“Glitch-alikes” solo exhibition at Galerie BAC, Montreal

I’m pleased to announce my upcoming solo exhibition, Glitch-alikes, at Galerie BAC, Bigué Art Contemporain in Montreal.  The invitation and press release are below.

Galerie BAC, Bigué Art Contemporain is proud to present the first Montreal solo show of the Toronto-based artist, Mark Stebbins. The exhibition Glitch-alikes will be presented from September 6th to September 29th, 2012, with an opening reception taking place on September 6 starting at 5:00 pm.

Mark Stebbins has become known for small, complex abstract paintings that deal with themes of information, transformation, memory, craft, labour and decay. In Glitch-alikes, Stebbins presents a new body of work that represents both a thematic continuation and a visual tangent to his previous work.

Glitch generally refers to the failure of some system. In its pure form, glitch is an unanticipated error or spontaneous malfunction. In contrast, the “glitch-alike”–a term coined by Iman Moradi–is the result of conscious manipulation by an artist, a purposely induced or synthesized failure.

When an electronic failure distorts visual material, the results can be strangely compelling. Glitched digital images often fragment in ways that reveal something about the structure of the underlying data, resulting in striated bands of pixels, misaligned patterns, abrupt palette shifts and random noise.

Stebbins’ Glitch-alike body of work combines two distinct elements. Firstly, the images refer to the artist’s studio process by incorporating remnants of dried paint scraped from Stebbins’ palette and mixing cups. These remains constitute a sort of accidental imagery, harvested in much the same way a digital glitch artist might hunt for the chance occurrence of pure glitch. Secondly, Stebbins mimics the aesthetics of digital glitch by surrounding the palette residue with elaborate pixel matrices, which he renders by hand in acrylic ink, square-by-square.

The result is an inversion of implied intentionality. Paint strokes and smears that might read as expressive gesture are in fact unintentionally created by-products of past paintings, saved and catalogued by the artist for reuse. In contrast, what appear as unintended failures of digital images are in fact the most laboured aspects of the pieces. On closer inspection, these pixel grids are undeniably expressive in a way that could only be the result of a human hand, containing both a nuanced imprecision in form and a meticulous consideration of subtle tonal variation and patterning.

What to make of these glitchy images, these glitch-alikes? These intimately scaled pieces continue to explore themes found in Stebbins’ past work, including the transformation and decay of information. The artist’s slow and deliberate creation of glitch-alike images can be seen as a sustained meditation on the inherent instability of recorded information, and as such, on change and loss in general. But in gleaning the residue of his studio process, Stebbins suggests that glitch can be celebrated as a reclamation of error. In glitch there is also hope: a hope that in failure, something new and beautiful will emerge.

Mark Stebbins was born in Sarnia, Ontario and currently lives and works in Toronto. He has received numerous awards for his art, most notably an Honourable Mention in the 2010 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, Best in Show and Best in Drawing at the 2010 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, the 2009 Halifax Mayor’s Award of Distinction in Contemporary Visual Arts and Visual Arts Nova Scotia’s Emerging Artist of the Year for 2009.  His work is included in public and private collections, including the RBC Royal Bank of Canada, the Canada Council Art Bank, and the Halifax Regional Municipality. He received a B.F.A. from the University of Western Ontario in 2002 and an LL.B. from Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University in 2008.

For further information, contact Galerie BAC, Bigué Art Contemporain at 514-508-4099 / info@galeriebac.com

Arc Poetry Magazine

Issue 68 of Arc Poetry Magazine is now on news stands and features my piece Division on the cover.  There’s also a seven-page spread showing a variety of my pieces in the middle of the magazine.

Two of the pieces depicted are brand new: a little preview of work that will form part of my upcoming solo exhibition, Glitch-alikes, at Galerie BAC, Bigué Art Contemporain in Montreal.  Glitch-alikes opens September 6 and will be on view through September 29, 2012.

Since its debut in 1978, Arc Poetry Magazine, Canada’s only poetry-exclusive forum, publishes new work by Canada’s most exciting new and established poets, alongside considered discussions of the form through articles, interviews and book reviews.  Each issue also features a showcase on the work of one Canadian visual artist.  Arc Poetry publishes three issues per year: summer, winter, and a themed fall Arc Annual.

