In Conversation

Face to Face: An Evening with Ellen Gallagher

The Power Plant is pleased to welcome renowned international artist Ellen Gallagher to Face to Face for the 2018 edition of the gallery's annual fundraiser. Featured at The Power Plant in Summer 2018, Gallagher’s solo exhibtion will include her recent Sea Bed paintings, a selection of drawings from her Watery Ecstatic series and related film installations made in collaboration with Dutch artist Edgar Cleijne.

Organized around interrelated nodes, the exhibition considers dominant themes in Gallagher's practice including history painting, portraiture and abstraction. These thematic concerns revolve around a contemplation and interrogation of an Africanist presence in Western art history, which is central to Gallagher's practice.

The evening will begin with a panel  presented by Sotheby's and featuring Gallagher alongside artist Brendan Fernandes, collector Bob Rennie and moderated by Eric Shiner, Sotheby's Senior Vice President of Contemporary Art. An intimate dinner follows, where guests will be treated to animated conversation between Canadian contemporary artists and cultural producers, who will provide their perspectives on Canada’s current cultural landscape.

About the Artists

Karla Black (born 1972 in Alexandria, Scotland) received her BFA in sculpture from the Glasgow School of Art in 1999, followed by her MFA in 2004. In 2015, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin hosted a solo show featuring new works made by the artist specifically for the museum space. Since the early 2000s, Black's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions, including a presentation of new sculptures shown in 2013 at the kestnergesellschaft in Hanover, Germany. Also on view in 2013 was her first museum show in the United States hosted by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Other venues which have presented recent solo exhibitions include the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (2013); Dallas Museum of Art; Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (all 2012); Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg (2010); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; Kunstverein Hamburg; Modern Art Oxford, England; and the Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (all 2009). In 2011, the artist represented Scotland at the 54th Venice Biennale and was nominated for the Turner Prize. Her work is held in museum collections worldwide, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Tate Gallery, London. She currently lives and works in Glasgow.

EXHIBITIONS AT THE POWER PLANT:
Upcoming: Fall 2018 Season

Deanna Bowen is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist whose practice examines race, migration, historical writing, and authorship. Bowen makes use of a repertoire of artistic gestures in order to define the Black body and trace its presence and movement in place and time. In recent years, Deanna’s work has involved rigorous examination of her family lineage and their connections to the Black Prairie pioneers of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Creek Negroes (Black Indians) and All-Black towns of Oklahoma, the extended Kentucky/Kansas Exoduster migrations and the Ku Klux Klan. Her broader artistic/educational practice examines history, historical writing and the ways in which artistic and technological advancements impact individual and collective authorship. She has received several awards in support of her artistic practice including 2017 Canada Council New Chapter and Ontario Arts Council Media Arts production grants, a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 William H. Johnson Prize.

Sandra Brewster is a Canadian artist based in Toronto. Her work has been exhibited nationally and abroad and explores themes of identity, representation and memory. Recent exhibitions include UnIFixed Homelands, Aljira Contemporary Art Centre; New Jersey; New Found Lands, Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John's, Newfoundland; Performing Blackness I Performing Whiteness, Allegheny Art Galleries, Meadville, Pennsylvania. Brewster's most recent solo exhibition It's all a blur..., received the Gattuso Prize for outstanding featured exhibition of CONTACT Photography Festival 2017. Brewster holds a Masters of Visual Studies from University of Toronto and is represented by Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto.

Sara Cwynar (born 1985 in Vancouver, Canada) currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Cwynar’s videos and photographs of found objects and images court feelings of time passing. Using studio sets, collage, and re-photography, she produces intricate tableaux that draw from magazine advertisements, postcards, or catalogs. Cwynar is interested in how design and popular images work on our psyches, and how their visual strategies infiltrate our consciousness. She presents dated commercial images to expose the failure, with time, of their visual trickery and the waning of their seductive powers. Her works highlight how the once familiar becomes foreign; how the fetishized object loses its luster; how glamour fades. Cwynar holds an MFA from Yale University, New Haven; a Bachelor of Design from York University, Toronto; and studied English Literature at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Selected exhibitions include: Hard to Picture: A Tribute to Ad Reinhardt, Mudam, Luxembourg (2017); Subjektiv, Malmö Konsthall (2017); You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2017); L’Image Volée, Fondazione Prada, Milan (2016) and Greater New York, MoMA PS1, Queens (2015/16); Under Construction – New Positions in American Photography, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2015).

Brendan Fernandes (born 1979 in Nairobi, Kenya) is a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent who lives and works in Chicago. He completed the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007) and earned his MFA from the University of Western Ontario, London (2005) and his BFA from York University, Toronto (2002). Fernandes has exhibited widely, including exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Art and Design, New York; Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal; The National Gallery of Canada, Ontario; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA: The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; Bergen Kunsthall, Norway; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Sculpture Center, New York; The Quebec City Biennial; and the Third Guangzhou Triennial in China. Fernandes has been awarded many highly regarded residencies around the world, including The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Process Space (2014), Swing Space (2009) and Work Space (2008) programs, The Canada Council for the Arts’ International Residency in Trinidad and Tobago (2006), and invitations to the ZKM, Karlsruhe (2011) and Gyeonggi Creation Centre at the Gyeonggi Museum of Art (2009). Fernandes was a finalist for the Sobey Art Award in 2010 and long-listed in 2013 and 2015. In 2014, he was a recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Residency and Fellowship. Recent exhibitions include Lost Bodies, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario (2016), and Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto (2017), and culminated in a catalogue. His recent monograph Still Move, was published by Black Dog Press, London (2016). Fernandes’ first solo exhibition at Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, Free Fall, took place in January 2017; an expanded version of the performance, Free Fall 49, took place at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles in 2017. Upcoming solo projects will take place at Graham Foundation, Chicago (2018); and The High Line, New York (2018). He is currently Artist in Residence and Faculty at Northwestern University in the Department of Art Theory and Practice, and is represented by Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

Ellen Gallagher is a renowned American artist that brings together non-representational formal concerns and charged figuration in paintings, drawings, collages, and films that reveal themselves slowly, first as intricate abstractions, then later as unnerving stories. Some of her most recent exhibitions include: AxME, Haus der Kunst, Munich and Sara Hildén Art Museum, Finland (2014); Ice or Salt, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah (2013); Don't Axe Me, New Museum, New York (2013); AxME, Tate Modern, London (2013); and An Experiment of Unusual Opportunity, South London Gallery, London (2009). Gallagher participated in the Biennale di Venezia in 2003 and 2015, and was awarded the American Academy Award in Art in 2000.

EXHIBITIONS AT THE POWER PLANT:
Upcoming: Summer 2018 Season

Francisco-Fernando Granados is a Toronto-based artist. His multidisciplinary critical practice spans performance, installation, cultural theory, digital media, public art and community-based projects. He has presented work in galleries, museums, theatres, artist-run centres and non-traditional sites since 2005 at venues including: the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Mercer Union, Toronto; Art Gallery of York University, Toronto; Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto; Blackwood Gallery, Toronto; Gallery TPW, Toronto; Trinity Square Video, Toronto; Images Festival; Nuit Blanche, Toronto; Harbourfront Centre, Toronto; Sur Gallery, Toronto; Vancouver Art Gallery; LIVE, Vancouver; VIVO Media Arts Centre; Vancouver; Darling Foundry, Montreal; MAI – Montreal arts interculturels; Fofa Gallery, Montreal; University of Western Ontario, London; Queens University, Kingston; Neutral Ground, Regina; Third Space, St. John; Hessel Museum of Art; Annandale-On-Hudson, New York; Ramapo College, New Jersey; Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago; Ex Teresa Arte Actual; Mexico City; Kulturhuset, Stockholm; and Theatre Academy at the University of the Arts, Helsinki. His writing has been published in exhibition catalogues, magazines, art journals, online platforms and books including FUSE, KAPSULA, Canadian Theatre Review, and PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. Awards and honours include Emerging Artist Grants from the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils, a Projects to Visual Artists grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Governor General’s Silver Medal for academic achievement upon graduating from Emily Carr University in 2010, and being named as one of Canada's 30 Under 30 by BLOUIN ARTINFO in 2014. He completed a Masters of Visual Studies at the University of Toronto in 2012.

Alicia Henry lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee. Henry’s work has been shown at the Whitney Museum, New York; Drawing Center, New York’ Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; Frist Center for the Visual Arts; Cheekwood Museum of Art, Fisk University, Nashville; and Nashville International Airport. She has received numerous awards such as the Joan Mitchel Foundation award, the Guggenheim Fellowship and, most recently, the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. A native of Illinois, Henry received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA at Yale University, and completed a residency at the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Oliver Husain is a filmmaker and artist based in Toronto. Husain’s projects often begin with a fragment of history, a rumor, a personal encounter or a distant memory. He uses a wide range of cinematic languages and visual pleasures—such as dance, puppetry, costume, and special effects—to animate his research and charm or fold the viewers into complex narrative set-ups. Recent solo exhibitions include were here at Republic Gallery Vancouver (2018) and French Exit at Gallery Susan Hobbs, Toronto (2018). Husain has participated in numerous international exhibitions and film festivals including: Forum Expanded, Berlinale Film Festival, Berlin, Germany, 2017; Kunstverein Nürnberg, Germany, 2017; Art Museum, University of Toronto, 2016; MAK Museum, Vienna, Austria, 2013; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, United States, 2011, among others. Special screenings of his films took place at Pleasure Dome, Toronto, Canada, 2015, and at Experimenta Film Festival, Bangalore, India, 2011.

Esmaa Mohamoud (born 1992) is an African-Canadian sculptor/installation artist working in Toronto. Her sculptures and installations focus on the navigation of Black bodies in contemporary spaces. Engaged in the politics surrounding Black male bodies in particular, her recent body of work investigated the (in)tangibility of Blackness through the exploration of athletics—specifically, the sport of basketball. With the use of industrial materials, Mohamoud aims to re-examine our contemporary understanding of Blackness and challenge the relationship of blackness as a colour and shade, and Blackness as a societal or cultural construction of a group of people. Mohamoud graduated from Western University’s Bachelors of Art program in 2014. In 2016, Mohamoud graduated from the Interdisciplinary Arts, Media, and Design Masters Program at the Ontario College of Art and Design University.

Working in sculpture, print, drawing, artist books, installation, advertising, video and most recently film, Divya Mehra is known for her meticulous attention to the interaction of form, medium and site. Through an acerbic tone, she addresses the long-term effects of colonization and institutional racism. Re-contextualizing references found in music, literature and current affairs, she contends with contemporary expressions of societies continuously formed by their colonial roots. Mehra’s work has been presented as part of exhibitions, screenings, and commissions most notably with Creative Time, New York; MoMA PS1, New York; MTV; The Queens Museum of Art, New York; MASS MoCA, North Adams; Artspeak, Vancouver; Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto; Images Festival, Toronto; Beijing 798 Biennale; Bielefelder Kunstverein; and Latitude 28, Delhi. Mehra holds an MFA from Columbia University and was most recently shortlisted for the 2017 Sobey Art Award. Mehra is represented in Toronto by Georgia Scherman Projects.

Derek Sullivan (born 1976 in Richmond Hill, Ontario) received his BFA from York University in Toronto and his MFA from the University of Guelph. Solo exhibitions include The Booklover, Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina; Albatross Omnibus, The Power Plant, Toronto; The Missing Novella, Oakville Galleries; Bulletin Board, Whitecolumns, New York; and More Young Americans, Kiosk, Ghent, Belgium. Sullivan has been featured in numerous group exhibitions including BNL MTL 2012, Montreal; Where do I end and you begin, City Art Centre, Edinburgh; and Blue times, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna. His books and editions have been published by Paul & Wendy Projects (Toronto), Art Metropole (Toronto), Boabooks (Geneva), Printed Matter Inc. (New York). Sullivan has been nominated five times for the prestigious Sobey Art Award, being shortlisted in 2012. His works are in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada were included in their 2017 survey exhibition Our Masterpieces, Our Stories. Sullivan lives and works in Toronto.

EXHIBITIONS AT THE POWER PLANT:
Albatross Omnibus, 2011.

Hajra Waheed (born 1980 in Canada) lives and works in Montreal. Waheed’s multidisciplinary practice ranges from interactive installations to collage, video, sound and sculpture. Prompted by news accounts and extensive research, Waheed uses complex narrative structures to explore issues surrounding covert power, mass surveillance, cultural distortion and the traumas and alienation of displaced subjects via mass migration. Over the last decade, Waheed has participated in exhibitions worldwide including: the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, VIVA ARTE VIVA (2017); 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016); The Cyphers, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2016); Still Against the Sky, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015); L’avenir (Looking Forward), La Biennale de Montréal, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2014). She received the prestigious 2014 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for outstanding achievement as a Canadian mid-career visual artist and was shortlisted for the 2016 Sobey Art Award. Waheed’s works can be found in permanent collections including MOMA, New York; British Museum, London; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Burger Collection, Zurich/Hong Kong; and Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi.