February 12, 2016 – March 12, 2016
The term “truss” refers to a rigid framework of wooden or metal beams, which supports a structure. This small body of work is an extension of Yael Brotman’s series of extra-dimensional prints, Scaffolding, in which she references architectural models and construction processes, and considers our urge to build.
Brotman began to incorporate lights into her print-based constructions because they were expanding in scale into installations and she was exploring ways to enhance atmosphere and theatricality in the environments where they were being installed. Lights created a sense of wonder and magic, even when the constructions were reminiscent of power plants at night or crumpled roller coasters. The juxtaposition of wonder and destruction underlines the fundamental concern in all Brotman’s work: that of binaries and how we find balance in a world stretched between anxiety and hope.
A new aspect in the development of this work is the examination of language as scaffolding. Recently, Brotman has begun to re-read books that were significant in her education—monuments of western literature—making notes as she read, the way she used to when she first did close readings of primary sources as well as of secondary introductory and foreword notes. Her handwritten notation is screenprinted onto the surface of modular paper structures. The incorporation of tiny lights leads to implications about education and language and about distance through time and through loss of knowledge, from original sources.
Yael Brotman has exhibited widely. International exhibitions include Central Booking Gallery and the International Print Centre, New York City; Castellani Art Museum, Lewiston, NY; Zweigstelle Berlin, Germany; Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Shanxi University, Taiyuan, China. Canadian exhibitions include the Biennale internationale d’estampe contemporaine de Trois-Rivières; Harcourt House, Edmonton; Atelier Circulaire, Montreal; McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton; Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s.
Brotman has received grants from all three levels of government. Most recently she has been awarded a Toronto Arts Council grant to animate Historic Zion Schoolhouse with her Gifts and Occupations Collective. Residency awards include Hospitalfield Arts, Arbroath, Scotland; Ars Eanna, Aran Islands, Ireland; Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; and Sanbao International Art Institute, Jingdezhen, China. Brotman’s work is represented in public and corporate collections including the Canada Council Art Bank; Foreign Affairs, Canada; Skirball Museum, Los Angeles; Sanbao Museum, China; University of Alberta; Bank of Montreal.