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Guillaume Leblon, Brother II

Guillaume Leblon, Brother II (2016) 3-D print, PPMA (polymethyl methacrylate) infiltration epoxy resin [Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Oct 14-Jan 1] Courtesy of the artist and carlier | gebauer

Guillaume Leblon: Untangled Figures

Contemporary Art Gallery
Vancouver BC – Oct 14, 2016-Jan 1, 2017

Guillaume Leblon, Likely Political Circumstances

Guillaume Leblon, Likely Political Circumstances (2016) 3D print, PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate), infiltration epoxyy resin, spray paint [Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Oct 14-Jan 1] Courtesy of the artist and carlier | gebauer

In his first solo exhibition at a Canadian museum, the 45-year-old French artist known for his painting, sculpture and films has launched into a spatial reorientation of the gallery.

Back in the 1970s, gallery interventions took the form of institutional critique, where the work was just that: an interrogation of the gallery space in an effort to reveal its contradictions as a neutral site of display. Today, where expressions like “changing the narrative” are as common as “moving things forward,” gestures like Leblon’s are as much in the service of the object as they are critical of the institutions that house them.

For Untangled Figures, Leblon has made plywood alterations to the CAG’s floor. Not simply to change the look of the space, but to alter how it sounds. A more disorienting visual gesture can be found in the artist’s construction of an unevenly placed shelf that follows the perimeter of the gallery walls. When combined with Leblon’s acoustic alteration, the effect is unnerving.

Most notable about Leblon’s intervention is how it directs our attention from the generalized atmosphere of the gallery to the specific details contained therein, much like what happens when we are feeling seasick – when we shift our gaze to something fixed, not on the surging waves.


Michael Turner

 Sun, Nov 6, 2016