FORT WORTH / TORONTO - CYDONIA is pleased to announce its return to Art Toronto with 'Matter of Course: Structure and Cognition in Emerging Practices', a curated exhibition featuring Oscar Berglund, Elise Eeraerts, Olga Mokrzycka, Sydney Williams, and Emi Winter. Organized specifically for the fair, 'Matter of Course' provides a survey of art illustrating noesis: each work is an exercise in reasoning. All artists in the exhibition depend on a determined system of thought, where an object’s function is made visible by and beyond its aesthetic vocabulary.
Integrity of the concept is understood aesthetically and compositionally. Combined with the political regimes that commissioned them, architecture and urban planning form our understanding of space, design, and relationships. New paintings by Warsaw-based Olga Mokrzycka anchor the exhibition. Her practice unpacks Post-Communist Poland, both physically and ideologically. Atmospheric interior and exterior landscape paintings are installed alongside drawings composed on hand-made cement and gypsum bricks. As brick is the fundamental building block of for architecture, the artist deconstructs the mise-en-scene of her background through construction of individual units. In various formats, she rearticulates those structures forming urban landscapes that shaped her childhood. Mokrzycka allows the viewer the opportunity to view the matter and materials that inform her practice.
On an adjacent wall, ‘paintings’ of exposed canvas and acrylic reveal the way they were constructed, depicting the layout of the stretcher bars. Post-painting objects built by Oscar Berglund introduce an alternative way of looking behind the shaped-canvases made famous by Frank Stella. Historically, paintings were only valued for their surfaces, and stretcher bars had no value. The purpose of the 'Structure Paintings' is immediately evident: the compositions communicate a humble nobility of transparency and truth.
Emi Winter’s beautifully complex rug challenges our preconceived expectations of tapestry, textiles, and abstract painting. She adds to the post-painting discourse in a manner unique to her biography. Raised by American parents in Mexico and educated in the States, Winter’s rugs merge the ancient and mythic history specific to Mexico and the polemics of painting. Theorists complain of the mediums referentiality, but Winter poetically marries the two aesthetics whilst removing the authority of the art object. Her contribution to the exhibition is functional and domestic yet conceptual. Familiar geometric elements of indigenous cultures find equal footing beside the cut-outs of Modernist abstract painting.
Influenced by her studies under Olafur Eliasson, geometric sculptures by Antwerp-based Elise Eeraerts establish the reliance of repetition as a reliable method of knowing. Simple geometric shapes repeated determine the purpose, intent, and identity of an object. Multifaceted ideas can be reduced to forms that are easy to understand.
Lastly, Texan Sydney Williams adds elements of play to the conversation. Williams has fabricated a new series of work for Art Toronto. The ceramicist hand-built clay forms inspired by children’s building blocks to form architectonic assemblage sculptures. For Williams, all artwork is born from one origin: play. As children, toys are essential to human cognitive development and emotional-intelligence. She challenges the false dichotomy that exists between toys and art objects.
'Matter of Course' articulates the simple language that post-conceptual artists adopt to develop a practice that appears complex. Structural elements have ideological veracity. The exhibition strives to be both democratic yet conceptual. Art that appears as non-populist is made for and made by ordinary people using apparent methods.