Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square
The works in Silent As Glue are deceivingly simple. They are the results of large doses of intuition, a dialogue with art history, a play between restraint and love of materials, and the desire of the artists to surprise and delight themselves and others.
There is a confidence in this work that is reassuring. It comes from both questioning what has been made before and a desire to move forward. It is about bringing new images to life that are both of the world and of the artists' singular imaginations. Each of the artists has a sensibility that has been finely honed over decades, resonating between an appreciation of humble, quotidian materials and a need to re-shape them into something that is both familiar and awkward at the same time-objects and images that one has never seen before, rich with references and allusions to the built world. They are evocative and open-ended in the same way that a great song can be.
How to join one thing to another; which colour, if any, to choose; how many different materials to use; how much of that material to include; will it sit, lean or hang—these are the kinds of questions that Gammon, Harle and Pratt ask themselves every day in their studios. The answers to these questions and more are revealed in their work. The nature of their responses is the subject of this exhibition.
I was listening to “Night" by Bill Callahan when I was developing the idea for this exhibition and the song's simple refrain—“Silent as glue"—was a haunting presence. It seemed like an appropriate title for the show, as I knew that these three artists were no strangers to the power of that magical bonding agent. I also loved that the phrase was made of just three words, mirroring the number of artists and indicative of the poetic nature of the works in the exhibition.
I have known and admired each of these artists for a long time and have always felt that there was a powerful connection between how they brought objects into the world. I hoped that their overlapping sensibilities would be amplified if one were able to experience a careful selection of their works in a shared space. This exhibition is the result of that desire.
Curated by Micah Lexier