
Department of Visual Arts,
100 Laurier Ave. East, room 114

Support: An Art Historical Fan Fiction 

This talk will rethink some of the classic texts of art history to write a speculative fiction of The Fountain, usually credited to Marcel Duchamp but sometimes to the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.  In analyzing The Fountain against the grain, as a medium-specific modernist sculpture as opposed to as a readymade or a work of proto-conceptual art, this talk will expound on the multiple meanings of the term “support” and what they mean for contemporary artistic practice—support in the formal sense of a sculpture’s base, pedestal, mount, or exhibition space; in the practical sense of funding and other forms of sustenance to an artist’s ability to live and create, house, and sell work; and in the feminist sense of historically uncompensated domestic labour, usually performed by women in “support” of a household.  Art historical texts discussed include “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” by Linda Nochlin, “Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity” by Griselda Pollock, and “Sculpture in the Expanded Field” by Rosalind Krauss.  Also discussed will be the practice of several young Canadian woman artists who create non-monument-scale and non-site-specific indoor sculpture under the conditions of a high-density art world. 

Godfre Leung is curator at Centre A: The Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.  He is also a visiting scholar in the Department of Art History, Visual Art + Theory at the University of British Columbia and has previously held teaching positions at the Eastman School of Music, Ontario College of Art and Design, and St. Cloud State University, where he was an associate professor of art history.  His programming work includes Pausa: Barbara Held and Benton C Bainbridge at Kiehle Gallery and International Pop at the Walker Art Center, which traveled to the Dallas Art Museum and Philadelphia Museum of Art.  His criticism has recently appeared in Art in America, Canadian Art, and Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, among other magazines. He has also written for publications by institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, and most recently the exhibition catalogue Tuan Andrew Nguyen: Empty Forest, published by The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Ho Chi Minh City.  In 2017, he was awarded a Minnesota Emerging Writers Award from the Jerome Foundation and a Visual Arts Fund Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for his art writing practice. 



Jinny Yu, Professor of Painting, Artist Talk & Exhibition, at Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University

Artist Talk: November 29th 2018, 6:30-8:30pm
Exhibition Dates: August 25 - December 2, 2018
Venue Address: Queen's University, 36 University Avenue, Kingston, Ontario

Jinny Yu will discuss her painting and sound installation Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating? currently on view in The hold, drawing upon her personal responses to recent refugee crises and contextualizing these within her work as a painter with an international exhibition practice. Presented in collaboration with the Queen’s University BFA (Visual Art) Program.


Image: Liz Magor, Pearl Pet, 2015, polymerized gypsum and plastic, 27 × 29 × 26 cm. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

ARTIST TALK: LIZ MAGOR, Stonecroft Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture Series

Thursday, November 8, 2018, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Auditorium, National Gallery of Canada

The Department of Visual Arts of the University of Ottawa, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada, is proud to present artist Liz Magor for the fourth annual Stonecroft Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture Series.

Liz Magor will present an artist-talk, followed by one-on-one conversation with the Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Josée Drouin-Brisebois, and a question period for the public.

In English. Simultaneous French interpretation is available, if a request is made to before November 1, 2018. 

Free admission. Seats in the Auditorium will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Venue is wheelchair accessible.

Liz Magor is a Vancouver-based artist who studied at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Parsons School of Design, New York; and the Vancouver School of Art.  Since the early 1970s, Magor has produced sculptural and photographic works concerned with the latent, affective range of familiar materials, images and objects. Her work has been exhibited in major international exhibitions such as Documenta VIII, Kassel; the 41st Venice Biennale; and the 4th Biennale of Sydney. Liz Magor received the Governor General’s Award in 2001, the Audain Prize in 2009, and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize in 2014.  In 2017/18 she was a guest of the DAAD Kunstler in Berlin Program. More recently she has had solo exhibitions at Le Credac, Ivry-sur Seine, France; Peephole, Milan, Italy; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; and the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 2016 the Musee d’Art Contemporain de Montreal mounted a 40 year retrospective which travelled through 2017; first to the Migros fur Gegenwartskunst , Zurich; then on to the Kunstverein in Hamburg; and the MAMAC in Nice. The exhibition was accompanied by a publication from JRP/ Ringier, Zurich. In 2019, Magor will open an exhibition of new work at Carpenter Center for Visual Art, Cambridge, Mass. The exhibition will travel to the Renaissance Society in Chicago accompanied by a publication. 


