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Features / July 24, 2013

Jeremy Everett Captivates with Crystal-Book Sculptures

Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto July 11 to August 3, 2013

The opening of Olga Korper Gallery’s summer exhibitions took place just a few days after Toronto set a rainfall record, with photos popping up online of flooded train cars, subway stations and highways. Even though the sky was (thankfully) clear on the night of the reception, nature’s force was still on hand in the work of Toronto-trained American artist Jeremy Everett. Everett is known for working with a variety of natural and land-art processes. He created the pieces that are on view at Korper by submerging books, newspapers and other printed matter in chemicals and allowing crystal clusters to grow on their once-readable pages. (The chemicals also loosened the ink from those pages, so that the ink itself was redistributed into many of the crystals.)

In Everett’s Most of My Fiction (flooded) (2011), a shelf holds a row of crystallized paperbacks; some look like thick Russian novels, others like they might contain slim collections of short stories. Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night is covered with lustrous, rose-coloured crystals, and other sculptures are created from barely legible pages of the New York Times and Corriere della Sera. Everett’s objects, the results of somewhat unpredictable effects of time and natural processes, contrast with the precise abstract paintings by Toronto-based artist Kristina Burda also on view at the gallery. Burda’s controlled brushstrokes are barely visible; next to Everett’s fragile objects, her abstract figures look like physical embodiments of Plato’s theory of forms—so perfect and controlled that they could not be part of a material world of ever-increasing fluctuation and chaos.