Art Toronto v Stable Diffusion

V

Art Toronto is Canada’s foremost international art fair, which took place from October 26—29, 2023, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. As a frequent visitor to art fairs, I’ve made it a habit over several years to capture and share some artworks that catch my eye. After exploring DALL·E 2 potential for extrapolating visual likeness with 2022 Art Toronto captures, I decided to extend the experiment with Stable Diffusion and explore how various AI image-to-image extrapolations have evolved since then.

Practice over the previous year has informed my understanding that Stable Diffusion XL provided one of the more robust toolsets for iterating and tweaking parameters. The results, seen below, are example of the greater nuance of this year’s AIs. However, they also often reveal compromises or obfuscation surrounding tropes, subjects, and pattern recognition.

This gesture is made with great respect for the original artworks and artists. These extrapolations would not be possible without the foundational jumping-off points provided by their artistic creations. The connection between those original gestures and the potential for others to extrapolate from artistic vocabularies is a rapidly shifting realm.

Murray Clarke, Two Hands, 2023 oil on canvas, 47⅕ × 39⅖ in. Presented by Duran|Mashaal.
Elise Lafontaine, Blue harmony, oil on linen and cotton stitching, 69 × 49 in. Presented by Pangée
Julia Dault, High On the Supply, 2023, acrylic and printed mesh on canvas, 71 × 50 in. Presented by Bradley Ertaskiran.
Michael Smith, Navigator Series – Seventh Wave, 2023, acrylic on canvas 64 × 52 in. Presented by Nicholas Metivier Gallery
Janet Werner, Orange Chair, 2021, oil on canvas 31 × 24 in. Presented by Bradley Ertaskiran.
Kent Monkman, Intermediary Study for Grandmother Knew All the Medicines,
2022, acrylic on canvas. Presented by Art Canada Institute.
Margaux Smith, Mycelial Network, 2021 , 36 × 48 in oil on panel. Presented by Clint Roenisch.
Rosalie Gamache, Un printemps, 2023, huile sur toile de lin, 60 x 48 in. Presented by Duran|Mashaal.
Bea Parsons, Stellar Balance: Celestial Grasp of the Unseen Thread, 2023, monotype on stonehenge paper 30 × 22 in. Presented by McBride Contemporain.
Jennifer Carvalho, oil on canvas 2023. Presented by Franz Kaka.
Pardiss Amerian, chimonanthus (aka gole yakh, wintersweet), 2023, oil on linen 36 × 30 in. Presented by Zalucky Contemporary.
Per Adolfsen, 2023, colored pencil on hahnemühle paper, 16½ × 11⅘ in. Presented by dianna witte gallery.
Jordan Bennett, Nitap: Ne’wt, 2020, acrylic on cradled birch panel 36 × 36 in. Presented by IOTA Institute Gallery.
Kristine Moran, untitled (drawing while walking), 2023⁠, oil on paper⁠ 18½ × 14¾ in. Presented by Daniel Faria Gallery.
Bradley Wood, A Tree Falls Through 2, 2023
oil on linen 49 × 34 in. Presented by Bau-Xi Gallery.
Giulia Dall’Olio, g 19][374 d, 2023, charcoal and acrylic on canvas 59⅒ × 39⅖ in. Presented by Galerie Isabelle Lesmeister.
Chang Wang, All Living Beings, mineral colour
(2×) 120 × 160 cm
David Milne (1882-1953), oil on canvas 16 × 20 in. Presented by Masters Gallery Ltd.
Gary Evans, Untitled 21, 2014, oil on canvas 54 × 42 in. Presented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art.
Manuel Mathieu, Le nœud [The Knot], 2023, mixed media on burnt canvas 80 × 75 in. Presented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau.
Qavavau Manumie. Presented by Feheley Fine Arts.
Saimaiyu Akesuk. Presented by Feheley Fine Arts.
Rob Nicholls, Pavilion of Dreams, 2023, oil on canvas 62 × 72 in. Presented by Equinox Gallery.
Scott Everingham, The Lantern, 2023, oil on canvas 28 × 22 in. Presented by VivianeArt.
Tim Gardner. Presented by Monte Clark
Shaheer Zazai. Presented by Patel Brown.
Van Maltese, Empty pockets no. 3, 2023, oil on panel, red oak frame, cast bronze, enamel, magnets 57½ × 48½ × 2½ in. Presented by Cooper Cole.
Zachari Logan, Canto #4, 2021, blue pencil on mylar 20½ × 18 in. Presented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art.
Winnie Truong, Tafoni, 2023, coloured pencil, cut paper collage 20 × 16 in. Presented by Patel Brown.
Rick Leong, Wild Willow, 2019, oil on canvas 96 × 72 in. Presented by Bradley Ertaskiran.

