Visiting Artists Exhibition: Sasha Pierce and Jim Verburg
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 by Sasha Pierce and Jim Verburg are the result of this intensive work period. Click below to download the accompanying brochure, with essays by Kelly Jazvac and Alex Bowron.
Starry Night created during Sasha Pierce’s Visiting Artist residency begins with an investigation of tessellation—the process of creating a two-dimensional plane using the repetition of a geometric shape with no overlaps and no gaps. Tessellations and substitute tilling is the foundation on which Pierce explores the complex relationship between repeating geometry and vanishing points.
To create this work, Pierce created and manipulated tessellations using Adobe Illustrator, which are then screenprinted on Kurotani #52, a thin, handmade Japanese Kozo paper. Once printed, the shapes are cut and meticulously faceted together using archival tissue mending tape into a dense spatial configuration. Geometric diagrams are translated into optically disorienting, kaleidoscopic compositions that imply three-dimensionality. Pierce’s collages experiment with the concepts of colour, composition and texture, evoking the impression of textiles. Unlike the mass production of garment and textile factories, Pierce’s work emulates the loving toil and meticulous technique of a couturiére. Her work can also be considered a continuation and extrapolation of the canon of female abstract artists, including Agnes Martin, Bridget Riley, Nasreen Mohamedi and Tomma Abts.
Sasha Pierce received an MFA from the University of Waterloo, an Honours BA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph and currently lives and works in Toronto. Recent exhibitions include Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina (2014); Jessica Bradley Gallery, Toronto (2013); Mercer Union, Toronto (2013); The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto (2012). In 2009 Pierce was awarded honourable mention in the Eleventh Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Pierce is this year’s recipient of the Laura Ciruls Painting Award administered by the Ontario Arts Foundation. Her work has been reviewed in Canadian Art, Border Crossings, The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star. Sasha Pierce is represented by Jessica Bradley Gallery, Toronto.
what is missing / what is seen
the extent of what’s already there
The series Jim Verburg created during his Visiting Artist residency, explores the quiet, spiritual, and intangible undercurrents that exist in everyday life, working with minimal or abstract shapes and images to create an emotional topography revealing the intricate layers that constitute intimacy, and the harmonies and dissonances inherent in a personal or interpersonal dynamic.
Using light as visual inspiration, oil-based ink is rolled onto glass sheets, picked up by rollers, rolled onto other forms, then transferred and layered onto paper and Mylar. Verburg aims to merge a minimal design sensibility with emotional concerns, creating a dialogue where each tempers and informs the other. These subtle, often quiet works reference a projection or photocopy, offering translucent layers, which invite absorption by the viewer. Shapes and light patterns are photographed and formed, painted, folded, cut, placed, reflected and repeated, providing a visual metaphor for personal reflection and introspection—exploring the subtle layers inherent in everyday thoughts, negotiations, and experiences.
Jim Verburg is a Dutch/Canadian based in Toronto. Solo exhibitions include One and Two, at Mois de la Photo à Montréal (2011), and Afterimage at Galerie Nicolas Robert (2014, Montréal). Recently, he’s been a part of the group exhibitions More Than Two (Let It Make Itself), curated by Micah Lexier at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (2013, Toronto), Primeiro Estudo: Sobre Amor, curated by Bernardo Mosqueira at Luciana Caravello (2014, Rio de Janeiro) and Far Away So Close, curated by Kimberly Phillips at Access Gallery (2014, Vancouver). His film For a Relationship won the 2008 Jury Prize for the Best Canadian Short Film at Inside Out Film Festival and was nominated for the Iris Prize (UK). He has held residencies at the National Film Board of Canada (Montréal), Gallery 44 (Toronto), and The Banff Centre (Alberta). His book O/ Divided/Defined, Weights, Measures, and Emotional Geometry, was awarded the Dazibao Prize (2013, Montréal) and was recently shortlisted for Best Printed Publication at the Gala des Arts Visual (2014, Montréal). Work from the publication was featured by Art Metropole at Art Basel Miami (2013). This spring, widmertheodoridis (Zurich) presented a solo booth of his work at VOLTA NY (2015, New York City).