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James Carl: do you know what, a survey 1990-2008

Pile of multi-colored rubber bands

James Carl: do you know what, a survey 1990-2008

November 22, 2008–January 24, 2009

Curated by Barbara Fischer, Judith Nasby, and Ivan Jurakic

A co-presentation by the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, and Cambridge Galleries.

Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

do you know what, a survey 1990-2008, the first major survey of works by Toronto-based artist James Carl, is presented jointly by the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (University of Toronto, November 22, 2008–January 24, 2009), the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre (Guelph, January 17–March 22, 2009) and the Cambridge Galleries (Cambridge, January 17–March 1, 2009). Each of the three venues will focus on particular aspects of Carl’s sculptural and graphic production from 1990 to the present, highlighting the artist’s preoccupation with the normal, the moral, and the all-too-common.

Born in Montreal in 1960, James Carl moved to Toronto after studying in the University of Victoria (B.C.), McGill University (Montreal), Rutgers (New Jersey) and the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing. He quickly came to attention with an ambitious series of one-to-one scale cardboard replicas of consumer and household appliances: washing machines, stoves, and television sets, among others. Since then, Carl’s interest in replicating objects from the flow of consumer culture has come to involve carving white marble into disposable Styrofoam fast-food containers and cutting and folding coroplast hand tools, car tires, and even office furnishings. Materials made for one-time purposes (such as packaging) represent seemingly long-lasting material goods, while materials associated with permanence and enduring value come to represent the fleeting impermanence of instantaneously disposed stuff. Carl’s works remark on material culture, but resist commentary in favor of confronting the viewer with starkly factual presentations of sculptural objects or graphic equivalents.

James Carl’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada, Europe and Asia. He presents a solo exhibition of new works at Diaz Contemporary (Toronto) from November 22, 2008–January 17, 2009.

Opening Reception

Saturday November 22, 3pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Panel Talk

Sculpture Toronto
Monday December 1, 2008, 6pm
Featuring Jen Hutton, Karen Kraven, and Kristiina Lahde
South Dining Room, Hart House


Media Coverage

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the project support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Title Image: James Carl, white walls, 1998-ongoing. Corrugated plastic. Dimensions variable. Image credit: Toni Hafkenscheid.




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