Detroit Lemon Tea & untitled greens

Some spry spritz and rise from hot plasma and cold ocean swells. Just a taste. Lemon Tea and untitled greens are paired together here as light box imagery and conceptual bridges. These are a likening to worlds between worlds and of our presence and the gestures we make being an inseparable aspect of the places we visit.

Miami Pairs Pop-up

Blue Parrots, 97½ × 132 in digital lightbox
Untitled Pairs, 97½ × 132 in digital lightbox

When does a soul become dyed with the color of its thoughts? These large images both face themselves and face away. Reaching and spiraling both inward and upward, they are poised and revealed, always re-centering on some in-between space and embracing a warmth of details to call their own. 

Untitled Pairs and Blue Parrots are exhibited alongside a selection of works by Saimaiyu Akesuk, curated by NAMARA for the Canada Goose Miami Pop-up.

Saimaiyu Akesuk, Mating Birds, 2023, coloured pencil and ink
Saimaiyu Akesuk, Love in in the Air, coloured pencil and ink
Saimaiyu Akesuk, Polarbird, 2023, coloured pencil and ink

Beijing 作 为一只 鸟 As a Bird

Taikoo Li Sanlitun, Beijing. Two figures, two artists, Saimaiyu Akesuk’s Rippling Birds and Sparkling Bird are here intersected by Alex Fischer.

Saimaiyu’s confident drawings with bold and dynamic simplicity are rendered with soft tenderness and often a touch of whimsy. Alex’s fashioning of Saimaiyu’s characters into models here amplifies their presence.

A presence of standing being sensitive to the waves and stars. A proud character.

作 为一只 鸟 As a Bird, 2023, 84 × 58 × 58 inches, water cut aluminum with printed and painted surfaces.

Dublin Portal

Shadow Integration as a delicate digital folding. The world swirls around the conscious persona. But here we are, gazing into the gray, not in it but with it. Witnessing the surplus of reality that resists.


Commissioned as a part of the NAMARA curated Canada Goose art collection in Dublin, Ireland along with a custom Fischer assisted textiles of original artworks by Ningiukulu Teeve and Quvianaqtuk Pudlate as well as a selection of other drawings and prints by Kinngait artists.

Art Toronto v DALL·E 2

Artworks captured at the 2022 edition

Image-to-image extrapolations 2022-10-29

Manuel Mathieu, L’éveil, 2022, mixed media on canvas, 35 4/5 × 29 9/10 in. Presented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau
Elizabeth Zvonar, Briley Bliss, 2022, inkjet print on Baryta, mounted on dibond, 18 × 18 in. Presented by Daniel Faria Gallery
Veronika Pausova, Wading Sun, 2021, oil on canvas 
75 × 65 in. Presented by Bradley Ertaskiran
Winnie Truong, Tidal Forces, 2022. Presented by Patel Brown
Geoffrey Pugen, Industrial Fan, 2022, 24 × 24 in. Presented by MKG127
Marigold Santos, shroud envisioning (glance in green), 2022, acrylic, pigment + black gesso on canvas, 40 x 28 in. Presented by Norberg Hall
Shannon Bool, La Roi, 2022, jacquard tapestry with embroidery 108 3/10 × 73 3/5 in. Presented by Daniel Faria Gallery
Zachari Logan, Night Vision 4, 2022, pastel on brown paper, 14 × 11 in. Presented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art
Cindy Phenix, One Another Moment by Moment, 2022, oil and pastel on fabrics and linen, 60 × 48 in. Presented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau
Ed Pien, Nymphs bathing, 2021, water-cut aluminium 30 × 32 in. Presented by Pierre François Ouellette art contemporain
Laura Dawe, Thieves, 2022 acrylic on canvas 48 × 36 in. Presented by Patel Brown
Ben Reeves, Riverbed Smokers, 2022 oil and acrylic on canvas 68 × 52 in. Presented by Nicholas Metivier Gallery
Laura Findlay, Plain, 2022, monotype, 25 5/8 × 21 5/8 in. Presented by Norberg Hall
Ooloosie Saila coloured pencil, ink
23 × 30 in, presented by Feheley Fine Arts
Sara Cwynar, Contemporary Floral Arrangement (#14.551 (1967)) a matter of style, 2022. Presented by COOPER COLE
Dil, Hildebrand, Tablet, 2022, oil, acrylic and sand on linen mounted on panel 60 × 40 in. Presented by Pierre François Ouellette art contemporain
Shaheer Zazai, DWG_FD_BD, 2020, digital print on watercolour paper 44 × 66 in, part of a series titled ‘Is, but will be‘. Presented by Patel Brown

