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Sun in an Empty Room 2, 2009, (installation at String Room Gallery, Wells College, Aurora, NY) newspaper, wrapping paper, flour, water


January 14 –March 13, 2010

Pari Nadimi Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new sculpture by Vancouver-based artists Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky. 

Flatlands, created on site at Pari Nadimi Gallery, is a reworking of the salvaged elements of an ephemeral, site specific work made and exhibited by Weppler and Mahovsky in 2009.  That earlier work, entitled Sun in an Empty Room, was a kind of three dimensional paper mache collage they fabricated from newspapers. Hollow casts of natural elements found on Vancouver beaches were integrated into a paper ground made on site in two versions, the first at the Darling Foundry (Montreal) and the second at Wells College (Aurora, NY).  

Both original works were 1200 square-foot single surface sculptures to be walked upon:  dusty gray fields scattered with rocks.  Over time, hollow casts of bottles, cans and other open-mouthed containers found on-site were added to each landscape, punctuating its surface.  Layers of graphic and metallic decorative wrapping paper were glued to the built-up newspaper surfaces of the objects placed in each field, producing an absurd and transient representation of sunlight.

Flatlands will incorporate the yellowed detritus of both versions of Sun in an Empty Room into a stylized, exaggerated restaging of their shared landscape format, skewed into something more approximating an island.

The title Sun in an Empty Room is taken from the 1963 painting by Edward Hopper.  The title Flatlands is taken from the 1970 painting by Philip Guston.

Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky are Vancouver-based artists who have worked collaboratively since 2004.  Born in Winnipeg and Calgary, respectively, both artists have MFA degrees from the University of British Columbia, where they met in 1996.  2009 exhibits included: Auto. Sueno y Materia at LABoral (Gijon) and Dos de Mayo (Madrid); Blue Like an Orange (Ottawa Art Gallery); How Soon is Now (Vancouver Art Gallery); Cubes, Blocks and Other Spaces (Musee d’art Contemporain de Montreal); Nothing to Declare (Power Plant); and solo exhibits at Fonderie Darling (Montreal) and Wells College (Aurora NY).  Other exhibits include: National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Tokyo Wonder Site (Tokyo), Organism (Portland), loop-raum (Berlin), Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge), Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax) and the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver).  Weppler’s work has also been exhibited at the Palazzo delle Papesse (Siena), and COCA (Seattle).  Mahovsky’s work has been shown at the Queens Museum of Art (New York), and he has written for journals including Artforum and Canadian Art.  In 2000, Mahovsky was a resident at apexart in New York, while in 2007 Weppler completed an ISCP residency in New York.  Their work is represented in public collections including the Musee d’art Contemporain de Montreal and the National Gallery of Canada. 

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