Adrian Norvid: Showstoppers, Whoppers, Downers & Out of Towners

April 14th, 2012 – April 27th, 2012

An exhibition that deals in nostalgia, humour and disorder, Adrian Norvid’s installation of drawings Showstoppers, Whoppers, Downers and Out Of Towners may be ornamental in design but are monumental in size.

Breaking boundaries using rock-and-roll references, wordplay, visual jokes and a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, his work demonstrates wry wit and a passion for the craft of drawing.

The works muse on 1960’s psychedelia, while filled with components that resemble Victorian and Rococo decoration; they are nostalgic yet fresh in interpretation. Installed directly on to gallery walls, they are highly detailed, illustrative murals chock-full of detail and pun.

Each work takes considerable time to digest.

In one example, Sit Your Sorry Asses Down, a dinner party is portrayed; an event inhabited by a dozen disreputable sorts that include top-hat wearing whisky drinkers, feet-on-table hippies, sleeping or bug-eyed characters and scripts of French and English text, play-on-word brand labels, decorative scrolls and action moving in all directions.

Norvid emigrated from the UK as a child and grew up in Southern Ontario. The characters that are portrayed in his drawings are perhaps explained by this mid-childhood cultural shift as his perception of personality could be seen as an outsider’s view on those even farther outside—an adult’s eye put to the experiences viewed in childhood. Now a drawing teacher at Montreal’s Concordia University, Norvid received a BFA in music and an MFA in studio art from York University.