Brian Rideout, American Collection Painting 55 (Bacon), 2022 oil on canvas 24 x 24 in. Presented by MKG127
Evan Penny, Venetian Mirror #5, 2022 8 × 8 in color photograph. Presented by Trépanier Baer
Nadia Belerique, Body In Trouble, 2022 installation. Presented by Daniel Faria Gallery
Ted Gahl, Figures by River, 2022, acrylic, moroccan pigments, graphite, oil pastel on canvas in artist’s frame 40 × 30 × 1 in. Presented by Towards

ART SHOW @ NAMARA projects

Daisy Chain, M, untitled 220201-180902, and Coronas (NAMARA Projects, ART SHOW)
Daisy Chain, M, untitled 220201-180902 (NAMARA Projects, ART SHOW)

A curated exhibition at the NAMARA Projects space, that took place October 22, 2022 — January 6, 2023. The works were selected from across several bodies of work and informed by the following tenets:

Practice here involves a persistent discovery and wielding of new creative tools, strategies, and ideas.
An aim to reveal the hybrid and fluid nature of things. 
This body is mine but I am not my body. 
Art is an unlikely extension of nature. 
Assistance as a partnership. 
Perspectivism reigns.

untitled, 2022-191219 in ART SHOW @ Namara Projects
Daisy ChainMuntitled 220201-180902Coronas, and Summer Fleece in ART SHOW @ Namara Projects
Summer FleeceWaves, and Room 15 2 in ART SHOW @ Namara Projects
Summer FleeceWavesRoom 15 2, and As the Sea Curves in ART SHOW @ Namara Projects
Room 15 2As the Sea Curves, and Homo Deus in ART SHOW @ NAMARA Projects
As the Sea CurvesHomo DeusDive, and Blue Lei in ART SHOW @ Namara Projects

I have been witnessing Alex Fischer’s practice throughout their professional career. Technology has always been instrumental to the artist’s process and its impact is evident in the content of resulting printed works. Fischer addresses narratives around technological production, online personhood, and digital authorship. These remain significant to the artist’s practice and hold new consequence in the age of tokenized digital art.

Equally important are the tethers Fischer maintains to traditional art and in particular, conventions of painting. The artist employs myriad digital brushstrokes. Textures, palettes and implied hand are sampled from historical and contemporary works alike. Fischer amalgamates manifold style, resulting in one that is undeniably their own. The artist’s oeuvre is in tension with itself. Seemingly unwilling to give in to digital tropes, visual language is neither a challenge nor concession to prevailing digital modes of artmaking.

Unlike previous series, collections or exhibitions, Art Show brings The Body to the fore. Dynamism characterizes youthful bodies, absorbed into their surroundings–or maybe not. Perhaps the figures are in fact emerging from their conditions. Are these scenes of struggle or performance? Are these avatars labouring within the digital space in which they were conceived–Seeking to separate, or at least to distinguish form from matter?

Fischer does not provide an answer. They embrace the “hybrid and fluid nature of things.” The artist plays with convention and embraces uncertainty. They point to the humanity in digital space without succumbing to it. Even in the more abstract compositions, the audience recognizes certain reflections: Eyes, limbs, movement, and flesh are present but more or less entwined with place.

Disentangling is work for the viewer.

