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James Nizam: Memorandoms

Gallery Jones
Vancouver BC – Feb 4-27, 2010

James Nizam, freestyle standing sculpture using lightbulbs

James Nizam, freestyle standing sculpture using lightbulbs (2009) [Gallery Jones, Vancouver BC, Feb 4-27]

James Nizam, freestyle standing sculpture using shelves

James Nizam, freestyle standing sculpture using shelves (2009) [Gallery Jones, Vancouver BC, Feb 4-27]

James Nizam, freestyle standing sculpture using drawers

James Nizam, freestyle standing sculpture using drawers (2009) [Gallery Jones, Vancouver BC, Feb 4-27]

James Nizam is an urban artist with a fascination for change, decay and reclamation in the built environment. He is particularly attracted to burnt-out, derelict or partially demolished domestic interiors. Nizam's images nonetheless are appealing for their fine detail and nuances of subject matter. His use of light through windows imbues his photographs with a romantic sensibility that almost belies his political messages about lost and abandoned domiciles, both public and private. They have a lovely nostalgic feeling coupled with the sense of fear and disaster found in images from the Great Depression.

Nizam, in a previous series of chromogenic prints photographed inside the pre-renovated Woodward's building at night, used ambient light to reveal the dilapidated surfaces of the abandoned rooms. Last year he was granted access to the Little Mountain housing project between 33rd and 37th Avenues. The oldest public housing development in Vancouver, the buildings are slated for demolition to make way for a combination of condominiums and social housing. Assuming residence in an empty third-floor apartment, Nizam documented the rooms and created freestyle standing sculptures of discarded materials that included lightbulbs, doors, drawers, shelves and pieces of plumbing. Much like Jerry Pethick’s sculptures of the '80s, the iconic pictures project both whimsy and dejection.

Nizam earned his BFA at UBC in 2002. His work has since been well-championed by Flash Forward, Border Crossings, Canadian Art, The Globe & Mail, among others. Recent exhibitions include Birch Libralato Gallery (Toronto), Kathleen Cullen Fine Art and Michael Mazzeo Gallery (New York), Galerie Art Mûr (Montreal), Griffin Photography Museum (Boston), and Scalo|Guye (Los Angeles)

www.galleryjones.com

Mia Johnson


 Sun, Feb 7, 2010