Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square
Sublimation is the phenomenon of matter gathering enough energy to turn directly from solid into vapour. This dramatic shift from concrete to ephemeral can stand as a metaphor for artworks that explore the limits of visibility. Through acts of transformation, illusion and suspension, the works in this exhibition focus intently on the perceptual experience of the viewer.
As an extreme, mysterious transition between states, sublimation has also been used in psychoanalytic theory to address the creative process. Jacques Lacan defined sublimation as “raising an object to the dignity of das Ding [the Thing]," that which lies beyond representation. In artworks this can be experienced as a striking yet slippery encounter, a closeness that always recalls that which is just out of reach.
As a framework for interpretation, sublimation—both physical and conceptual—makes for slow, reflective viewing. With an emphasis on simple materiality, these works grasp at the elusive, contemplating the gaps between seen and unseen, interior and exterior, form and meaning.
Stephen Andrews, John Alfred Everest Bennett, Arabella Campbell, Paterson Ewen, Yves Gaucher, Hadley+Maxwell, Bethan Huws, Laura Letinsky, Gareth Long, Ron Martin, David Merritt, Sandra Rechico