This is no ordinary season for the Glendon Gallery: 2007-08 is its 30th anniversary year and it promises no less than seven exhibitions to mark this important celebration.
To launch the academic year, the gallery opened on September 18th with an installation by Montreal artist Karine Giboulo, with the title Les intÚrieurs / Interiors. Giboulo casts a critical eye at her everyday surroundings and her society, and recreates these in an invented world which incorporates reality and her interpretation of its meaning. “Her imaginary world […] combines innocence and flights of fancy with derision and social comment”, explains Martine Rheault, artistic coordinator of the gallery, in her message to the press. And, in fact, this is an accurate representation of the objects on view.
Gallery assistant Heather McRay; the artist,Karine Giboulo; gallery assistant Adrienne Baudry; assistant curator Omid Fekri; Glendon Artistic & Cultural Affairs coordinator Martine Rheault; curator Marc Audette and graphic designer Cristina Bregar at the Glendon Gallery.
Giboulo’s first artistic medium was painting on large canvasses in a narrative style combined with comic book features. As she felt the need to explore other genres, she transferred her themes to installation art which complements and interacts with her paintings.
At the Glendon Gallery, Giboulo displays large, transparent plexiglass bubbles – each one containing a sort of universe on its own – each one a mirror to an aspect of our society. Her “microcosms” comment on consumerism, the exploitation of workers, the environment, war, politics - the larger concerns; but she also focuses her attention on internal, personal issues such as solitude and relationships.
Students showed great interest in the art display
A new direction for Giboulo: in addition to her spherical “universes”, she has expanded her reflections to white tower-like constructions containing two or three levels, each one exploring a single topic in several ways. While the top level may display the physical reality of a family, an individual or a factory workshop, the level below might illustrate the feelings or hardships that reality creates for its participants. This new direction marks a harsher, more direct criticism of our society by the artist. But it is her sense of humour, the quirky animals made of clay or plastic, with humanoid characteristics Ó la LaFontaine, which make this exhibition not just didactic, but delightful and fun as well.
Giboulo is a recognized and frequently exhibited artist, whose work has garnered praise in Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and France. This show is making its first stop at Glendon, but will go on the road to other venues in Canada. As some of the items displayed have already been purchased by a private European contemporary art collector, this may be the only chance for Toronto viewers to see them.
Les intÚrieurs/Interiors, on view until October 18th, has been beautifully curated by Glendon visual arts professor and artist Marc Audette, with the invaluable help of assistant curator (and Glendon student) Omid Fekri, and team members Heather McRay and Adrienne Beaudry.
The next exhibition of this anniversary year at the Glendon Gallery will show the work of Boja Vasic with Parallel World - The Architecture of Survival (October 23rd to November 16th). The specific mandate of the Glendon Gallery is its focus on contemporary Canadian art and the promotion of new Canadian artists. For gallery hours and future exhibitions, visit their website at www.glendon.yorku.ca/gallery .
This article was submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny.
Photos courtesy of Robert Skinner