Natalie MacNamara, Principal & Creative Director, NAMARA
Beside Two Hemispheres Called A Brain, 2022-190720, a unique 11×8½inch glossy gicleé with oil pastel, 16×13½ inch matted and framed.
M, 2022-140829, a unique 28×22½ inch matte gicleé mounted to aluminum, 30×24½ inch framed.
Waves, 2022-211217, a unique 12×7⅘ inch matte gicleé, 17;×12⅘ inch matted and framed.
Room 15 2, 2022-210428, a 49×40 inch exposure on 53×44 inch Fujiclear mounted acrylic, suspended
Coronas, 2022-200309, a unique 32×40inch matte gicleé mounted to aluminum, 34×42 inch framed.
Daisy Chain, 2022-220202, a unique 28×41½ inch matte gicleé mounted to aluminum, 30×43½ inch framed.
As the Sea Curves, 2022-180310, a unique 32½×26inch inch matte gicleé, 41½×35 inch matted and framed.
Blue Lei, 2022-150913, a unique 19×15 inch matte gicleé, 28×24 inch matted and framed.
Homo Deus, 2022-171224, a unique 87×58 inch matte gicleé mounted to aluminum.
Dive, 22022-220811, a unique 72×58 inch matte gicleé mounted to aluminum.

Giving Entry @ NAMARA projects

Giving Entry
at NAMARA projects


Curated by Natalie MacNamara
July 9 — September 10, 2022

an exhibition featuring works by
Michael Dumontier + Neil Farber,  Alex Fischer, Nelson HenricksRick LeongZachari LoganTerran McNeelyJohn MonteithJanet MortonDainesha Nugent-PalacheNicotye SamayualieKristin SjaardaWinnie TruongEmma WelchXiaojing Yan

Giving Entry is an exhibition of works by artists who employ flowers or floral motifs in considerations of social, philosophical, and political subjects. What matters most is the embeddedness of these blooms in their particular stories. Within this exhibition, flowers are put to work symbolically in varied artistic inquiries. Counting among them are built narratives around equality and difference; history, memory, and temporality; environment and climate; speculation and the supernatural.


Other exhibition images, photos by Alex Fischer

Harbin 在司徒 In Situ

Alex Fischer: 24 hour animation loop on a 18’×9′ LED Video Display
Polymetis landscape waveform: 20’×60′ polymer, steel, lights

In the summer 2021 Canada Goose commissioned artist duo Polymetis and Alex Fischer to create an installation for a 20’x60′ public window display in the heart of Harbin China. Historically, in ancient China, “Situ” was one of the highest-ranking government offices, with an original translation meaning Administrator of Land. As artists we perform a similar survey on the natures from which we bear witness.

In Situ 在司徒, 2021
presented as a looped 24 hour 18’×9′ LED at Harbin Charter Mall, Harbin, China

The situation of this landscape is an urban setting flanked by billboard graphics, sidewalks, and major daily traffic. With repeat passings likely, the animation, a monolith of light on a 1-hour loop, is intended to appear as an assortment of abstract views. While there may be more depth found in repeat or longer viewings, the content of this animation comes across at any glance. The scenes transition at the pace of slow deep breaths with a steady calm and effervescent rhythm of rivers, fields, and the night glow of local festivals. 

Shanghai 海上 ᐃᒻᒪᕕᒻᒥ Upon the Sea

ᐃᒻᒪᕕᒻᒥ Upon the Sea 海上, 2020, ≅15’×15′ water cut aluminium, white paint. On display at CG iAPM, Shanghai, China.


Inspired by the work of Qavavau Manumie.
Canada Goose commissioned ᐃᒻᒪᕕᒻᒥ Upon the Sea 海上 for their flagship Shanghai location. This piece was designed with the building facade in mind, as a way of creating a unique artist presentation, viewable from the store interior and exterior, alike.

A suspended sea plant landscape of where the ocean meets the land. A convergence. Fischer used linework from traditional Chinese landscape painting, illustrations of neuronal bridges, and representational elements from Manumie’s drawing practice.

Shanghai is located where the confluence of two rivers meets the Pacific ocean. The piece is intended to be an embodiment of where different worlds meet referring both to Canadian culture in China, and Southern Canadian and Inuit cultures represented in this piece.


SAMPLE INSPIRATION

Innervation of Purkinje Cells, Courtesy of the Cajal Institute, Spanish National Research Council or CSIC
Qavavau ManumieUntitled, 2016, 585×760mm / 23×30inch coloured pencil, graphite, and ink on paper
Qavavau ManumieUntitled, 2016, 585×760mm / 23×30inch coloured pencil, graphite, and ink on paper
Qavavau Manumieuntitled (Berry Picking), 2006-2007, 508×660mm / 20×26inch coloured pencil, pentel pen on paper
Qavavau Manumieuntitled (people and stick figures), 2008, 508×660mm / 20×26inch coloured pencil, graphite, and ink on paper

