March 22 – April 21, 2007
Opening reception: Thursday, March 22, 6-9 pm
Cynthia Broan Gallery presents two concurrent solo exhibitions: Joe Fyfe, Drawings: 2004-07 and Kim Morgan, Armed.
Joe Fyfe’s latest series of drawings originated when he found a roll of damaged handmade paper at an outdoor market in Vientiane, Laos. He was not aware at the time of his discovery that pristine sheets of the same paper–some which where imbedded with leaves and twigs and manufactured locally–were readily available in art stores in NYC and elsewhere. He liked that the paper was already sun and water-damaged, similar to the distressed and unevenly primed burlap he was using as a painting ground at that time.
Fyfe originally applied watercolor to the paper, but over time reworked many of the sheets by tearing holes in the paper and replacing it with other papers, pieces of fabric and other materials. Alterations always maintained the integrity of the single sheet so that added elements were never pasted on the surface but always pieced in. This affected both sides of the paper and resulted in some of the drawings being finished when the artist decided that the reverse side was the better side.
A number of drawings-in-progress were always packed with his other belongings when the artist traveled, and they were often worked on in rented rooms in parts of Southeast Asia, some were accidentally left behind in these rooms. The artist likens the drawings to travel journals or notebook pages, where ideas and remembered events are jotted down and revised informally.
Canadian artist Kim Morgan recently traveled to New Mexico for a residency, and was impressed with the stark landscape, which she found to be both exciting and frightening. There is a sense of survival and death in the desert, and her casts of dead or eaten Prickly Pear cacti reflect the frailty and danger of the southwest environment. Morgan cast the cacti in aluminum, adding long, sharp glass and metal needles to accentuate their need for defense.
The New Mexico landscape’s ubiquitous shot-out road signs and “No Trespassing” notices added to Kim’s sense of fear and excitement. As a Canadian, she was surprised to find that the locals carried guns at all times. She met up with a militia, who taught her how to shoot a gun. In her video, Shooting Myself in the Foot (2006), she shoots at a pair of boots placed on a chair in the stark desert, the snowcapped mountains in the distance. The boots dance and gunsmoke rises as she shoots from beyond the camera frame. She had worn these boots while working on a four-year project she had just completed, and using them for target practice was an empowering means of processing her sense of futility as an artist, the indulgent slightly masochistic nature of which she likens to shooting oneself in the foot. Together, the video and sculpture installation create a contemporary take on both landscape and still life, addressing art’s ultimate issues of beauty and death.
New York artist and writer Joe Fyfe has exhibited extensively and received several awards. He has recently had solo shows in Vietnam, and at JG Contemporary in both Paris and New York, Fyfe received a Fulbright Award for his current research in Vietnam and Cambodia, and his travel journal, Waterland Diaries, can be found on Bomb’s website, www.bombsite.com.
Kim Morgan lives in Saskatchewan, where she is currently the artist-in-residence at TR Labs, which conducts technology research. She has recently applied technology to art installations in public spaces, including a city bus in Regina. Morgan is also participating in the China/Canada art/research exchange. This will be her first solo exhibition.