May 18th, 2019 – September 22nd, 2019

Presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of Peterborough and the City of Peterborough.

Opening Reception – Friday, June 7, 7PM – 10PM 

duet brings together work by Jack Bush and Francisco-Fernando Granados to both invoke the aesthetic legacies of modernist abstraction and to initiate a dialogue on contemporary understandings of this period and its visual strategies. By pairing paintings and prints from the mid-twentieth century with site-specific and digital works from a contemporary moment, the exhibition creates a conversation on abstraction that transcends space, time, and medium.

Known for his bold use of colour and iconic compositions, Jack Bush (1909-1977) was a pioneer of post-painterly abstraction and one of the first Canadian artists to gain international recognition. A prominent member of the Painter’s Eleven (1953-1960)who came together through a common commitment to minimalism and abstractionBush helped to solidify the importance of abstraction within the Canadian canon and inspire generations of artists.

As an extension of his interest in form, for the past three years, Francisco-Fernando Granados’ has maintained a near-daily drawing practice informed by the compositional strategies of Jack Bush. Produced on a touch-screen phone, these series of abstract drawings are both an affectionate homage and a quiet subversion. Trained in the history and practice of drawing and painting, Granados was inspired by the National Gallery’s 2014-15 Jack Bush retrospective, an event that closely coincided with the death of his father. The ritual of drawing became folded into a process of mourning and grief that has extended into his everyday life. How does one pay homage? How do we contend with the legacies of those who have come before us?

Grandos’ series towards a minor abstraction and letters are both offerings and provocations. Here, with trained fingers moving across the smooth and familiar surface of a screen, Granados paints to dialogue in a medium that is built for quick exchange. Guiding the abstract compositional impetus away from Modernist concepts of autonomy, the works push towards an open-ended politics informed by his queer and refugee experiences. In duet, the discourse between past and the contemporary is understood as ongoing and reciprocal. The dialogue between Jack Bush and Francisco-Fernando Granados, though displaced by decades, reaches across history in an effort to touch that which seems untouchable, to reshape what seems set.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant.

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