Jennifer Macklem, Professor of Sculpture, They were still there the last time, Exhibition at Galerie Eric Devlin, Montréal

October 13 octobre – 10 Nov, 2018     
Vernissage – 13 Oct, 14h – 17h
550 Rue Beaumont,
(coin de Querbes)

They were still there last time

Is vulnerability resistance or weakness?

Creatures in their shrinking, drying moistness - they are signaling their calling, vocalizing utterances for human ears to receive.

Absence - potential, inferred, actual - can be a hollowing out. Not only are they absent from the green or white or wet spaces of their surrounds, they are gone from inside of us, in that hole inside the chest. Those spaces – shot through with glimmering light, reflections doubling over into darkness – what remains?  They were, not long ago, thriving and alert. It's not just memory and the way it fades, it is the sore and raw hollowing out of loss.

Back in the urban world, too much alcohol, materialism and tech-addled attention deficits fray the spirit, layering it with resentment. It treads a weary stomp-circle of blame. We think we are smart and know what is going on. The silver snout of that furry mammal sending electrical impulses to her brain, while her eyes flash and the body vanishes. Translucent wings at the threshold of disappearance, from a multitude to a few to none.

Viewers, the mechanisms of display, reception, discursive dissemination, the production of knowledge, the striations of networking, exclusion: the art world. My human eyes glaze over at the total colonization of wildness via these knowledge systems; a maze of human intrigue, mirrors on all sides.


Image: Patricia Reed, Incommensurate States (2016), Video Still


Wednesday October 10th from 12pm to 1pm
Department of Visual Arts,
100 Laurier Ave. East, room 114

This artist talk will look at the relationship between theory and practice, writing and making as distinct, but mutually contaminating activities. Particular attention will be put on concepts and works concerning post-Westphalianism, an idea that addresses the transformation of human organizing structures in a moment of heightened planetary complexity and interdependency.

Patricia Reed is an artist, writer and designer based in Berlin. As an artist, selected exhibitions include: The One and The Many, CUAG, Ottawa; The Museum of Capitalism, Oakland;Homeworks 7, Beirut; Witte de With, Rotterdam; HKW, Berlin; and Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart. Recent writings have been published in Para-Platforms (Sternberg, forthcoming); Post-Meme (Punctum Books, forthcoming); e-flux ArchitectureXeno-Architecture (Sternberg Press, forthcoming); _AH JournalCold War Cold World (Urbanomic); andDistributed (Open Editions). With Victoria Ivanova, she co-curated the 1948 Unbound: Tokens session with the House of World Cultures team, Berlin (2017), and was a theory researcher for Public Art Munich 2018. Reed is also part of the Laboria Cuboniks (techno-material feminist) working group who published the Xenofeminist Manifesto (2015), reissued by Verso books in autumn 2018.

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MFA thesis exhibition: Sam Loewen, Reliqueery, at AXENÉ07

August 23 août – 8 Sept, 2018     
Vernissage – August 22 août, 19h – 22h
80 Rue Hanson, Gatineau

Broadening the definitions of interdisciplinary artistic practice contextualized in Queer representations, Sam finds a presence through absence.

John Ancheta

John Ancheta


78 Rue Hanson, Gatineau, QC
Finissage: August 10th, 5:30-7:30pm
August 6-10, 2018

John Ancheta’s thesis exhibition .WAV, explores media spectacles of nuclear proliferation in a burgeoning post-factual America. Ancheta’s multi-channel video installation is a dystopic, near-future vision that foregrounds the optics that are currently being used to normalize fear, polarization, and military force.  