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, July 8-10, 2011

I will be showing and selling work again this year at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE), which takes place this coming weekend, July 8-10.

Visit me at booth 113 to see a body of brand new work being exhibited for the first time.

July 8, 9 & 10, 2011
Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto

Free Admission
Friday 10:30am-7:30pm
Saturday 10:30am-7:30pm
Sunday 10:30am-6:30pm

www.torontooutdoorart.org

Art Talk


On Saturday, July 9, I will be part of a panel discussion with artists Tara Cooper and Amy Switzer. The talk is titled The Art, The Artist and The Accolades and is moderated by Jenna Oldham.

Saturday, July 9th
1:00 – 2:00 PM
(45 minute discussion, followed by 15 min Q&A)
Toronto City Hall, in the Rotunda
Free Admission

Click here for full TOAE 2011 programming schedule.

Canada Council Art Bank

Mark Stebbins, Heap, 2010, 16 x 20", collection of Canada Council Art Bank

My 2010 piece Heap has been purchased by the Canada Council Art Bank as part of its 2011 purchases of work by 52 Canadian artists. The Canada Council Art Bank, with approximately 17,500 works, has the largest collection of contemporary Canadian art in the world.

Click here for the full Art Bank news release, or read more below.


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Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition: “50 Years of Art” silent auction

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE) will be holding a cocktail reception and silent auction fundraiser in conjunction with the TOAE retrospective exhibition 50 Years of Art: Looking Back at the Future.

I have donated a brand new small piece, Omnibus (2011), to the silent auction. The event takes place from 6 – 9 pm on June 9, 2011 and will feature 50 small works by past TOAE exhibitors.

Tickets are $50 per person. To purchase tickets in advance, please call the TOAE office at 416-408-2754. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on June 9th. All proceeds to support the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition.

Omnibus, 2011, acrylic paint/ink on panel, 8 x 6 in.

CTV Toronto’s News Reporter, Natalie Johnson, will be the Emcee for the evening. Guests will enjoy music byRichard Whiteman, enjoy award-winning art and participate in a silent auction of small-format artworks and the Catering is provided by Allen’s Restaurant.

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition: “50 Years of Art” retrospective exhibition

My recent piece Amalgam (2011) will be shown as part of the exhibition 50 Years of Art: Looking Back at the Future, a retrospective look at the the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE) to mark its 50th anniversary.

Exhibition information from TOAE:

Over the fifty years of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, more than 20,000 artists have shown at Nathan Phillips Square. In this unique and generous award programme, artists are selected by accomplished artist peer judges and acknowledged as “best” in their medium. Past “honourable mentions” include the young photographer Edward Burtynsky who was awarded second place in 1982.

How then to select artists to represent the more than 2,500 award winners recorded by the TOAE? Number of awards won?  Artists who went on to significant careers? Representation of trends in art?  High sales? Audience popularity?  It’s an impossible task, but who better than curator Jennifer Rudder, a former board member, jury chair and Executive Director of the TOAE’s annual art show and sale. She has selected innovative award winning artists and makers who push the boundaries of the status quo in their work, breaking out of medium specific conventions and restrictions. Unconventional pioneers in their field, these artists have initiated shifts in the way we view art and craft in Canada today.

Amalgam, 2011

Dates: June 8th to July 16th.

Location: FCP Gallery

Address: 100 King Street West, Toronto

FCP Gallery is located in First Canadian Place, at street level near the Adelaide St entrance. Gallery hours Monday through Friday 11am to 3pm. Please contact the TOAE office for more information at 416-408-2754.

See TOAE website for maps to gallery and further details.

Meghan Fish Contemporary Art + Projects

I’m pleased to announce that I am now being represented in Halifax, Nova Scotia by Meghan Fish Contemporary Art and Projects

The MFC Launch Exhibition runs from March 25 through April 23, with an opening reception taking place Friday, March 25.  All are welcome to attend; click here for details or see the invitation and press release below.

Two of my newest pieces, Blow Up and Jetsam, are on view in this exhibition and are available for purchase through the gallery. They can be seen at www.meghanfish.com or under the Works tab above.

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