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Indepth Arts News:

"Container: New Canadian Wave of Minimalism"
2003-10-05 until 2004-01-04
Real Art Ways
Hartford, CT, USA United States of America

Real Art Ways’ fall exhibition, Container, opened Saturday, October 4 in the Main Gallery. The exhibition features six Canadian artists exploring the balance between content and process. The artists are Gerard Choy, Thierry Delva, David Diviney, Micah Lexier, Kelly Mark and Colleen Wolstenholme, and Steven Holmes curates the exhibition.

Container showcases Canada’s best-known conceptual artists, all of whom have content and the problem of content as a central theme running through their work. Conceptual and minimalist art were movements in 20th-century art that relied, in part, in the draining of content from the work of art. The generation of artists included in Container has returned to some of the fundamental methods of conceptualism and minimalism, but have put the content back in, sometimes in poignant and humorous ways.

“Neo-conceptualism and a fascination with the idea of content in art is a uniquely Canadian obsession,” said Steven Holmes, Real Art Ways Director of Visual Arts and Public Programming. “We’re looking at how that obsession is developed by artists well-known in Canada and Europe, but newly emerging on the scene in America.”

At 5pm on Saturday, October 4 – an hour before the opening – the artists will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Curator Steven Holmes. The topic, “Content in Post-Minimal Conceptualist Art,” serves to dissect the themes behind Container through the artists’ own voices.

Featured in Container are Gerard Choy’s “One Ton of Won Ton,” an installation of 279 plaster casts of won ton bowls; Colleen Wolstenholme’s “Valium,” a 150-pound, 40”-high replica of a Valium pill; Micah Lexier’s “All Numbers Are Equal,” a consecutive set of numbers, all calculated and then sculpted to have exactly the same surface area; Thierry Delva’s “Life’s Good,” a refrigerator with a marble-carved magnet of Michelangelo’s “David,” has a crate of marble-carved eggs inside bought at the gift shop where the actual “David” is on display; David Diviney’s “The Coin,” splits a taxidermied bobcat in two, with a gallery wall running between the two ends – heads and tails; Kelly Mark’s “I Really Should…”, where, in a 58-minute audio loop, the artist repeats, in a mantra-like fashion, 1000 things she should really do, from the most banal to the personally heartbreaking.

Real Art Ways’ Main Gallery openings regularly draw 400-800 to the arts center and have become major events in the Hartford arts scene, bringing together artists and creative-minded people from all over the area.

Gerard Choy,
One Ton of Won Ton,
photo courtesy of Aaron Schmidt

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