Daniel Barrow, Alison Norlen, Ed Pien  |  Curated by Nicole Stanbridge

Like the work of all good storytellers, the artists in this exhibition captivate the viewer with their imagined worlds informed by eerily familiar narratives. Through each artist’s distinct vision of humanity, these illusory spaces—in some cases haunted by either memory or mythology—reflect back to us ugliness, despair, complexity, beauty, opulence, and frivolity.

What distinguishes the work of Daniel Barrow, Alison Norlen, and Ed Pien is not just that they use drawing as their primary means of creation for these stories, but that they push the parameters and possibilities of what drawing can be by testing its material, spatial, and thematic considerations. They take in the world through their own unique lens, filter it through their imagination and private thoughts, and send it back out into public space, having constructed for us a new world through drawing. Our role as the viewer is to read these works with the same curious impulse as the maker. We are asked to seek out and participate in the narratives as active agents, investigating the traces left and lines made.

Daniel Barrow is a Winnipeg-born, Montreal-based artist who uses obsolete technologies to present written, pictorial, and cinematic narratives centring on the practices of drawing and collecting. Since 1993, he has created and adapted comic book narratives to "manual" forms of animation by projecting, layering, and manipulating drawings on overhead projectors.

Barrow has exhibited widely in Canada and abroad. He has performed at the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), PS1 Contemporary Art Center (New York, NY), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA), the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s TBA festival (Portland, OR), and the British Film Institute (London, UK). Recent exhibitions include Oh Canada! (MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA), and Winnipeg Now (Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB). Barrow is the winner of the 2010 Sobey Art Award. He is represented by Jessica Bradley Art + Projects (Toronto, ON).

Alison Norlen grew up in Kenora, Ontario, and moved to Winnipeg at seventeen to become a barber. While working in a traditional barbershop, she took art classes at the University of Manitoba, eventually obtaining a BFA Honours degree. She then went on to complete an MFA at Yale University. Norlen returned to Canada and taught at the University of Manitoba for ten years before moving to Saskatoon, where she continues her artistic practice and teaches at the University of Saskatchewan.

Selected solo exhibitions include luna (Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK), armature (Arch 2 Gallery, School of Architecture, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB), rollercoaster (Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC), edifice (Art Gallery of Kitchener-Waterloo, Kitchener, ON), ala (Oboro, Montreal, QC), float (Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK). Selected group exhibitions include Combine (World Loves Saskatchewan) (York Quay Centre, Harbourfront Centre,Toronto, ON), Drawn Positions (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON), Imagineacity: Architectures for Creativity (Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, NB),Ladder Factories and wheat fields (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON), Intangible Evidence (The Rooms, St Johns, NL), Just my Imagination (Museum London, London, ON; travelled to Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON; MOCCA, Toronto, ON;Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK;and Art Gallery of Algoma, Sault Ste Marie, ON), and Wonderland (Museum London, London, ON). International exhibitions include Faux Real (Blank Project, Ann Arbor, MI), MosaiCanada; Sign& Sound (Seoul, Korea), Tekeningen III (Quartair Art Contemporary Art Initiatives Dutch/Canada, The Hague, Neth.), and the LA International Biennial Invitational, and Exhibition of America, 10thAnnual Biennial in Printmaking (X Mostra Da Gravura, Curitiba, Brazil).

Norlen's work has been shown in provincial, national, and international exhibitions. Her work is in private collections in the United States and Canada, and is included in public collections such as the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Mendel Art Gallery, the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Confederation Centre for the Arts, and the National Gallery. Norlen has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board; has been the recipient of an International Artist Residency in Trinidad from the Canada Council for the Arts; and recently received the International Artist Residency for Paris.

Ed Pien is a Canadian artist based in Toronto. He has been drawing for nearly thirty years. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, he immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of eleven. He holds a BFA from the University of Western Ontario in London, ON, and an MFA from York University in Toronto.

Ed Pien has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Drawing Centre (New York, NY), La Biennale de Montreal 2000 and 2002 (Montreal, QC), W139 (Amsterdam, Neth.), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver, BC), Middlesbrough Art Gallery (Middlesbrough, UK), Centro Nacional de las Artes (Mexico City, MX), the Contemporary Art Museum in Monterrey (Monterrey, MX), the Goethe Institute (Berlin, DE), Bluecoat (Liverpool, UK); Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, ON), and the National Art Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, ON). Recent exhibitions include all our relations (18th Sydney Biennale, Sydney, Australia) and Oh Canada! (MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA). As an art instructor, Ed Pien has taught at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Pien currently teaches part-time at the University of Toronto. He is represented by Birch Libralato (Toronto, ON), Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain (Montreal, QC), and Galerie Maurits van de Laar (The Hague, Neth.).

 

 Daniel Barrow in Performance    Jan. 23 & 24, @ Intrepid Theatre

A rare opportunity to see Barrow perform, for info about Winterlab and to purchase tickets, visit the Intrepid Theatre online.

 

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