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Angela Grossmann: Models of Resistance

Herringer Kiss Gallery
Calgary AB – May 11-Jun 10, 2017

Angela Grossman, Blue Skirt

Angela Grossman, Blue Skirt (2017), mixed media collage

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Angela Grossman, Pink Slip (2017), mixed media collage

Angela Grossman, Bolero

Angela Grossman, Bolero (2017), mixed media collage

Angela Grossman, Three-Cornered Hat

Angela Grossman, Three-Cornered Hat (2017), mixed media collage

Much is made of Vancouver artist Ian Wallace’s photo-paintings. Given their neat and clean 90-degree lines, monochromatic squares, and deliberately unspectacular photo subjects, it is not surprising that Wallace did his master’s on Mondrian. Angela Grossman did not do her master’s on Mondrian, but she was a student at Emily Carr University of Art + Design when Wallace taught there through the 1980s. As for her own hybrid of photography and painting, Grossman is to Expressionism what Wallace is to De Stijl.

For her current exhibition Grossman once again gathers photographic images of women’s bodies and, through various manipulations (cutting, tearing, layering, sharing), brings their interior condition to the fore. Not to lay them bare, or to make her subjects more vulnerable, but as an act of resistance – her subjects know who they are and are not afraid to show it.

Most notable in this body of work is a decreased reliance on graphite, ink, dye, and paint in favour of materials drawn from three-dimensional sources such as doll clothes. Many of Grossmann’s models have real hair and are dressed in Barbie skirts and panties. As in past works, Grossmann has no problem presenting the crinkled bits of masking tape that hold her fragments in place – the very tape Wallace applies and gently pulls away to achieve his neat and clean lines.

Michael Turner


 Mon, May 29, 2017