Ben Reeves and Evan Lee "Shimmer and Paste"
Vancouver artists Evan Lee and Ben Reeves have left their mark on contemporary Canadian art—Lee for his always-intelligent explorations of post-photographic reproduction and Reeves for his deconstructive approach to painting. Together they represent a generational engagement with the status of the image. Career-long friends despite the often-exclusive camps of photography and painting in which they find themselves, they come together in this exhibition to demonstrate mutual considerations of light and collage.
In his “Phoropter” series, Lee works with images of ophthalmic phoropters used for testing binocular vision. In Lee’s collages however, the spiraling clusters of optics seem to belong to anything but binocular beings. He pushes the post-photographic towards the post-human. With his “Fugazi” works, we see high-end fake diamonds enlarged 1500 percent against geometric backgrounds of Lee’s devising. The result pushes 2-dimensions and 3-dimensions into a merged, indeterminate space, lit by the far-off white light on the original zirconia and the designer colours of the background. The blurring of categories becomes Lee’s analogy of the many-tiered layers of mediated reality.
Reeves brings a painters knowledge mediation that matches Lee’s. Where in the past he has broken painting down to its brush stroke by brush stroke accretion, his new work give us seaside beach views painted on burlap with overlapping elements of fine-grained painted canvas. The horizons in the pictures are as far away as the white light in Lee’s diamonds. Depicted space becomes a negotiation of textures, materiality, colour and pigment. The disjunctions of the collage elements, however, are paradoxically naturalized by the landscape setting where we are used to seeing intrusive trees interrupt the view. Reeves’ paintings let us think about the interruptions and about the sustained continuities that take our eyes as far as they can see.
Ben Reeves is represented by Equinox Gallery
Evan Lee is represented by Monte Clark Gallery
About Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects
Launched in 2016 as part of the new Dupont St. gallery scene in Toronto, Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects was devoted to an exhibition program of contemporary Canadian art. Founding editor of C Magazine and editor of Canadian Art from 1996 through 2015, Richard Rhodes brought his expertise to exhibitions by emerging and established artists from across Canada. His informed critical eye launched and nurtured numerous careers in the Canadian art world over the past three decades. A photo diary of his continuing interests and work can be seen on Instagram at @c4rhodes. The gallery website will continue to be viewable at: www.dupontprojects.com.