Canadian Art

Jon Pylypchuk: Shine On

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal Oct 1 2010 to Jan 4 2011
Jon Pylypchuk <i>The War</i> 2009 Courtesy the artist and Friedrich Petzel Gallery New York  Jon Pylypchuk The War 2009 Courtesy the artist and Friedrich Petzel Gallery New York

Jon Pylypchuk <i>The War</i> 2009 Courtesy the artist and Friedrich Petzel Gallery New York

On the heels of its Marcel Dzama survey, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal focuses on another Royal Art Lodge alumnus, Jon Pylypchuk, with an exhibition of recent works. As this grouping of paintings, sculptures, installations and videos intends to show, Pylypchuk’s raw-yet-refined aesthetic shines brightly in its own right. Whether offering a Plasticine fantasy writ large, as in the 2008 bronze untitled (elephant fight), or rendering widespread social crisis as ragtag microcosm, seen in the rambling 2006 found-object and stuffed-sculpture installation press a weight through life and i will watch this crush you, Pylypchuk has a knack for marrying innocent, childlike play and weary, adult-world despair. Klaus Kertess has concisely described this characteristic mix as a “conflation of Disney and late Goya—a teddy bear’s nightmare.” And yet there’s hope to be found here too, most directly in Pylypchuk’s grouping of small, white-enamelled clay birds. These clumsy, friendly figures might seem like mutants to some (and given the state of our natural world, well could be), but they also peer out from their perch with a bit of the curiosity and humour that their own maker no doubt evinces. Rounded out by the large 2009 installation The War, which posits menacing louts as a wall of absurd lamps, and by a few wittily titled smaller works, Pylypchuk’s show speaks to the probability of brutal apocalypse—but also acknowledges the existence of a sweet, foible-prone humanity that could stand as its unexpected cure. (185 Ste-Catherine O, Montreal QC)

This article was first published online on October 14, 2010.

RELATED STORIES

  • Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Heart Attacks

    Failed love has inspired countless songs, films and writings through history—and a new Vancouver exhibition suggests it’s still a subject worth plumbing. In it, works by Aleesa Cohene, Jon Pylypchuk and others wittily focus on the moment things start to go awry.

  • Yesterday's Tomorrows: Modernism Makeover

    Closing this weekend in Montreal, “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” brings together 10 artists who deal with modernism’s much-debated legacy. As Alhena Katsof observes, the show helpfully resists defining statements, focusing instead on artists’ fascinations with the era.

  • Newsfront

    Governor General Award Season; Marie Fraser's Montreal move; Matthew Hyland to run the show in Oakville; Scott McLeod curates 2011 Photo Fest; SAAG's Lethbridge expansion; Caitlin Jones to Western Front

 

FOUNDATION NEWS

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

ONLINE

  • Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: Black Birds

    New York critic Joseph R. Wolin heads to the Park Avenue Armory where Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are creating a buzz (and other sounds) at the US premiere of a dark, nightmarish installation originally created for the 2008 Biennale of Sydney.

  • Grange Prize 2012: Hot Shots

    One of Canada’s largest cash-value art prizes—$65,000 in total with $50,000 going to the winner, $5,000 to three runners-up—announced its finalists this week. Take in their wide-ranging works in this slideshow.

  • Wanda Koop: Into the Woods

    A visit to Wanda Koop’s cabin near Riding Mountain National Park in southern Manitoba proves intriguing for Vancouver critic Robin Laurence. There, Laurence writes, Koop bridges old Grey Owl myths with a new series of paintings on our increasingly digital culture.

  • Brad Tinmouth: Survival Strategies

    The basement of an art gallery may seem an unlikely place to create an emergency shelter. However, Xpace's lower gallery is an ideal setting for Brad Tinmouth's “If Times Get Tough or Even If They Don't,” which evokes a cold-war bunker.

  • Wim Delvoye: Blame it on Paris

    Silk-covered pigs, lattice-cut car tires and a tattooed man are just a few of the works that Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has shuttled into the old, Gothic wing of the Louvre this summer. Jill Glessing reviews, finding a terrific amalgam of high and low.

More Online

Report a problem