Jack Bush, Sorel Etrog, Lawren S. Harris, Ray Mead, Guido Molinari, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, William Perehudoff

Curated by Alma Mikulinsky, PhD

BEC Project Space
315 King St. West, 2nd Floor

Exhibition Catalogue

Barbara Edwards Contemporary is pleased to present Abstract Borders at BEC Project Space, 315 King St West. Abstract Borders focuses on the motifs of saturated colour fields and sharp lines in works by leading Canadian and American abstract painters as a means to explore cross-border influences. Borders in this exhibition are defined both concretely and abstractly: a border is a line separating two national entities, but it is also a metaphor, expressing that which distinguishes intellectual attitudes and philosophical approaches. But, as the artists in the exhibition demonstrate, lines are meant to be crossed and borders transgressed, as influences and ideas travel across countries, and stylistic distinctions are overcome.

At its core, this exhibition reveals how boundaries between art historical categories are not fixed as artists exceed conceptual and physical constructs. The visual conversation between the works on display brings to the fore the boldness of each artist, who in their own way pushed the borders of their styles and furthered the visual dialogue of abstraction.

Robert Motherwell's work emerges from a contrast between lines and fields, a formal relationship that provides an opportunity for meditative engagement with the painting, which exceeds its seemingly-austere appearance and minimal vocabulary. Jack Bush's painting vibrantly contrasts colours through a largely-symmetrical yet irregular arrangement of forms that both undermine the canvas's geometric shape and adds to the dynamism of his work.

Ray Mead and Guido Molinari employed saturated colours and bold lines that challenge the viewers' expectations and create an optical effect, revealing the impact of colour combinations on the human eye. Works by Sorel Etrog and Kenneth Noland display a similar dissatisfaction with the traditional shape of the canvas: while Noland's canvas is irregularly shaped, Etrog's painted construction plays on the border between painting and sculpture.

Louise Nevelson utilized found objects and collage technique as a meditation on the relationship between border and periphery. Lawren S. Harris also played with the tension between the edge of the painting and its centre, creating a visual work that functions as a passageway to a higher transcendental realm. Jules Olitski used different techniques of colour application to create a mesmerizing visual effect, while William Perehudoff's delicate transitions of hues and shades are countered by a series of long parallel stripes in a contrasting colour palette.

Abstract Borders is curated by Dr. Alma Mikulinsky, an art historian and curator whose exhibitions of modern and contemporary art have taken place in museums in Asia, North and South America. Her writing has been commissioned by prestigious institutions such as Musée National Picasso-Paris and Tate Modern. Her book on Sorel Etrog will be published by ACI in February 2020.

In Collaboration with Miriam Shiell Fine Art and the Chloe Danyliw Collection.

Exhibition Sponsors:
Chloe Danyliw Collection, Barbara Edwards Contemporary, Miriam Shiell Fine Art, David and Bunni Bresver, The Estate of Sorel Etrog, Dorset Fine Arts

BEC Project Space
315 King St. West, 2nd Floor

Gallery Hours:
Wed to Sat, 1-7pm (or by appointment)

T 647 878 4444

For more information, contact:

Jack Bush Red Widow
Jack Bush, Red Widow, 1964
oil on canvas, 48" x 56"

Sorel Etrog Ballade of the Diamond
Sorel Etrog, The Ballade of the Diamond, 1959
shaped panel with applied relief, 36.5" x 25"

Kenneth Noland Flare
Kenneth Noland, Flare, 1976
acrylic on canvas, 66” x 85” (irregular)

Ray Mead Hector's Gate
Ray Mead, Hector's Gate, 1976
acrylic on canvas, 76.5" x 88.25"

Guido Molinari Bi-Seriel Brun-Ocre
Guido Molinari, Bi-Seriel Brun-Ocre, 1968
acrylic on canvas, 72” x 46”