Sasha Chermayeff - Simeon Amstutz
Andrew duPont - Kim McLean
Jean Feinberg - Steven Careau
Marianne Gagnier - Ed Rath
Asya Reznikov - Jolynn Krystosek
Carleen Sheehan - Susan Rabinowitz
Michael Tong - Adam Brent
The word “friend” has been stretched almost to the breaking point over the past ten years--coveted currency in a public popularity contest that never ends. Privately, however, the meaning still remains intensely personal. Peer, mentor, colleague, competitor; like-minded, opposite, inspirational, aspirational; short-term or life-long; throughout history artists, whose working lives are usually solitary, have sought each other out. The relationships have been sometimes legendary, sometimes litigious, but almost always stimulating.
For this exhibition, Thompson Giroux turned the selection process over to the artists themselves—seven who have previously shown at the gallery were each asked to invite someone new. Connections between inviter and invitee may or may not be apparent, but are fun to look for.
The result of this networked approach, Friend of a Friend presents a wide range of work, from 14 artists in all. Sasha Chermayeff and Ed Rath both work figuratively, and beneath their visibly different styles lies a shared interest in memory and deep, personal narrative. Marianne Gagnier, Carleen Sheehan, Andrew duPont, Jean Feinberg, and Susan Rabinowitz explore purely abstract concerns with light, color, and gesture, as well as the intersection of intent and accident in the creative process and the physicality of painting itself. On the other hand, Kim McLean, Asya Reznikov, Jolynn Krystosek, Adam Brent, and Michael Tong use materials such as architectural computer drawings, backlit color photography, felt, jewelry, and re-made found objects to focus on contemporary and cultural themes. Dramatic, monochromatic pieces by Steven Careau and Simeon Amstutz, one abstract and one figurative, round out the show.
“It’s a wonderful way to discover new artists,” says gallery co-owner Marie-Claude Giroux. “There’s no better introduction than one made by someone you already know, whose eye and judgment you trust.”