MKG127 is very pleased to present Objects,
an exhibition by Alan Belcher.
Opening Friday November 18, 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Alan Belcher’s first solo exhibition at MKG127 is his first solo exhibition in
Toronto since 1999. As an object-orientated conceptual artist, he has been
recognized as an originator of a hands-on fusion of photography and
object-making. Belcher is known for a directness and a sharp simplicity when
approaching difficult and sometimes awkward subject matter. A sense of humour
and a reverence for Pop sensibility invades much of his practice.
Belcher regards his recent oil paintings solely as objects; their role as
vehicles of signified subject matter is his prime concern. He is not a painter.
These art objects are denominated and fabricated as oil paintings and behave as
symbolic ideograms. Concerns regarding the objectification of art are examined
in the variety of works exhibited, as are themes relating to collection and
longevity, consideration and attraction, value and investment, hype and
obsession, connoisseurship and the premium gourmet.
The exhibition will feature a selection from Belcher’s 10.5 series of oil
paintings of collectible Nike sneakers in rare colorways and limited edition
brand collaborations. Like the actual shoes, these paintings are manufactured in
China. The resulting portraits of highly-coveted Nike sneakers are painted to
the scale of the artist’s 10.5 shoe size. Also featured are selections from his
most recent four years of production, including the 2012 ceramic multiple
_____.jpg which formed the starting point for this new work, along with
cultured pearls, gourmet black and white truffles, vintage Bordeaux wines, and a
touch of garnish.
Born in Toronto in 1957, Alan Belcher has continued to live and work here for
more than forty years. He was co-founder/director (with artist Peter Nagy) of
Gallery Nature Morte (1982–88) in New York's East Village, and that experience
served as his formal art education. Nature Morte represented a post-modern genre
of deconstructionist conceptual photography, sculpture, and painting, and the
gallery continues to be revered and recognized as an important influence on
today’s condition of contemporary art. Belcher has mounted solo exhibitions with
Galerie Daniel Buchholz (Köln), Marlborough Gallery (New York), the Winnipeg Art
Gallery, Margo Leavin Gallery (Los Angeles), Jack Shainman Gallery (New York),
The Power Plant (Toronto), Josh Baer Gallery (New York), The Apartment
(Vancouver), Spazio Via Farini (Milano), and Cold City (Toronto)—as well as
other one-person shows in Chicago, Montréal, Stockholm, Hamburg, Torino, and
Tokyo. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including in New York
at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum, Marianne Boesky Gallery,
Paula Cooper Gallery, The Sonnabend Gallery, Andrea Rosen Gallery, and 303
Gallery. Other group exhibitions include the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris),
the Sao Paulo Bienal, the I.C.A. in Boston, Mercer Union (Toronto), and many
more. Belcher has been included in group exhibitions organized by curators
Robert Nickas, Cornelia Lauf, Jack Bankowsky, Walter Hopps, Laurie Simmons,
Benjamin Buchloh, Jerry Saltz, and Michelle Grabner, among others.
Currently Alan Belcher’s work is in the group show Every Future Has a Price:
30 Years After Infotainment at the Elizabeth Dee Gallery (New York), which
pays tribute to many of the Pictures Generation artists originating from Gallery
Nature Morte. He is also in the current exhibition Wall to Wall: Carpets by
Artists at MOCA Cleveland curated by Dr. Cornelia Lauf, which includes a
catalog published by Walter König (Köln). Alan will mount a solo exhibition
curated by Éric Troncy at Le Consortium (Dijon, France) opening in
March 2017, and his work will be included in Brand New, a group
exhibition curated by Gianni Jetzer at The Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, D.C.)
opening in February 2018.
Belcher’s work can be found in many collections including the National Gallery
of Canada, Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery at U.B.C., Oakville Galleries,
Walker Art Centre (Minneapolis), Fotomuseum Winterthur (Zurich) and Chase
Manhattan Bank. His work has been purchased by artists including Isa Genzken,
Laurie Simmons, Ross Bleckner, Joseph Kosuth, and Gerhardt Richter. Private
collections include that of Mark Parker (Nike CEO, Oregon), the Bachir/Yerex
Family Collection (Toronto), the Bailey Collection (Toronto), as well as various
collections in New York, Los Angeles, Germany, Paris, London, and Italy.
As an independent Canadian artist, it is of interest to note that Alan Belcher’s
work is not subsidized. Belcher continues to decidedly never apply for (or
receive) grants from (or participate in juries of) any municipal, provincial, or
federal arts councils in Canada.
Alan Belcher at MKG127 — Murray Whyte — Toronto Star, December 1, 2016
Objects continues until December 17.