Nature’s Way at COOPER COLE

Artists: Derya Akay, Colleen Brown, COBRA, Dawn Cerny, Tue Greenfort, Elias Hansen, Matthew Higgs, G.B. Jones, Nile Koetting, Glenn Lewis, Judith Linhares, Tiziana La Melia, Gailan Ngan, Paul P., Bernard Pfitzner, Scott Treleaven, B. Wurtz

Exhibition title: Nature’s Way

Curated by: Lee Plested

Venue: COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada

Date: December 15, 2017 – January 20, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and COOPER COLE, Toronto

COOPER COLE is pleased to present Nature’s Way, an exhibition curated by Lee Plested.

It’s nature’s way of telling you, something’s wrong.
It’s nature’s way of telling you, in a song.
It’s nature’s way of deceiving you, its nature’s way of retrieving you.
It’s nature’s way of telling you, something’s wrong.

-Randy California, Spirit, 1970

Titled after the song by Randy California and Spirit for their album The Dreams of Dr SardonicusNature’s Way’s circular structure and melancholic tone resonates with feelings of alienation and the urgent desire to reconnect to nature. This song is especially resonant during this time of destabilized weather patterns and our collective recognition of globalized industry and exponential capital’s impact. The artworks in the exhibition are culled from the individual artists experiences negotiating the strictures of contemporary life, often by embodying the delirious potential of the natural sublime. These desiring machines machinate the psychological dimension of their contemporary urban experiences through their making. In this way, the works are tools of agency in a period of anxious upheaval.

Written on the back of Spirits first real hit, 1984, the album The Dreams of Dr Sardonicus marked a deeper engagement for Randy California and the band with the emerging social and environmental crisis. Essentially distopic, the title of the album refers to a film in which the audience is witness to the delirious deviancy of the protagonist, Dr. Sardonicus, and then given the ‘opportunity’ at the end to vote for or against his annihilation. This pantomime of democratic process reverberates in our current climate, a time when many feel helpless in facing the mores and obscured intentions of the elected leaders, a moment that has begun to shake and fragment our belief in the possibility for moral ethic beyond avarice.

Nature’s Way is a ballad of despair and a call for reckoning. These artists explore a similar fatalism, trapped between human instinct and the constrictive actuality of contemporary life. Sometimes utopian, sometimes clinical, sometimes unconsciously, the artists turn to the expressive potential of art’s formal vocabularies. Brought together, the exhibition will realize a Brechtian landscape of allegorical experiences; not a road map for the future, but a poetic pantomime for dancing on the edge of a possible natural retrieval.

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Scott Treleaven, Untitled, 2017, Inkjet, Edition of 1, 1 AP, Diptych, 21.75 x 14.25 in each

Derya Akay, T-Shirt and pants w/ plaster flower painting, 2017, Cotton, vegetable dye, plaster, wood frame, flowers, Dimensions variable

Derya Akay, T-Shirt and pants w/ plaster flower painting, 2017, Cotton, vegetable dye, plaster, wood frame, flowers, Dimensions variable

Glenn Lewis, Burial Tree at Storm Bay, 2017, Lighjet print and lidded jar, bird knob, woodfired stoneware, 12.8 x 18.8 in and 4.7 x 7 in

Colleen Brown, Pocket packet, 2016, Mixed Media, 2″ X 17″ X 10″, 5.08cm X 43.18cm X 25.4cm

Judith Linhares, Waiting for Horseman, 2017, Gouache on paper, 34″ X 50″, 86.36cm X 127cm

Gailan Ngan, Rainbow with Pink Meltdown, 2017, Clay, slip, glazes, 16″ X 18″ X 9″, 40.64cm X 45.72cm X 22.86cm

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Nile Koetting, Prospective Cyclones 2018-2020, 2017, Print on swimsuits, emergency whistle, metal, 24.8″ X 23.6″ X 3.9″, 62.99cm X 59.94cm X 9.91cm

