Love Art In Calgary: Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art

I’ve got to say, leaving cSPACE and entering into Newzones created a huge contrast for me!  It goes to show what a variety of opportunities we have in the Calgary art scene. Director, Tamar Zenith, gave us a quick introduction to the work and an entry point into the current exhibit of Franco DeFrancesca’s works.

The tour group members (quickly becoming friends), wandered independently, reacting to the works, the light and residual thinking around cSPACE.  I liked how the DeFrancesca works reflected the environment and also how the clean surfaces of the space reflected the works.  I think this is what I tried to capture in these few photographs.

P1120898 P1120899 P1120900 P1120903 P1120904 P1120907P1120915Most appealing to me in this space, though, were the works created by artist Sophie Jodoin…an intimate exhibit titled Open Letters.  Lovely, while at the same time, somewhat unnerving the perfectly executed drawings (conte on mylar and in altered proportion), immediately stirred up recollections of correspondence…exchanges of words…nostalgia…mystery…boundaries…human interactions and connection.  I walked away saying, “I still write Christmas cards,” as though the art somehow communicated that that was important.  An interesting bit of writing about Sophie can be found here.

She includes these thoughts on drawing…to begin, in reference to an exhibit in Vancouver titled, Small Dramas & Little Nothings.

“I see them as chambers of our lives. You wander through it and each body of work makes you question how you live your own life and the kinds of struggles you might be going through,” she said.

Jodoin is referring to close your eyes, an exhibition from an artist dedicated to the medium of drawing and known to explore themes rich with emotion. Four years of artwork is included in the show, including a video and three bodies of work comprising mostly drawings and collages: Small Dramas & Little Nothings, a series of 90 small drawings; Charred, five larger works; and Vigils, four large unframed drawings.

For Jodoin, drawing is more of an attitude than a medium.

“I see them all as drawing,” she said in a telephone interview from Montreal. “It’s undefined for me by the medium, or even the fact that it’s monochrome. It’s really the way I do art.”

Jodoin earned her fine arts degree from Concordia University nearly 25 years ago, and since 2003, her drawings have been exclusively in black and white, on paper and mylar, usually completed over the course of one day.

“Drawing—if you don’t do very large scale obsessive drawings—allows you this kind of immediacy,” she said. “I work very quickly, and I usually build bodies of work, series. I relate to them as diaries and notations.”

P1120910 P1120909 P1120908Thank you to Newzones and to Wendy Lees of Love Art In Calgary.

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