Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ahbyah Baker & Hannah Hughes: SHAPELY

20 October 2011 through 20 November 2011
Opening reception Thursday 20 October 2011, 6-9pm

Curated by Lilac Lang

The show’s title, “Shapely,” refers to seemingly unrelated aspects of both artists’ practices: in Hannah Hughes’ figurative work, the pleasing form of the female subjects, and in Ahbyah Baker’s abstract painting, the type of objects depicted. Each artist’s work exhibits a common theme of tension between abstraction and representation.

“Shapely” acknowledges the urge to move beyond the technical ability of mimicking representational imagery in painting, even as the desire to demonstrate these very things is fulfilled. The work is neither entirely abstract nor objective. Even if one considers Baker’s minimalist paintings without the context of her previous figurative work, the singular shapes employ a central figure/ground relationship typical of most portraiture, including the distorted and masked women of Hannah's work. Shapely suggests that the imaginary border between figurative and non-objective imagery or abstract and representational painting is a blurry or dotted line.

Ahbyah Baker received a BFA from Emily Carr Institute in 2006. Her work has been exhibited at Or Gallery and Shudder Gallery in Vancouver and she was a recent participant in the Summer Residency Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She lives and works in Vancouver.

Hannah Hughes completed her BA in Critical Fine Art Practice at the University of Brighton in 1997 and moved to Vancouver in 2008. She works principally in painting but is also responsible for co-founding The Drawing Salon, a travelling program of contemporary drawing workshops due to start this autumn.

Lilac Lang received her BFA from the University of British Columbia Okanagan in 2007. Earlier this year, she was the resident artist at Spark Box Studio in Ontario. Her work has been exhibited at The Red Head Gallery in Toronto, Diane Farris Gallery in Vancouver, and The Alternator in Kelowna.