May 17, 2023

Galleries West: ELEMENTAL at TrépanierBaer

Lissa Robinson

Complex works poetically disrupt minimalist ideals.

It’s compelling to see work made by artists who share aesthetic sensibilities or make work rooted in similar artistic traditions or movements. Such is the case in a new Calgary exhibition, Elemental, which features work by Martha Townsend, Stéphane La Rue and Al McWilliams.

On view at TrépanierBaer until June 3, the show features minimalist sculptures, paintings and works on paper that belie their complexity while poetically disrupting minimalist ideals about colour, materiality and geometric form.

The works, curated by gallerist Yves Trépanier and Victoria-born artist Vikky Alexander, are eloquent – both individually and collectively – in the ways they decisively blur the lines between painting, drawing and sculpture.

Minimalists sought to create austere objects that emphasized anonymity over the emotive excesses of Abstract Expressionism, but these artists have imbued their work with subtle motifs, illusionistic space and figurative forms.

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Image Credit:

Installation view of ELEMENTAL: Stéphane La Rue, Al McWilliams, Martha Townsend.