Saturday, September 3, 2016

Roula Partheniou | Chalk to Cheese

Roula Partheniou's Chalk to Cheese opens today at the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan. Curated by Jennifer Matotek, the exhibition features approximately a hundred and forty new sculptures, arranged as a daisy-chain of associated objects, leading the viewer through a circuitous path of connections.

Along a sixteen-foot long plinth, one object leads to the next via visual or linguistic puns, formal properties such as shape and colour, typological groupings, and several other organizing principles. In the photo above, all of the works are acrylic paint on wood or MDF, or pencil on paper, I believe. The exceptions are the beach ball (a painted basketball), a bowl of spaghetti (fimo), and the tube of tennis balls. The plastic tube is found and the balls inside are styrofoam with green flocking.

Other objects include stationary (erasers, templates, glue sticks), kitchen staples (salt, ketchup & mustard, milk), household supplies (WD40, white glue, paper towel rolls), leisure activities (a pool cue, a bowling pin, a badminton birdie), bathroom items (a Q-tip, hairbrush, toilet plunger), etc. etc.

The works builds on the piece of the same name shown earlier this year as part of Sarah Robayo Sheridan's exhibition at the Art Museum of the University of Toronto. The new work is about double the size.

The protective gallery stanchions (not seen above) are also made by Partheniou, as is a single red helium balloon (cast resin) which appears to have floated away from an onlooker and risen to the ceiling, just out of reach.

Some of the objects are brand new (the fimo Q-tip was finished a few days ago) and others date back a few years, but ultimately the work functions as the culmination of several years worth of exploration into the replica and as the final stop of a touring exhibition of sorts (each iteration unique) that began at Oakville Galleries, continued to the Peterborough Art Gallery, the University of Waterloo Art Gallery, and Contemporary Calgary.

The reception begins today (Saturday September 3rd) at 1pm with an artist talk, and continues until 3pm, at Sherwood Gallery. The show continues until October 26, 2016, and the exhibition catalogue, Index, will be released by Black Dog Books early next year. 

"Roula Partheniou has, for many years, been meticulously creating art objects that seem to 'imitate' real life objects. Ranging from bowls of spaghetti to office supplies, and cigarette cartons to vases, Partheniou’s sculptural arrangements are meant to trick us into seeing both her art, and the everyday objects they seem to copy, in new and inventive ways. The uncanny experience of seeing her works, presented often as installations the artist often frames as “constellations”, result from the artist’s blurring of the ready-made art object and the handmade art object."
- Jennifer Matotek

The Dunlop, Sherwood Gallery
6121 Rochdale Blvd
Regina, Saskatchewan, S4X 2R1

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