Amanda Nedham’s new body of work Half of Less Than Ten begins at the end. Inspired by Napoleon’s love letters to his wife Josephine, this show imagines monuments which explore the impassioned and often dubious ambition driving the conquest of the body. Only in death, in trying to put a body back together, can we arrive at these irreducible artifacts which aim to hold onto and unravel these narratives. Borrowing from the histories of colonialism, hagiography, anthropology, and phrenology new types of reliquaries are constructed. These stand as monumental love letters that seek to construct a pathology of desire. See Amanda’s show at Le Gallery in Toronto April 5th-29th.
Toronto artist Matt Bahen creates thick oil paintings of desolate scenery and, often, dogs. Tweaked just right, the lighting in Bahen’s work almost renders itself the subject in each respective canvas, creating a sense that the elements most “alive” in his world are not, in fact, animate. Scavenging dogs and dying foliage or crops are often the only living organisms depicted in Bahen’s most recent work. And though a veritable source of action, these elements often serve more as secondary, blended, narrative connections than primary statements. In keeping with the aesthetics of B/D, this body of work presents a perfect opportunity to draw as much life from the dead as from the living. Bahen is currently showing at LE Gallery in Toronto in a solo exhibition entitled “After Wolves.” If you’re up that way, do not miss out.