FABRICATION

ᐃᒻᒪᕕᒻᒥ Upon the Sea 海上 aluminium fabrication at Baoding Hailong Metal
ᐃᒻᒪᕕᒻᒥ Upon the Sea 海上 aluminium fabrication at Baoding Hailong Metal

Toronto Story Tree

Story Tree, 2020, ≅15’×15’∅ aluminium tree, acrylic paint, pine base with steel counterweight on display at Canada Goose, Yorkdale Mall, Toronto, Canada

Qavavau Manumie’s drawings are the seeds from which Story Tree has grown. Manumie’s work is idiosyncratic and often amusing in his depictions of Inuit legends and mythology, Arctic wildlife and contemporary aspects of Inuit life. It is through this lens of cultural wisdom and whimsy that Alex Fischer has interpreted Manumie’s drawings for Story Tree. Equally significant is the influence of Kenojouac Ashevak, and Inuit art forebears to Fischer’s practice of digitally collecting, collaging and redrawing a site-specific tribute with a presence of its own.

Through the simplest means of bi-fold asymmetry, Fischer has planted Manumie’s drawings in physical space. Story Tree brings together distinct Northern and Southern perspectives with the mind of the viewer as their integral subject.

Bending Towards the Sun @ YYZ

YYZ 40th Anniversary Exhibition, Bending Towards the Sun features the work of Frances Adair, Grayson Alabiso-Cahill, JD Banke, Liam Crockard, Patrick Cruz, Stan Douglas, Alex Fischer, Hanna Hur, Aaron Jones, Laurie Kang, Garrett Lockhart, Trevor Mahovsky & Rhonda Weppler, Jenine Marsh, Darby Milbrath, Susy Oliveira, Walter Scott, Shannon Garden Smith, Jana Sterbak, and Sean Stewart

Curated by Veronika Ivanova, Bending Towards the Sun is a fundraising exhibition in support of YYZ. On view from Saturday 30 March — Saturday 4 May, 2019. “Bending Towards the Sun” celebrates YYZ Artists’ Outlet—their growth and transformation over the past 40 years, and their resilience and ability to thrive in a climate increasingly hostile to cultural work.

Right to Left:
(1) Alex Fischer “Super Seed BW&Blue” 2016 Giclée on HP Matte Litho-realistic paper 14 x 11” (framed) Edition 3 of 5. (2) Garrett Lockhart, “Buzzin’” 2018 laser print on cotton, assorted wild ower seeds, reclaimed rotten pine 5 1/2 x 7 1/2” (framed). (3) Liam Crockard, “Broom” 2014-2015 Plywood, formica, bristles 58 x 16 x 2 1/2”. (4) Grayson Alabiso-Cahill, “Dundas and Dovercourt, August 2018” 2019 c-print 11 x 14” (framed). (5) Aaron Jones, “Police Sport Du Rag” 2018 Paper Collage 29 x 39” (framed). (6) Liam Crockard, “Lesser Odds” 2018 Losing Scratch Lottery Tickets, Yamato Paste, Tape, Cardboard 13 x 8”. (7) Sean Stewart, “Flora and Creosote” 2018 steel 80 3/4 x 26 x 16”.

With the mild wind, with the first rain showers
the alder bark swells, and pale green
colors the bushes.
And by the brooks, by the sudden sprung black ditches running with foaming cold snow water, 

in the pits, in wet underbrush,
in pools of water –
the pussy willows begin to bleach and yellow.
In the air a cool dampness, the smell of frost and wind,
but soon the water in the ditches will drain, the pastures will dry, and by the rivers, in the ditches, in wet bogs
will spring up clusters of yellow marsh marigolds.
The whole yard smells: of new buds,
boards stacked in the sun,
light frost – and gutted potato pits,
the smell of fresh new grass.
And the faintest breeze brings from the bushes
the smell of alder and juniper,
and smell of fresh buds, catkins and leaves;
and from the fields – the smell of fresh water,
of drying meadows, foamy crusts,
the first coltsfoot, swallowwort, dandelion,
the smell of flooded ponds, the sun’s warmth, and the last
of the dirty snow lying in the loamy ditches.
And when from the bushes yellow with golden catkins
drifts the first whistling on alder bark fifes,
– gentle tapping with a knife-handle –
ah, now really the winter won’t come back – now it is spring!

