The Ottawa School of Art is proud to present RICHard SMOLinski exhibition Scrutinearsighted. RICHard is a Canadian artist interested in the ways that power structures influence and shape our realities and behaviours. He currently resides in East York, Ontario but for many years lived in Calgary, Alberta. He works in the areas of drawing, painting, installation, bookarts and performance has been exhibited, presented and performed at public and university galleries, artist-run centres, alternate venues and festivals across Canada, the USA and the UK.
Scrutinearsighted will feature an installation of drawn and scrawled imagery and textual components at the OSA Main Gallery at 35 George Street in the Byward Market from September 7 to October 8, 2017.
Students and members of the community are encouraged to visit to get a first hand glimpse and a chance to meet the artist.
The opening night vernissage & reception will take place at the OSA Main Gallery in the ByWard Market on Thursday September 7, 2017 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm. Admission is free.
This free exhibition runs from September 7 to October 8, 2017.
RICHard SMOLinski: Artist Statement
As our “current state” features the winner of the US Presidential election incomprehensibly claiming that the results were “rigged,” while the UK electorate seemed to vote for their own future impoverishment and marginalization, Scrutinearsighted offers a critical account of our contemporary predicament. The installation of drawn and scrawled imagery and textual components combines the notion of the “scrutineer,” an official appointed to ensure that the rules and regulations of various competitions are meet by their combatants, with the condition of “nearsightedness” or myopia, where the eye can focus upon nearby subjects but blurs when greater distances are observed. Mapping a milieu where biases and ideologies often impede objective judgment and skew public discourse, the project’s imagery features abrupt shifts of perspective and scale, acerbic caricature, and a fragmentary narrative thread that offers viewers a strangely familiar but radically estranged view of our “current state.”
The adjacently installed works form an unstable and unpredictable continuum where the imagery seems to spill from surface to surface before abruptly shifting tone and direction as it offers divergent and dissenting perspectives. Resembling a corrupted tableau or a violently undulating graph, the installation wraps around the exhibition space, enveloping and implicating the viewer within an unfolding incident. This installation format offers its audience a paradox echoing the project’s title—the details of various struggles are visible up-close, but obscured as one tries to view the series’ full breadth. The imagery’s palette (a black, white and grey tonal range) is used to invoke both the extremes of opinion and action, and all the ambiguous and ambivalent compromises and equivocations that are part of contemporary life.
As the exhibition’s title suggests, I have a fondness for word coinage.