MFA Thesis exhibition: Pierre Richardson, What's Big and Small at the Same Time?, Karsh-Masson Gallery

Karsh-Masson Gallery
110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa
August 16 - Sept 24
Vernissage: August 30, 5:30 - 7:30PM

A large scale evolutionary improvisational installation that explores narrative, trauma, and mental health. Using various media to create an overwhelming space, where the viewer can explore and find linkages between the juxtaposition of gallows humour, photography, paintings, doodles, and video.

Sharon VanStarkenburg,  Aim , oil on canvas, 36"x48"

Sharon VanStarkenburg, Aim, oil on canvas, 36"x48"

MFA THESIS EXHIBITION: SHARON VANSTARKENBURG, Parables of the Daughters, Enriched Bread Artist Studios

August 10-21
vernissage August 10, 7pm-10pm
Enriched Bread Gallery, 951 Gladstone Ave

A richly narrative body of work that combines fairy tales, Bible stories and deeply personal imagery, Parables of the Daughters explores embodiment and subjectivity by problematizing normative femininity with a sympathetic Sister Gaze. The work weaves together various, and often disparate, emotional registers and imagery resulting in the uncanny sensation of the familiar tinged with the abject.


Jessica Bell, MFA '15, group exhibition at Axenéo7, June 6, gatineau, QC

Jessica Bell et Robert Taite
Adding Softly, Hardly Subtracting

June 6 — July 7, 2018
Wednesday, June 6 from 7PM to 11PM
Opening reception
Free admission / Free parking / Cash bar

L’exposition Adding Softly, Hardly Subtracting résulte de la jonction des propositions respectives de Jessica Bell (Vancouver) et de Robert Taite (Winnipeg) alors que celles-ci fondent un ensemble par des associations formelles, matérielles et conceptuelles. En effet, les installations de Bell et Taite émanent de décisions communes : elles interfèrent, elles s’imbriquent par des interventions d’additions et de soustractions de matière comme de peinture.

D’une part, Jessica Bell présente, à même le sol, une immense courtepointe entièrement fabriquée à la main. Laborieuse et fastidieuse tout à la fois, elle est constituée de plus de 40 pièces de tissus de mousseline méticuleusement teintes et peintes, une à une, au domicile de l’artiste. En altérant la technique traditionnelle — artisanale — du « Drunkard’s Path », au moyen de la répétition, Bell construit, déconstruit et reconstruit chacune des formes en une pléthore de surfaces picturales qui deviennent parfois même sculpturales. Les formes des pièces convergent en des motifs abstraits voués à la manipulation et à la transformation alors que celles-ci ne sont que temporairement assemblées, le moment de l’exposition. En effet, en prévision d’éventuelles itérations, la courtepointe reste formellement et matériellement tangible : maniable, flexible et de surcroit fragile.

D’autre part, Robert Taite propose une série de combinaisons modulaires qui sont spécifiquement configurées pour l’architecture — la structure — de la galerie et qui portent une attention particulière à l’installation de Bell. Au total, 409 pièces rectangulaires taillées dans du peuplier sont enveloppées dans de la toile et peintes de teintes variées. Les prismes se retrouvent transposés dans l’espace d’AXENÉO7, ensuite disposés tant stratégiquement qu’intuitivement afin de délimiter des espaces négatifs en détournant ou en entourant des éléments architecturaux. Inspiré de l’abstraction du 20e siècle, notamment entre le support et la surface, il prime un geste primitif pour s’affranchir du support traditionnel et pour dévier ou décliner la surface usuelle — matérielle — en divers volumes. En ce sens, seule la composante essentielle reste : la peinture.


