Thursday, 24 June 2010

SCREAM - Ed Pien and Samonie Toonoo

Hi, everyone! I talked about Ed Pien some articles ago. Today the artist wrote to me and gave me this press release of his new exhibition in Toronto, Canada. For who will be there, enjoy it :-).

Ciao a tutti! Ho parlato di Ed Pien alcuni articoli fa. Oggi questo artista mi ha scritto e dato il comunicato stampa della sua mostra a Toronto, in Canada. Per quelli che passeranno da questa città, buona mostra :-).

The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery presents:


Ed Pien and Samonie Toonoo

Curated by Nancy Campbell

June 10 - August 21, 2010 Opening: Thursday, June 10, 6:00 to 8:00 pm

IMAGE CREDITS (Left to Right): Samonie Toonoo, Skull, 2008. Courtesy Feheley Fine Arts. Ed Pien, After the Meal, 1999. Courtesy Birch Libralato Gallery.

Edvard Munch’s well-known—and much written about— painting, The Scream, was created in 1893, and is widely considered to represent the universal anxiety of modern man. It depicts a screaming figure with a skull-like face, who appears to be in the throes of an unknown emotional crisis. This image is now one of the most familiar in art history, having been adapted and reused in the popular arts in a myriad of ways. Undoubtedly, our continued fascination with The Scream reflects the universality of anxiety in contemporary life. The exhibition Scream explores this ongoing fascination through the work of Ed Pien and Samonie Toonoo.

Samonie Toonoo, an artist from the remote community of Cape Dorset, Baffin Island, has likely not seen The Scream or heard of Ed Pien. However, although it is a stretch to compare Inuit soapstone sculpture to contemporary drawing, let alone late-nineteenth-century Symbolist painting, the similarities between the two artists's interests are striking. Toonoo was born in 1969. He has been carving for a number of years and his art typically represents transformation scenes drawn from Inuit folklore and nature. In an interview Toonoo describes his sculptures as a release of the “stuff in his head”; hence their sometimes cryptic and often frightening quality. His most recent body of work is highly personal, seeming to reflect the different aspects of his life. Like his contemporaries, Toonoo has broken out of the prescribed expectations of Inuit art, forging a new vocabulary to interpret and represent the world.

Established Toronto-based artist Ed Pien was born on the other side of the world in Taiwan in 1958 and immigrated to Canada when he was eleven. Pien’s ghosts of Taiwanese folklore and his representations of western Hell also play to the anxieties of contemporary life. Pien has continued to make use of a quick and prolific mode of drawing he developed, sometimes assembling multiple drawings into composite works or employing the wet ink as a mono-print to start a new image. These drawings, some taking three minutes, others intricately constructed over time, are immediate and intuitive, exploring primal fears and otherness.

The exhibition Scream: Ed Pien and Samonie Toonoo follows last summer's critically acclaimed exhibition Noise Ghost: Shary Boyle and Shuvinai Asoona, continuing curator Nancy Campbell's interests in spinning the expectation of Inuit art by positioning the work alongside contemporary work from the south.

Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
Hart House, University of Toronto
7 Hart House Circle
Toronto, ON M5S 3H3
Tel: 416-978-8398

Summer Gallery Hours:
Monday to Saturday 12pm - 5pm
Please note: The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery will be closed from Thursday June 24 - Monday June 28.

The Gallery is wheelchair accessible
The Gallery is closed on statutory holidays

There are also two press reviews:

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