Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran is delighted to present You Go Disco & I’ll Go My Way, by Vancouver based artist Les Ramsay. This exhibition focuses on a new body of work comprised of paintings, sculptures and embroideries. Continuing a practice that combines textiles with painting, Ramsay’s works are part of an aesthetics of domestic kitsch and folk art in which the boundary between a sincere nostalgia and an underlying irony is increasingly blurred. These new paintings and embroideries make up an assemblage of second-hand textiles, sometimes displaying traditional quilt motifs or bearing the artist’s brush strokes. The various fabrics, thus sewn by the artist to form a canvas, interweave in an emotion of care and abandonment.
The cross stiches and embroideries that intersperse the works function like tiny windows opening on familiar images in art history, from interior Flemish scenes to vast Canadian landscapes. Ramsay’s works reflect the manual labour associated with handicraft and are for the most part punctuated by female figures serenely carrying their tasks out. These scenes of women at work, surrounded by cats, show artificial environments that seem to question the very notion of comfort. Ramsay’s work repeats and deforms these mise-en-abymes all the while blurring the modernist traditions associated with the purity of the medium.
Drawing inspiration from the Cubists and Dadaists’ calling into question of perceptual and spatial certainties, Ramsay makes use of the materiality of everyday objects to explore the borders of contemporary painting. In creating unexpected compositions and relationships between household materials and painting, the artist generates different reading levels, which stimulate the viewer to entertain various evocative and personal metaphors.
Les Ramsay was born in Vancouver where he currently lives and works. He studied fine arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, at Universitat de Politecnica in Valencia (Spain) and completed his MFA at Concordia University in 2015. He has taken part in group and solo shows such as Border X, presented at Winnipeg Art Gallery (2016), Retreat of the Horstman at the Field Contemporary in Vancouver (2016), Ignition 10 at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery Montréal (2014), Keep the Glove at Sunset Terrace in Vancouver (2014) or De-Accessioned Group Show at the Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto (2012). He also has exhibited in Canada, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany as well as in the US. His works can be found in many private and corporate collections such as The Claridge Collection, Medcan and the TD Bank collection.