Jessica Bell & Robert Taite
Adding Softly, Hardly Subtracting

The exhibition Adding Softly, Hardly Subtracting is the result of the juxtaposition of two respective proposals by Jessica Bell (Vancouver) and Robert Taite (Winnipeg) as they form a collection through formal, material and conceptual associations. Indeed, Bell and Taite’s installations emanate from common decisions: interfering with one another and interwoven by additions and subtractions of matter and painting.

On the one hand, Jessica Bell presents, on the floor, an enormous quilt made entirely by hand. Laborious and careful at the same time, it consists of 40 patchworks of muslin fabric meticulously dyed and painted, one by one, at the artist's home. Using a traditional quilt design — Drunkard’s Path — and through means of repetition, Bell constructs, deconstructs and reconstructs her painting gestures into a plethora of pictorial surfaces that behave like sculpture. The distinct forms of each piece converge into abstract patterns subjected to manipulation and transformation and are only temporarily assembled for the moment of the exhibition. In anticipation of possible iterations, the quilt remains formally and physically tangible: manageable, flexible and moreover fragile.

On the other hand, Robert Taite proposes a series of modular combinations that are specifically configured for the architecture — the structure — of the gallery and which pay particular attention to Bell’s installation. A total of 409 rectangular pieces cut from poplar have been wrapped in canvas and painted in several colors of found mistinted latex house paint. The prisms are transposed into the space of AXENÉO7, then arranged both strategically and intuitively to delimit negative spaces by diverting or surrounding architectural elements. Inspired by the abstraction of the 20th century, especially between the support and the surface, it takes a primitive gesture to overcome the traditional support and to deviate or decline the usual surface — material — in various volumes. In this sense, only the essential component remains: painting.


Jessica Bell (Vancouver) received an MFA in 2015 from the University of Ottawa. She has twice been a finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition (2013, 2015) and received a residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (North Adams) in 2016. Her recent solo exhibitions are Jessica Bell, curated by Tobin Gibson at Unit 17 (Vancouver), Fits and Starts (Ottawa) and All Things Being Equal (Ottawa). Adding Softly, Hardly Subtracting at AXENÉO7 (Gatineau) is Jessica Bell’s first exhibition with artist Robert Taite. 



Catherine Richards, professor, performance of Shroud/Chrysallis, OAG, Ottawa, On

Performance: Shroud/Chrysalis I
Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, July 7, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

This free participatory performance is available every Saturday from May 26 to July 14, from 1 PM to 4 PM.

Location: Stonecroft Project Space.

Shroud/Chrysalis I explores our immersion in electromagnetic fields, the stuff of new technologies and ourselves. To participate, you are invited to be wrapped in copper taffeta, an electro-magnetic fabric that will shield and disengage you from cell phones, radio, television and other signals. For most of us it is the first time we have been truly disconnected. 

Catherine Richards’ visual and media work points to the after-effects of technology. She has received several awards, including the Canada Council for the Arts’ Media Arts Prize. She is featured in key publications such as Art & Science Now, and discussed by significant theorists including Dyson, Hayes, and Tuer. Richards has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at ZKM Germany and the Biennale of Sydney.

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Cara Tierney, MFA '12, Fin Xuan BFA '20, performance work at the OAG re-opening, Ottawa 

APRIL 27 & 28
50 Mackenzie King Bridge, Ottawa

For the OAG's opening weekend, artist, educator and activist Cara Tierney performed in collaboration with Fin Xuan, artist, activist and BFA student, a work on gender interrogation implicit in symbols and systems within institutions. Tierney was instrumental in the OAG's new policy on gender-neutral facilities, while Xuan petitioned and was successful in making these changes to the University of Ottawa Visual Arts Department.

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Jennifer Anne Norman, MFA '11, Solo Exhibition, forest for the trees, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa

April 26 to July 4, 2018
Vernissage: Thursday, April 26, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Artist talk: Sunday, May 6, 2:00 pm

Catalogue excerpt

Jennifer Anne Norman’s graphite and mixed-media drawings depict the assemblages she creates by repurposing post-consumer waste to repair and redress fragile tree branches. Norman carefully wraps the knotted limbs of broken branches with pieces of local debris, a tender gesture that invites us to consider our responsibility towards the natural world.

