Perplexities Space, Form and Image

A group show curated by
Nikki Peck and Anita Cirillo

March 2nd - March 28th, 2017
Opening Reception | Thursday March 2nd, 6:00 - 8:00pm

Porn and Paranoia, 2016 by Sophia Borowska

 Depth Study 7 (Pink), 2016 by Justin Somjen, Wall Flower, 2016 by Jen Mann

Winsor Gallery is pleased to present Perplexities: Space, Form and Image, a group exhibition featuring works by Rebecca Chaperon, Jen Mann, Sophia Borowska, Justin Somjen, Ed Spence and Fucci. The exhibition runs from March 2nd – March 28th. An opening will be held on the evening of Thursday March 2nd, from 6-8pm. 

The exhibition Perplexities: Space, Form and Image seeks to investigate the unaccountable, and each piece evokes questions, wonder and confusion. The artwork encourages the audience to make their own connection with perplexity and explore how these works may relate to our own judgements and understanding of the human condition. Perplexities: Space, Form and Image presents and challenges the way we consider the various aspects of bodies and spaces, materiality, identity and our environment. Painting against photograph, portal versus realism, materiality against medium, subject against subjectivity, or ambiguity against modality all suggest puzzling distortions of a dual reality. This exhibition forces the viewer to contemplate and connect with what they are looking at and the perplexing questions being asked. Each artist within the exhibition presents a juxtaposition of “the new” against a background of traditional constructs. From geometric blocks suspended in space, to meticulously manipulated textiles, to overly saturated colourful canvases, the works are influenced by the artists materiality, identity, object and spatiality. Connected by their artistry, description and questions, the works explore the complexities inherent in each piece, and in dialogue with another.

About the Artists

Jen Mann
Disillusioned with the art world’s emphasis on commercialism, Jen Mann views her paintings as physical and visual manifestations of ideas rather than as products. Within her work Mann toys with color saturation and hue to expose previously unseen details and challenge conventional notions of beauty and intimacy, revealing the hidden magic in otherwise awkward images. An important aspect in Mann’s work is her deliberate cultivation of imperfections. Mann prefers the off-shots, the pictures where the subject is blinking, or making a funny face, or looking away from the camera. “I think that there is something special about images that capture awkward or perhaps non-beautiful or posed moments. There is something beautiful in the honest moment.” Mann then heavily Photoshops her images to give them a washed-out look, and to insert various digital “glitches” that most of us would consider undesirable. Mann uses color as a storytelling technique, evoking elements of identity and interpersonal relationships in her paintings. Using imagery and symbols we are familiar with along with her dry and self satirical humour as a unifying force weaving her works together, Mann is able to address our society’s hypocritical and flawed projections of love and desire.

Justin Somjen
Justin Somjen is a Toronto-based artist, primarily working with photography and sculpture. His work purposes photography and sculpture together in formal allegories, investigating the relationship between imagery and objects. Justin is interested in style, abstraction, and patterns. Influenced heavily by minimalism, his work attempts to simultaneously abandon and embrace photography to arrive at a place where the medium’s essences are tested or revealed. He studied photography at Ryerson University where he received his BFA in 2014. He has exhibited work in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto.

Sophia B
Sophia Borowska (b. 1993) is MontrĂ©al-based artist and researcher working in fibres, sculpture, and installation. Her work questions the potential for control in architectural and virtual spaces through textiles and the manipulation of threads. The evocative powers of material and process are harnessed to create spaces that propose an embodied and haptic – rather than detached and visual – mode of experience. She holds a BFA, with great distinction, from Concordia University in MontrĂ©al, and a diploma in Textiles from Capilano University in North Vancouver, Canada. She is a member of the Textiles and Materiality Research Cluster under Milieux Institute at Concordia. Borowska has exhibited work in Canadian artist-run centres and DIY spaces, and has presented research and been published in Canada and the United States.

Ed Spence
Ed Spence is a multidisciplinary artist based in Vancouver. His photo-mosaics utilize photography as a means by which our collective experience can be analyzed. By merging the philosophies and analytic groundwork laid down by early modernist movements with photography's present-day potential to trace details of the contemporary condition, Spence finds much new territory to be explored. In his photo-mosaics portions of the image are manually dissected and reorganized allowing for alternative readings and an unsettling of common assumptions regarding the language of abstraction and figuration.

Fucci is a Finnish-Canadian artist and illustrator best known for his vibrant post-pop style. Fucci’s style is a unique class of contemporary art that brings a refreshing taste to the all too common flavours of sexual expression. Fucci produces work that is enjoyable and colourfully bold. A vibrant colour palette and minimalist approach result in thought provoking works that touch upon perversion with wit and unexpected sophistication. Fucci currently lives and works out of his studio in Toronto, Canada.

Rebecca Chaperon 
Rebecca Chaperon’s paintings act as a means of storytelling, as landscapes meet flat geometry and emotive undercurrents. Born in England in 1978, Rebecca attended Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC where she studied fine arts until graduation in 2002. Her work is exhibited/collected internationally.

In 2012 and in 2016 she was the recipient of the Canada Council Project Grant for Visual Artists for production of her painting series Antarticus and upcoming series Cave Paintings. Her process often begins with the idea of place. In the series Like A Great Black Fire we see paintings of dark landscapes that seems to stretch infinitely, a doomed place invented by the artist as a theatrical stage where various female protagonists bravely live out mysterious vignettes. Antarticus was Chaperon's next major series and was inspired by the mid/late-20th century travel stories of her uncle and father. It saw the amalgamation of two places, the tropical island of Mauritius and the icy tundra of the Antarctic. In a later series called Eccentric Gardens the setting becomes a representation of the internal landscape of the artist, or more specifically the small brilliant garden of creativity that exists within. 

In 2016 Chaperon developed her series Imprint that deals with human perception and our connection to landscape. In the same year she began a more illustrative series called Goth Fauve which refocuses on the female figure, and an unusual colour palette with a hint of fauvism.

On the visual journey through Chaperon’s work we are immersed in surreal versions of the world, places that waver just outside of our perception.