Organized by UTAC and the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
30 April to 29 June 2013
Curated by Bonnie Rubenstein
Toronto, ON. – The University of Toronto Art Centre is proud to present Andrew Wright Penumbra, one of CONTACT 2013’s ten primary exhibitions. Organized with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and curated by its artistic director Bonnie Rubenstein, the exhibition highlights this year’s Festival theme, Field of Vision.
“We are very excited to partner with UTAC to present this mid-career survey of Andrew Wright’s works,” says CONTACT’s Artistic Director Bonnie Rubenstein. “Wright’s approach is often experimental, even playful at times, and his highly refined works invite us to reconsider the ways we relate to and visualize the world around us. “
From southern waters and urban settings to the vast Arctic tundra, Wright captures iconic images of Canada, but they are repositioned and re-presented in unconventional ways. Taking us far beyond the specificities of place and time, they open up unique spaces that exist somewhere between light and shadow.
The show features a selection of works from several large scale series as well as a number of small studies. In the earliest series, Illuminated Landscapes (2001), Wright tightly controls artificial light to stage nature as if it was constructed solely for our eyes. By contrast, predetermination is completely absent in the 2003-2004 Skies series, in which Wright captures arbitrary encounters with light and space creating unique images of the sky that document the ephemerality of nature. The 2011 Coronae series follows this thread by challenging conventional understanding of photographic materials, procedures and functions. Created using punctured film, Coronae destabilize the viewer’s perceptions of ground and space. Scale is thoroughly disrupted – are we looking at interstellar space or cellular forms? This uncertainty about what we are seeing is amplified in the 2012 Nox Borealis, in part because Wright has chosen to present these large format images as self-supporting sculptures, and in part because we are confronted with the black of total darkness, we can see very little.
UTAC Director Niamh O’Laoghaire notes that “we are particularly excited by Wright’s most recent production – two site specific pieces created for this show. Entitled When Buildings Take Pictures of Themselves, these impressive photographs created by turning the Art Centre into a camera obscura bring us back to the beginning of photography while celebrating UTAC’s particular field of vision.”
Wright has exhibited his work widely, both nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants from organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Foundation for Innovation, and in 2011 received the inaugural BMW Exhibition Award at the CONTACT Festival. Wright has received critical acclaim for his work in publications such as Canadian Art, Border Crossings, and The Globe & Mail. Wright lives in Ottawa and is an Assistant Professor of Visual Art at the University of Ottawa.
Friday 3 May, 2013 6:00-8:30 pm
6:00-7:00 pm Andrew Wright in conversation with Bonnie Rubenstein, curator and Mark A. Cheetham, Professor of Art History, UofT
7:00-8:30 pm Opening Reception
Presenting Sponsor BMW Canada
UTAC Supporting Sponsor Manulife Financial
CONTACT's Primary Exhibitions are supported by Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Celebrate Ontario, Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council
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