“Nature in Culture” at the Art Gallery of Peterborough
There is a common thread running through the work currently on display at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.
While the ramp area of the gallery features tree-themed works from the permanent collection, the main gallery space takes nature to new extremes with the “Nature in Culture” exhibition by Melissa Doherty and Sarah Maloney.
Large, hyperrealistic oil-on-canvas works of foliage dominate the large open space. Artist Melissa Doherty goes well beyond what a camera might achieve, and treats the leaves and needles of various specimens with subtle brushstrokes and infinite detail.
Stand close to these pieces and they seem to envelope you. Each piece is isolated, leaving plenty of breathing room between works. You’ll want to stand close and far away, to take these works in from various perspectives.
Juxtaposed with Doherty’s realistic and natural works are various furniture pieces that artist Sarah Maloney has amended with floral sculpture. She has taken pristine antique chairs and furniture and added bronze floral figures in bold, non-traditional places. Beautifully detailed lillies stand tall amongst chair rails, peaking from table surfaces or from behind upholstered seats. What a delight! Placed throughout the main gallery space, these orderly arrangements demand to be investigated.
From the entranceway and up the ramp are tree-themed images, including a lovely and glowing work by Marilyn Gosselin, the work of Maishel Teitelbaum, and others. I love it when various works get pulled from the vault for a spell, as this rewards those who visit regularly.
The “Nature in Culture” exhibition runs at the Art Gallery of Peterborough (250 Crescent St., Peterborough) until June 2.
Jim Verburg at Artspace
There is something quietly transformative going on at Artspace. The works presented here by Toronto artist Jim Verburg are geometric, stark, subtle in detail, and highly contrasting from piece to piece.
Some are placed to be taken in individually. Others are in obvious groupings, co-joining across the space and forming an aura of disquieting calm.
There are oblique environmental textures, framed and turned on their side. Large paper photocopies, obviously folded and then flattened again, appear worn and fragile in mostly neutral tones. Warm reds and flat blacks — book-ended with cream whites, faded newsprint greys, and dull whites — imbue the show with a faded post-industrial-age glow.
“Untitled Installation (Weights and Measures)” by Jim Verburg is on display at Artspace (378 Aylmer St. N., Peterborough) until April 27.
“MadMen on the Otonabee” at Artspace
It gets even more exciting at Artspace with a second installation that opened on March 28th for one week.
“MadMen on the Otonabee” explores and celebrates the legacy of Ron Thom’s interior design work at Trent University. Curated by Richard Love, the exhibition brings some of the chairs, tables, and furniture — which have been a fixture at Trent since the university opened — into the Artspace space.
Nestled among Verburg’s work, these classic mid-century furniture pieces blend well and prove to be a match made in art-heaven.
Be quick though, the Thom work is only installed at Artspace (378 Aylmer St. N., Peterborough) until April 6.
All photos by Jeff Macklin.