Sadko Hadzihasanovic and Libby Hague
Over the Horizon
Please note that exhibition viewings are paused until Toronto enters the red zone.
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As part of Open Studio’s 50th-anniversary programming in 2020 we put forward a call to our artist membership for print projects that pushed the possibilities of size in printmaking. The result is a duo exhibition, Over the Horizon, featuring artwork by Sadko Hadžihasanović and Libby Hague, which brings together two different approaches to large-scale printmaking, and explores themes of violence and peace, storytelling and collectivity.
Sadko Hadžihasanović’s work juxtaposes his experience of growing up in Bosnia with observations of childhood in North America. This installation places his painting and printmaking practices in direct conversation by showing his oil painting and monotype print Night Watch side-by-side, inviting a study of the immediacy and unpredictability of large-scale monotype printing in contrast with his more controlled approach to figurative painting. Hadžihasanović’s recent ‘kids with guns’ series explores the disturbing prevalence of toy weaponry as part of child’s play, and the imagery in Night Watch depicts a group of boys at a hunting club in former Yugoslavia. The lack of background leaves a sense of place deliberately ambiguous, as is the nature of the image itself, depicting a communal leisure activity but with dark and violent overtones that are emphasized by the artwork title, which echoes Rembrandt’s famous military portrait.
Libby Hague’s immersive print installation Simple Gifts is built from a multitude of woodblock-printed materials. Over many years, Hague has accumulated a library of prints and blocks – a language of characters, words, and suggestions of landscape – that can be reinterpreted in different contexts and combined with new elements for each site-specific artwork. Responding to current events including the European migration crisis and the pandemic, and told through a spare use of characters and scenery rendered with great energy in the woodcut medium, Hague creates a heady and enveloping narrative that journeys from industrial darkness to scenes of utopian collaboration.
Sadko Hadžihasanović studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, Bosnia, earned his MFA at the University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia and arrived in Canada in 1993. Since his arrival from Bosnia, Hadžihasanović has participated in over sixty exhibitions in public galleries and artist-run centers across Canada. He continues to explore identity, and its cultural and social implications, with an extensive portraiture-based body of work using mixed media and collage, and an array of references to popular culture. Hadžihasanović is the recipient of visual arts grants from Toronto Art Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. For more information, visit Hadžihasanović’s website here.
Libby Hague‘s artistic practice examines the humane and complex social relationships in our precarious and interconnected world. Her curiosity and love of invention have led her to utilize a hybrid approach that combines the printmaking medium with installation. Her principal recent exhibitions include: Every Heart can Grow Bigger: make room, O.D.D. Gallery, KIAC, Dawson City, Yukon, 2020; Karachi Biennale, On this Wondrous Sea, 2019 Pakistan, curated by Muhammad Zeeshan and Asma Mahmoud; Every Heart can Grow Bigger, Gallery Stratford, curated by Angela, Brayham, 2019; Wider than the sky, Loop Gallery, Toronto, 2018; Habitat, in 4 person exhibit Fabrications, Kelowna Art Gallery, 2017 curated by Liz Wylie (originally curated by Pat Macaulay for Harbourfront , Toronto); The past is never over: A Libby Hague Retrospective, Art Gallery of Mississauga, curated by Kendra Ainsworth, Nov., 2017. Libby Hague, RCA, visit Hague’s website here.