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"Mona Shahid: Portraits"
2002-10-20 until 2002-11-24
Mona Shahid paints portraits of her contemporaries – young men and women born in the last thirty years of the 20th century – in encaustic, one of the world's oldest mediums of visual representation. It is a curious choice of material, at once soft and malleable and yet also permanent and indestructible in a way few new media are.
Shahid exploits encaustic's transparency. Her frontal and profile portraits have the rigid static character of passport photographs or mug shots, yet, her subjects seem to exist in a fluid, ill-defined space, as if they are not yet formed, vague amorphous images of people in the process of becoming. Or maybe it is Shahid who denies herself and the viewer the illusion that there is a character or an essence to be apprehended from the portrait image - that these are incarnate spirits whose presence may touch us, but who we will never know.
Mona Shahid: Portraits will be the artist's first solo exhibition of her work in a public gallery. The exhibition will consist of a new series of six large 6 x 6 foot square panels in addition to a selection of some of her smaller portraits from 2001.
Mona Shahid was born in Plymouth, England and grew up in Windsor, Ontario. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design where she discovered the medium of encaustic. Since graduating, she has been exhibiting regularly in group and solo exhibitions mostly in the Toronto area. She is represented by the Edward Day Gallery, Toronto.
Portrait of M Metrault, 2001,
24" x 24"