-Isabelle Lynch


Jinny Yu, Professor of painting, exhibition that the problem is not a problem for me is part of the problem, Art Mûr, Berlin

Gillian King,  Ghosts of the Schrebergärten , 2017, Cold Wax Medium, Oil, Raw Pigments, Various Plant Materials (including Acorns, Sumac Berries, Oak Leaves, Onion Skins, Tansy Flower, Madder Root, and Wildflowers) on Canvas, 8x4ft

Gillian King, Ghosts of the Schrebergärten, 2017, Cold Wax Medium, Oil, Raw Pigments, Various Plant Materials (including Acorns, Sumac Berries, Oak Leaves, Onion Skins, Tansy Flower, Madder Root, and Wildflowers) on Canvas, 8x4ft

Gillian King, MFA '16, solo exhibition, Ghosts at PDA Projects, April 13th

Opening Vernissage: Friday, April 13th 2018, 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Exhibition Dates: April 13 – April 28th, 2018
Venue Address: 5 Fairmont Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 1X4 Host Venue: General Assembly

Ghosts are traces of the past seen in present forms. They exist between decay and renewal.

The forthcoming exhibition, ‘Ghosts’, is a new series of paintings made with extracted pigments from decaying plants and flowers. King continues to work with materials like beeswax and earth sediments, and has now incorporated plant pigments that are extracted through steam dyeing methods. ‘Ghosts’ is an invitation to consider the topography of painted surfaces and our relationship to landscapes today.

These traces of pigmentation are not the only ghosts in Gillian King’s work. The paintings are evidence of her body moving through time. Beginning outdoors, she gathers raw materials; earth sediments, plants, and flowers. In the studio, she uses her hands to work with the materials in order to gain an intimate understanding of them and her function within local ecosystems.

Meaning becoming-with, sympoiesis is a central idea in ‘Ghosts’. Donna Haraway elaborates on the concept of sympoiesis in Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Sympoiesis challenges the human-centric framing of the Anthropocene; a new destructive environmental period thought to be caused by human impact on the natural environment. Haraway’s alternative interpretation is the Chthulucene. Derived from the greek word chthon, meaning “earth”, Chthulucene considers all things that dwell in or under the earth. The focus is on how everything is codependent- Bacteria, plants, flowers, beeswax, King and her canvases are connected. Like Haraway, King is interested in deviating from the idea that our relationships to the environment is without hope. Rather, Gillian King’s gestures are traces that consider sympoiesis, or how to make-with nature’s ecosystems.

Sam Loewen in his workspace

Sam Loewen in his workspace


The University of Ottawa Visual Arts Department has spaces dedicated for MFA use. The renovated private studios inside the 205 wing are where Graduate students settle in during their first year in the program. Each studio is private with a shared ceiling for full ventilation of the entire space. The wing, only accessible by security code, includes a communal sink, mini-fridge and lounge. In Second Year students move into other, more private, areas of the building as they begin to make their thesis works.

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with Sara Rooney, Studio Professor.
Galerie R3, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
3351, boul. des Forges, Trois-Rivières (QC) G9A 5H7
8 – 27 mars 2018
Vernissage : mardi 13 mars, 17h
Conférence : mardi le 13 mars, 15h30
Heures d'ouvertures : du lundi au vendredi, de 10h à 17h

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Emma Carney,  Thirsty Business , Oil on Canvas, 60x72", 2018

Emma Carney, Thirsty Business, Oil on Canvas, 60x72", 2018

Emma Carney, First Year MFA Candidate, and Heidi Conrod, MFA '16, Group Exhibition, FOUNTAIN OF DESIRE, Sussex Contemporary

Opening Friday March 2nd
The Sussex Contemporary
531 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario