Exhibition | Shirley Wiitasalo | Contemporary Art at Susan Hobbs Gallery | Toronto | Art Week

Shirley Wiitasalo

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Thursday, 8 April 2021 to Saturday, 8 May 2021

Using the process of ‘transfer’ that Wiitasalo has developed over the years she explores the variability and nuance of texture in a new series of monochromes. The subject matter remains elusive while hinting towards an experience of ruffled linens, crinkled plastic, or creases of skin. Perhaps this simultaneity of folds is at once both visceral and theoretical; evoking a multiplicity of associations. These paintings don’t translate through language but through body; a familiarity, a prehension, that evades the tangible.

The white ground in Wiitasalo’s new paintings is a surface that is at once both present and absent. It is muted by the delicate transferred layer that sit on top, but also sets up the possibility of infinite space somewhere beyond the illusion of paint. The transferred layer floats on top of the ground, is activated by it but veils it. The painting process and any “subject” come together at once emerging as an affect that evades description.

The contingency of transferring materials results in the possibility of multiple variables. To transfer is the process of movement between one surface/subject to another, this exchange imprints itself on the other, never conforming to an exact system but rather registers the incertitude of becoming, an effervescent process in motion. Painting is the process of ordering accident, an index of chance.  But accidents do seem to be the registering of intention. Perhaps all intention is just the ordering of accidents; a theoretical structuring for contingencies. Beyond, and within these folds of order is the whirling potentiality of chaos and Wiitasalo’s paintings seem to be the material investigation of these theoretical spaces.


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137 Tecumseth Street

Toronto Canada

M6J 2H2

Other shows from Susan Hobbs Gallery

Shirley Wiitasalo
04/08/2021 to 05/08/2021
Kevin Yates; Invited: Sara Maston
11/26/2020 to 01/23/2021
Katie Lyle and Ella Dawn McGeough: Greener than Grass
10/22/2020 to 11/21/2020
Patrick Howlett: texting the humours
09/10/2020 to 10/17/2020



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