George Gilmour Members’ Gallery
Alexander Froese: A Motel for Words & Ideas – Don Phillips Scholarship Exhibition
Each year, Open Studio awards three scholarship/fellowship residencies to artists of merit, as chosen through an annual juried selection process. The Don Phillips Scholarship is awarded to a graduating student who has just completed an undergraduate art program with a printmaking major at an accredited Canadian institution and who will not be returning to full-time studies. To learn more about our Scholarship/Fellowship program, please click “Scholarships” in the menu to the left.
Open Studio thanks the Donald O’Born Family for their kind support of the 2011-12 Scholarship/Fellowship Program.
In A Motel for Words & Ideas, Froese engages in the aesthetics of mid-twentieth century commercial design through the practice of printmaking, inhabiting the form of common products and advertisements to serve as a meeting point between the text and the visual. By inhabiting recognizable commercial forms Froese is able to express new words for old desires. It is immediate yet nostalgic, sentimental yet fleeting. The dated structures become relevant and contemporary vehicles through the engagement of encompassing and enduring issues. Taking from the artist’s own understanding of the meaning of pain and joy the work is filtered through the language of text and image, providing a space in which viewers can commiserate, laugh and find hope. There exists an inherent beauty and consolation in the collective human desires for stability, authenticity and reason in the navigation of an individual existential understanding. Immediately familiar yet sensitive in their subjectivity, expressions of hope and desire can find a unique access point through the implementation of commercial imagery. By embodying a highly personal sentiment in a familiar object the message becomes at once accessible and anonymous.
A native of Winnipeg, MB, Alexander Froese (Don Phillips Scholarship) recently completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Printmaking at OCAD University. While at OCADU he participated in exhibitions, art fairs and print anthologies in Toronto and abroad. Froese’s practice straddles the commercial and fine art histories of letterpress and screenprinting, examining the relationship between text and image, and text as image. Engaging in the themes of alienation, angst and urban ennui, his work marries these concepts through a distinct graphic style and use of the comedic punch line.