JONAS MEKAS, HOW SWEET THE SMELL OF SPRING
Courtesy of the estate of Jonas Mekas (1922–2019)

Right: Hanna Hur “Fever ii” 2017 watercolor, china marker and color pencil on linen 30 x 40”

“Again today I watched you leave and tried to follow. Found nothing but darkness in your wake. Granulated by your absence like a lover newly acquainted, now I only hope you’ll stop by again tomorrow. Fruitless is to chase you, somehow you always wind up at my back, Dawn’s fingers waltzing over my shoulders onto my breast. Neck of a crane, these swollen eyes are pried open. Why do you demand my pivot? that I remain dancing circles for you? Why mock the path straight and narrow, it’s been many times I’ve practiced this dance so, why, over? again I dream that I follow you, beyond the edge into the unknown. On a pathway where the light never escapes me, not over the horizon’s selfish ambit, out of view. We could see this as progress, no? I do like to keep moving, I do have trouble staying any one way for too long. I’ve always fought reliance on habituation, cycles are suspects in the transgression of living just once. Oh yes I’m being dramatic as always but it’s a recipe of your making. Could we not just learn to talk like adults about this? Then you’d say to me, “in the endless pursuit of this imagined, faultless life, you may waste so much time running, breathlessly, trying to catch me, that you’ll never sit long enough to know the pleasure of a butterfly picking you as its place to land.” It is a lesson of circuits: energy produced in a self-reliant loop that seldom tires of itself. I remember now that restlessness is exactly what destines Orpheus to a heart full of darkness both by night and day. That is, it is not you who spites me, but myself. You watch from behind, the choreography of how I dance thru darkness to find light. With a face to the moon, I bend towards you, sun.”

KATE KOLBERG, A SUN CARD REVERSED IS STILL A SUN CARD
Jana Sterbak, “Distraction” 1992 C print 19 3/10 x 14 1/5” (framed) Edition 13 of 15
Laurie Kang, “Carrier (Worm)” 2018 stainless steel mixing bowl, pigmented silicone, cast aluminum, powermesh 19 x 19 x 5.5”
Background: Darby Milbrath, “Milkmaid” 2016 oil and natural pigments on linen 16 x 18 x 1”, “Still life with Trilliums and Maple Leaves” 2018 oil on canvas 14 x 16 x 1”.
Foreground: Trevor Mahovsky & Rhonda Weppler, “The Known Universe” 2017 pigmented polymerized gypsum, epoxy, steel, cheesecloth 198 x 133.5 x 53.5 cm
Walter Scott, “Tanya Dognelly” 2017 colored pencil, grease pencil 14 x 17” (framed)

1, 7, and 6000 @ O’Born Contemporary

1, 7, and 6000

Alex Fischer, Solo Exhibition, O’Born Contemporary
February 2015

(1) On the occasion of Alex Fischer’s fourth solo exhibition with O’Born Contemporary, he problematizes the “single image” by its very conversion into multiple, nearly identical forms. A digital original is here reproduced as 1 digital print, 7 large oil paintings, and 6000 small acrylic paintings. Through this multi-modal exhibition, Fischer deliberates on the nature of art with its value systems and capitalist patrimony.

Current agricultural trends demonstrate that when tomatoes are grown, the aim is to direct natural processes, taking agency over evolution. Like all biological species, the tomato plant contains a genetic copy of itself inside every cell of its being. Repetition and versioning are as much a rule in agriculture as they are in human life. Conversely, uniqueness and independence of mind are selling points when it comes to art. There is an established value in originality.1.

(7) Each of the 7 oil paintings was completed by an equal number of painters working in Xiamen, China. Fischer puts the work of these trained hands in direct visual argument with the mechanically reproduced print: he suggests deliberation about the capitalist mechanism and simultaneously entertains his moral ambiguity within this landscape of unapologetic consumptive socio-culture.

The controversy here may be in the fact that Fischer criticizes the capitalist system by highlighting elements that are uncomfortable to acknowledge while fully engaging with capitalism’s ideologies through the kaleidoscope of fine art and its market. He grows the pieces, puts them under optimal lighting, and creates versions at price points to invite the viewer to buy.

(6000) An arched shelf bolsters 6000 small sheets of thin, transparent plastic. Hundreds have already been painted, revealing that they exist as an assemblage of tiles that, when properly arranged, mimic their parent image.

Artwork as a commodity is not valuable per se– its value is the result of an ongoing and never ending social negotiation. That being said, the work of art, and painting specifically, is an object that bears a concrete, almost measurable evidence of labour on its surface.2. Paintings are worked over and leave a trace of the individual mark maker. Each edition in 1, 7, and 6000 shows on its surface the inevitable difference made during translation between parent image and end product. Each image is the real thing.

