Visiting Artists Exhibition: Derek Sullivan & Tom Ngo
Each year Open Studio selects four professional artists with or without printmaking experience to create traditional and/or experimental works in the print medium of their choice, working collaboratively with a print media artist. The Visiting Artist Residency, in operation since 1983, is a popular program that receives applications from artists from around the world. In conjunction with the residency, each artist exhibits the work produced during their period in the Studio, and gives an artist talk. These exhibitions are the result of this intensive work period.
After receiving his Master’s of Architecture at Carleton University, Tom Ngo began to explore architectural representation in the field of art. Tom has since been working as a mixed media artist and is currently represented by LE Gallery in the city of Toronto. Concurrently, Tom produces designs and concepts for the esteemed office of Moriyama & Teshima. Keeping current with architectural practice helps inform the art that Tom creates — melding it with his work to shape a critical outlook on contemporary art and architecture. Ngo’s work employs absurdity and nonsense as a means of questioning the logic of building design. His print series Refractions, created during his Visiting Artist Residency at Open Studio, adds another variable to Ngo’s exploration of structures by examining the effect of screenprinting on the design of his absurd constructions. Each piece was generated by printing fragments of floor plans onto a sheet of paper and then extrapolating the plans into buildings. These buildings were then printed onto stills and went through another stage of splicing, collage and multiple-timed exposures to create new arrangements. The arrangements were edited and redrawn to create the final constructions. The resulting works stand as absurd buildings seen through the lens of the screenprinting process. A text by Chloe Town accompanies the exhibition.
Derek Sullivan is a Toronto-based artist. Recent solo exhibitions include Albatross Omnibus at The Power Plant, Toronto and Young Americans at KIOSK in Ghent, Belgium (both 2011), and his work is included in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. His collaboration with Gareth Long, The Illustrated Dictionary of Received Ideas, has been performed at numerous venues including PS.1, Queens, NY; Art Metropole, Toronto; Artexte, Montréal; and Wiels, Brussels. Sullivan was recently short-listed for the 2012 Sobey Art Award. During his Visiting Artist Residency at Open Studio, Derek Sullivan produced Surplus Portfolio 2012, a suite of seven relief prints printed on Japanese Kozuke paper using two woodblocks carved into variously shaped parallelograms. Each edition within the suite mimics the open spread in a book, with paired parallelograms as abstract book pages. Each print shares one block from the previous edition, so looking through the suite evokes the act of turning pages in a book. The prints can be read as pages or fragments from an artist’s book; as Sullivan writes in his artist’s statement, the most obvious way to read a book is front-to-back, and blank books are endlessly written. A text by Jen Hutton accompanies the exhibition.