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Tiziana La Melia, Sitting on her hair, 2015, Flashe, ink, panel, staging with Lee: weeds, plastic, poem, apples, incense, 80″ X 30″, 203.2cm X 76.2cm

Tiziana La Melia, Sitting on her hair, 2015, Flashe, ink, panel, staging with Lee: weeds, plastic, poem, apples, incense, 80″ X 30″, 203.2cm X 76.2cm

Tiziana La Melia, Sitting on her hair, 2015, Flashe, ink, panel, staging with Lee: weeds, plastic, poem, apples, incense, 80″ X 30″, 203.2cm X 76.2cm

Matthew Higgs, Rockburne, 2017, Book pages, two frames, 20 x 17.5 inches and 20 x 18.5 inches

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

COBRA, The Object – Glorious –, 2014, Acrylic-photo mounting, silver-print, clock, Edition of 3 + 1 AP, 11″ X 11″ X 2.3″, 27.94cm X 27.94cm X 5.84cm

COBRA, THE FUTURE IS WILD – weather news, 2014, MP4 video, Edition of 5 + 1 AP, 11m15, HD H264

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Matthew Higgs, Reading Painting #__ (Peter Schjeldahl), 2014, Acrylic on canvas, publication, wire, staples, 22.5″ X 41.5″ X 1.7″, 57.15cm X 105.41cm X 4.32cm

Bernard Pfitzner, 21 collages, 2015-2017, Edition of 3, 2 AP, Dimensions variable

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

G.B. Jones, Paul P., Untitled, 2002, Collage on paper, 8.5″ X 11″, 21.59cm X 27.94cm

G.B. Jones, Paul P., Untitled, 2002, Collage on paper, 11″ X 8.5″, 27.94cm X 21.59cm

G.B. Jones, Paul P., Untitled, 2002, Collage on paper, 11″ X 8.5″, 27.94cm X 21.59cm

G.B. Jones, Paul P., Untitled, 2002, Collage on paper, 8.5″ X 11″, 21.59cm X 27.94cm

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Tue Greenfort, Horseshoe Crab, Companion Species YOUTUBE Series, I, 2013-2017, Video, Edition of 3 + 2 AP, 12:24 min

Dawn Cerny, Entry Way, Manhattan, 2016, Plaster tape, foamcore, paint, archival inkjet, 23″ X 10″ X 24″, 58.42cm X 25.4cm X 60.96cm

Scott Treleaven, Untitled (Mercury, in profile), 2017, C-print from 35mm double-exposure, Edition of 3, 2 AP, 34″ X 25″, 86.36cm X 63.5cm

Elias Hansen, Let’s turn around and walk home, 2016, Glass, cork, CFL lighbulb, Dimensions variable

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Dawn Cerny, Guest Bedroom, Pacific Palisades, 2016, Plaster tape, foamcore, paint, archival inkjet, 29″ X 20″ X 7″, 73.66cm X 50.8cm X 17.78cm

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

B. Wurtz, Umbrella Handle, 1996, Wooden dowel, rope, plastic bag, nail, 74″ X 36″, 187.96cm X 91.44cm

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Glenn Lewis, Looking North Storm Bay, Lighjet print and platter, woodfired stoneware, 25 x 16.2 in and 8 x 23.2 in

Elias Hansen, I ain’t even know where I got it, 2013, Found object, glass, steel, wood, 36″ X 16″ X 24″, 91.44cm X 40.64cm X 60.96cm

Glenn Lewis, Mud Flats Storm Bay, 2017, Lighjet print and teabowl, woodfired stoneware, 18.8 x 14.3 in and 4.5 x 7 in

Nature’s Way, 2017-2018, exhibition view, COOPER COLE, Toronto

Elias Hansen, Sitting close to the ground, looking for the sea., 2016, Found objects, glass, light bulbs, wire, 67″ X 53″ X 15″, 170.18cm X 134.62cm X 38.1cm

G.B. Jones, Paul P., Untitled, 2002, Collage on paper, 8.5″ X 5.5″, 21.59cm X 13.97cm

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