1. This idea is commensurate with remarks issued by Ben Davis: It is the “uniquely middle-class nature of creative labor in the visual arts [that] would seem to explain its alternative emphasis on the individual, that is, on the virtues of personality and small production, as well as a whole host of other stylistic tics and affectations(…) visual art’s characteristic questioning or ironic attitude; the value of the artist’s signature and the “artist’s statement” that are associated with it.” Davis, Ben. 9.5 Theses on Art and Class – Commerce and Consciousness. Chicago:Haymarket Books, 2013. PDF file.

2. Graw, Isabelle. Thinking through Painting – Reflexivity and Agency beyond the Canvas. Sternberg Press, 2012. Page 56.

VII giclée, 2015
VII 冯声贵 Feng Shui Gui
VII 叶安 Ye An
VII 林建 Lin Jian
VII 江明 Jiang Ming
VII 陈山 Chen Shan
VII 陈文波 Chen Wen Bo
VII 陈秋林 Chen Qiu Lin

82 × 48 × 44 inch acrylic, aluminum, and steel

Beyond The Fall @ Galerie Bigué Art Contemporain

Island, 2011, 24 × 48 in inch giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, White Gator, Framed

Beyond The Fall
Alex Fischer, Solo Exhibition, Galerie BAC

Galerie BAC, Bigué Art Contemporain est heureuse de vous présenter la 1ère exposition solo Montréalaise de l’artiste Torontois, Alex Fischer. Cette exposition intitulée « Beyond the Fall » sera présentée du 9 au 26 mai 2012.

Alex Fischer offre une vue humaine sur des scènes futuristes; une vue qui explore des idéologies et des projections sur une société ayant un regard sur l’art contemporain.

Composant ses personnages et ses paysages avec un assemblage de visuel photographique, Fischer garde toujours en tête que l’idée du futur est inévitable auprès des gens et il maintient, dans ses images, la faiblesse et la susceptibilité de notre état.

Les sujets et personnages de ses œuvres sont une réflexion de syncrétisme. Leur identité extérieur est imposé, ils sont hétérogène, mêlé à un environnement non-conscient mais toutefois, les sujets peuvent être vue vivant dans un monde post-structural par le voyeur.

Island, Daily install
Daily, Paradise, Beyond The Fall install
Paradise, 2011, 15 × 11 3/8 inch giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, White Gator, Framed
Island, Daily, Paradise, Beyond The Fall install
Beyond The Fall, 2011, 43 × 64 inch light jet on Fuji Crystal Archive Flex on Dibond, Framed
Good Grief, 2010, 22 × 16 inch giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, White Gator, Framed
Blackfoot, 2011, 15 × 9 1/8 inch giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, White Gator, Framed
Good Grief, 2010, 5280 × 3840 pixels
Blackfoot, 2011, 4500 × 2742 pixels
Adobe Mask, Myrrha install
Adobe Mask, 2012, 5600 × 4518 pixels
Myrrha, 2011, 9 7/8 × 7 1/2 inch giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, Black Gator, Framed
Beyond The Fall @ Galerie BAC
Cooks Cape, 2008, 15000 × 21000 pixels
untitled (Kind of Blue), 2011, 11 1/8  × 13 1/8 inch giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, White Gator, Framed
Aurora, 2011, 12 × 12.6 inch light jet on Fuji Crystal Archive Flex on Dibond, Framed
Cooks Cape, 2008, 60 × 84 inch giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, White Gator, Framed
untitled (Kind of Blue), 2011, 3934 × 3342 pixels
Aurora, 2011, 4410 × 4200 pixels
Cooks Cape, Parrots install
Parrots, 2011, 60 × 84 inch giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, White Gator, Framed
Supercollider, 48 × 48 inch light jet on Fuji Crystal Archive Flex, Dibond

Beyond The Fall @ O’Born Contemporary

Straw Man, 2012, 96 × 180 inch matte gicleé

Beyond The Fall
Alex Fischer, Solo Exhibition, O’Born Contemporary
February 4 – March 10, 2012

Artists must take responsibility for representing the time in which they live.

The images of Beyond The Fall come from what has become the predominant first-world interface: The personal computer and internet capable device is now the primary filter by which broad swaths of people interact and know themselves. These technologies have the ability to snake our attentions, beliefs and desires, influencing cognition and our experience of the world.

