Power Plant showcases Micah Lexier’s work as a conceptual artist
“Playful” is a word that shows up in a lot of the (many) published stories about Toronto artist and curator Micah Lexier. Certainly that’s a quality evident in both his practice and person. Ask him for his phone number or e mail and chances are good he’ll dig into his wallet to pull out a business card. The card I got the other aaa replica designer handbags day has all the usual factual information but it’s also part of a numbered, open ended edition. Mine is 00740 stamped in blue in the upper right corner, part of a sequential edition, it says on the card’s bottom, that the artist started June 1, 2008.
It’s all great fun. But not in an anarchic, Three Stooges kind of way. The card, for all that it simultaneously spoofs the convention of the calling card and the art world’s fetish for the rare and limited dolabuy.su , is at the same time emblematic replica louis vuitton bags of the precision, rigour and (yes) seriousness the Winnipeg born Lexier has brought to his career in the past 25 years. After all, you don’t get to do an installation at Louis Vuitton’s high quality designer replica handbags wholesale Canadian flagship store which Lexier, Perfect Quality Louis Vuitton Replica 52, has up right now nor slide into the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Bank of Montreal, among a host of other public and private institutions, here and abroad, by being a Seltzer squirting, table toppling prankster. His is a genial conceptualism, one that never forgets to take care of business (cards).
The precision and the puckishness are fully in evidence in Lexier’s newest gallery show titled take a breath now and read slowly One, and Two, and More Than Two at the Power Plant in fake louis bag Toronto. It’s an ambitious, big exhibition, part survey, part update, taking up every space in the Power Plant from now through Jan. 5, 2014 cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk , and giving free rein to two of Lexier’s abiding penchants collecting and ordering. Amazingly, given Lexier’s longevity and art world ubiquity, the showcase marks his debut at The Power Plant, long deemed Canada’s pre eminent non profit venue for cutting edge contemporary art, while his curatorial effort is being touted as “the most extensive exhibition of local art undertaken in Toronto in decades.”
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The last, he admitted between last minute flits around the venue to supervise this and finesse that, has “obsessed my life for about nine months now.” cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk Mostly it’s meant soliciting suggestions, visiting one studio after another, scouting the mostly smallish objects, made, found and enhanced, that he now has artfully positioned in six long rows of Plexiglas covered vitrines. It’s “been a blast” nevertheless, and if he had his 1:1 replica handbags druthers, More Than Two would have even more artists. “Really, I could do this show two or three times over with different artists each time,” he declared. As it is, he’s pulled together an impressive multigenerational panoply, the youngest artist likely being 23 year old Jillian Kay Ross, the oldest, at 83, Michael Snow (who, fittingly, also has contributed the oldest work in the show, a tiny, folded piece of paper, framed behind glass, done in 1961).
Lexier is no stranger to curation and collaboration, having done plenty of both since his return to Toronto five years ago after almost a decade in New York. The Power Plant show originates with Globe and Mail contributor Sarah Milroy who, after winning a $10,000 award from the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts in 2011, gave the money to Lexier on the understanding he’d dip into his extensive (metaphoric) Rolodex to mount an exhibition of emerging Toronto artists. (As it turns out, more than half the artists in the finished show are under 40.) It was Verna who, in 2012, agreed The Power Plant should host such a presentation, Verna as well who said it should be complemented by Lexier’s own work 1:1 replica handbags , as both soloist and co creator.
Besides the new video (seven minutes in duration, it features Lexier’s hands, like those of a blackjack dealer, showing, shuffling, then removing various pieces of art five green cardboard rectangles bordered in white, a stack of cardboard pieces with a drawing of a paper cup on each, fans of numbers ), the cheap louis vuitton bags from china exhibition displays some of his greatest hits. There’s also Self Portrait as a Wall Text, presented here in two epic scaled versions, the one he did when he was 37, the other done this year at Verna’s request. Known in conceptualist circles as “self descriptive art,” both versions consist in their entirety of the same words, printed in huge capital letters on facing walls. They read: “Self portrait as a wall divided proportionally between this black type representing life lived and the remaining white high quality replica handbags china space representing life to come, based on statistical life expectancy.” When Lexier first did Self Portrait in the late nineties, average life expectancy was 75; today it’s 81. Unsurprisingly, for the 2013 version, the black type is significantly larger than that on the facing wall.
Lexier’s never lacked for clever and it’s demonstrated in spades in his curation and arrangement of the large vitrine room. True to form, the artist has assigned each work a number and, in the exhibition’s brochure and book/catalogue, each is presented alphabetically, by creator’s surname, one to 221. The actual objects in the vitrines, however, are not arranged quite so prosaically. In Lexier’s schema, No. 27, Black Dot of Sand by Lyndsey Cope, is positioned beside No. 15, a framed fake designer bags charcoal drawing of a storefront window by Peter Bowyer, which is near No. 61, an opened sketchbook by Patrick Howlett, which is down the way from No. 96, Cameron Lee’s rubber boot stuffed with a plastic pickle jar, and that’s across from well, you get the idea. Or should that be “idea”?
Certainly there are patterns and categories, green things, for instance, seem to be clustered in one area, the same with reds and yellows but there are so many of them (“shape,” “texture,” “contrast,” “writing,” “sticks” and “anomalies” were some mentioned by Lexier) that their organization is recognized more in the breach than in the adherence. The idea, it seems, is for the viewer to revel in the polyphony of things and discover the order, informal and catholic though it may be, in Lexier’s puckish play. It’s an involving show, rather charming, in fact, and distinguished by both the generosity of Lexier’s curatorial spirit and the febrile but order informed flow of his imagination.
Micah Lexier: One, and Two, and More Than Two runs at Harbourfront Centre’s Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto through Jan. 5, 2014. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter.
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