Another Picture I is the first of two exhibitions at Gallery 101 in the autumn of 1990 featuring paintings and works by Ottawa-area artists. Produced in apparently different modes of abstract art, the work of Germaine Koh, Laralouise Légaré, and Robert Waters is related by the characteristics of a marked disregard for archival longevity and pictorial conventions, and the uneasy testing of doubt and conviction. Featured Visions. A thoroughly contemporary aspect of the art in this exhibition is the fragmented personality of the artistic voices. Beyond merely speaking in clipped phrases, the terms in the art are articulated in voices of indeterminacy and we find arguments between doubt and conviction. In some manner of viewing this, perhaps for someone who cherishes a vision of wholeness and perfection, the art here may be seen as melancholic. But as Germaine Koh points out in discussing the instability and distancing effect of her paintings, the viewer “may also accept objects as products of an on-going process that is able to mediate such disappearance because it gives value to not only the action of establishment but also that of dissolution.” Valuing the action of proposing an engagement in this on-going process, they are challenging the harboured ambitious of the viewer who hopes for a transcendental wholeness that allows simple aesthetic reflection. There is a sense of fragility and temporality in the physical existence of most of the art in Another Picture I. Rather than seeming tentative and uncertain, the works of Koh, Légaré and Waters could be described as transitory, equivocal and suggestive, and cautious about producing closed propositional statements. The works in this exhibition are imbued with the personal and subjective perspective of the artists urging and individual “assent” as criterion for the completeness of their statement. The works by Légaré and Waters are offered to us as mediations from their essentially private practices. The orientation of Koh’s art is more public and is, in a generous sense of the work, didactic. Koh’s paintings investigate and suggest meaning in a way that is not primarily a personal expression nor do they rely, as much as Légaré’s and Water’s art does, on a personal notion of subjective truth for their adequacy.
Saturday, August 25, 1990 to Tuesday, September 17, 1991