In order to represent these paradigm shifts, Alex Fischer reifies the low-culture of individualistic habits and persuasions to be in dialogue with the ripe philosophy of high art. His chosen medium of digital collage perfectly compliments his artistic process, by which he paints together images from a collection of digital sources. Each piece concedes to multiple interpretations due to Fischer’s choice to obscure the visual space of the image into near abstraction. The narratives encompass characters, scenes, and symbols with all of their ambiguity, insight, and metaphysical baggage on display. The content originates from their adaptations to and the impact of this current age.

Listing.pdf

Straw Man, cell pattern, Beyond The Fall, Purple Jesus install
Purple Jesus, bow, Supercollider, Greens install
Supercollider, 48 × 48 inch light jet on Fuji Crystal Archive Flex, Dibond
Purple Jesus, bow installed
bow, 2012, 15 1/2 × 23 5/8 light jet on Kodak Endura Metallic, Dibond, Framed
Purple Jesus, 2011, 3048 × 3145 pixels
Purple Jesus, 2011, 13 1/8 × 12 3/4  giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, Black Gator, Framed
Myrrha, 2011, 9 7/8 × 7 1/2 inch giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, Black Gator, Framed
Artists Image, 2011, 11 3/4 × 8 5/8  inch giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, White Gator, Framed
Myrrha, 2011, 1725 × 2277 pixels
Artists Image, 2011, 2080 × 2835 pixels
bluenose, Parrots, Myrrha, Artists Image
Parrots, 2011, 60 × 84 inch giclée on Epson Enhanced Matte, White Gator, Framed
bluenose, 2011, 15 × 11 inch light jet on Fuji Crystal Archive Flex on Dibond, Framed
The Infant and The Garden Hose, 2011, 15300 × 15300 pixels
Beyond The Fall, 2011, 43 × 64 inch light jet on Fuji Crystal Archive Flex on Dibond, Framed
The Infant and The Garden Hose, 2011, 47 × 47 inch light jet on Fuji Crystal Archive Flex 255gsm, Plexi
Beyond The Fall, 2011, 14720 × 9907 pixels
Aurora, installed
Aurora, 2011, 12 × 12.6 inch light jet on Fuji Crystal Archive Flex on Dibond, Framed
Aurora, 2011, 4410 × 4200 pixels

Smarter Today @ O’Born Contemporary

Smarter Today

Alex Fischer, Solo Exhibition
October 28 – December 4, 2010

Smarter Today offers a human view of futurist landscapes, a view that explores the ideologies and projections of society through the lens of contemporary art.

Alex Fischer composes his figures and landscapes by assembling a variety of visual and conceptual sources. Keeping in mind that ideas of the future are inevitably the fastest to change, Fischer maintains that human nature is a fallible and susceptible state.

Technological advancement and machine generations have vastly outpaced the tradition of the average human life. As a society, we have adapted to accept the pace at which vast differences and contrasts will influence our modes of being. All projections of which are unpredictable beyond our present context. Today more than ever before, we situate ourselves less as individuals and more as the product of multiple networks. While this network theory suggests a node’s relationship to other networks is more important than its own uniqueness, we find a backlash of reflection on individual circumstance and identity.

The subjects and characters of Smarter Today are reflections on the syncretism that created them. Their exterior identities have been extricated to include all of their precursors. They are heterogeneous and intermingled with their environments, yet maintain their subjectivity in the face of a post-structuralist world.

Smarter Today is Fischer’s debut solo exhibition with O’Born Contemporary.

(LEFT) The Invisible Man Returns 2010 47.88 × 32.00
(RIGHT) Cooks Cape 2010 60 × 84
Cooks Cape, 2010,
Trouble on Volcano Sundae, 2010,
Artists Retreat, 2010,
Trouble on Volcano Sundae, 2010, 16 × 14.7
Artists Retreat, 2010, 16 × 14.7
Grandfather Wreath, 2010
Three Fates, 2010, 60 × 92 in
(FAR LEFT) Bring Home the Bacon, 2010, 15 × 20 in
(LEFT) Untitled Greens, 2010, 15 × 20 in
(RIGHT) Figure Head, 2010, 57 × 55 in
Bring Home the Bacon, 2010,
Untitled Greens, 2010,
Knight (installed)
Teen Dream
Monster Mash
Good Grief
Fungus Philosopher
Dweller
Knight (installed)