Sara Cwynar: Bringing Flat Death to Life

Canadian Art
Sep 25, 2013 12:52PM

“Conceptual kitsch” might be the only adequate term to describe the work of artist Sara Cwynar. Born in Vancouver and raised in Ottawa, she studied design at Toronto’s York University and English at Vancouver’s University of British Columbia before relocating to New York and working as a graphic designer for the New York Times Magazine. Cwynar left the magazine earlier this year to work full-time on her art, the product of which is currently on view in Toronto at Cooper Cole.

Cwynar’s newest body of photographic work, Flat Death (2013), consists of careful arrangements of objects and images that the artist has then rephotographed.

The west side of the gallery is anchored by three such large-scale studies of floral arrangements. An evolution of Cwynar’s earlier Color Studies series (2012), these Contemporary Floral Arrangement works are composed of groupings of objects organized by colour atop enlarged photographs depicting flower-arranging techniques.

The bouquets in these prints bloom with the debris of everyday life: spools of thread, golf tees, paper clips, fancy toothpicks and more. Up close, each arrangement of items resembles the cluttered pages of an I Spy book. However, with slightly more distance, it becomes apparent that each component has been carefully placed upon reproductions of petals, pistils and leaves, following the contours of the image below.... Read more. 

Canadian Art