Robert Linsley’s A Geomorphic Fantasy

Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery

March 7, 2011

Robert Linsley
A Geomorphic Fantasy

21 January–21 March 2011

101 Queen St. North
Kitchener, Ontario
Canada N2H 6P7

Robert Linsley has devoted the last thirteen years to exploring the autopoetic work, the artwork that makes itself. His “Island” paintings are made by pouring commercial enamel paint on canvas. The paint is spread and guided by lifting and tipping the canvas, they are never touched by a brush. Most of the works are 6×5 feet, which has a relationship to the size of the artist’s own body. These works cancel out the distinction between chance and necessity in the act of mounting a critique of the prevailing conceptuality of contemporary art. They are also complex meditations on the conditions of labour in the world today. From an art historical perspective they accomplish a synthesis of two antithetical traditions of abstraction: the late cubist or articulated composition and the colour field.

This show is built around a major six part work called A Geomorphic Fantasy (2002–2007), which introduces a new form of abstract narrative. Conceived as a novel in six chapters or a poem in six cantos, the work establishes the deep literariness of modernist abstraction through a reinvention of the series format.

The show also includes a sampling of other Island paintings, drawing from a series of Ovals, a series of Clouds, a series of horizontal pours and a selection of recent watercolors.

Linsley’s exhibition will be complemented by an online publication featuring an essay by Richard Shiff, Professor and Director for the Center for the Study of Modernism at the University of Texas, as well as a conversation between Linsley and Berlin-based art critic Jan Verwoert.

About Robert Linsley
Robert Linsley lived for many years in Vancouver, where he exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery, Presentation House, and the Catriona Jeffries Gallery. His Island paintings have had solo shows in Düsseldorf, Barcelona, Berlin, and Toronto, and recently appeared in group exhibitions at Miguel Abreu in New York and at Acme in Los Angeles. Linsley is also widely published.

Crystal Mowry

*Image above:
Courtesy the artist.
Photo by Robert McNair.