Lithic Innards

January 3rd, 2020 – February 2nd, 2020

Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 2020, 7PM -10PM | Artist Talk: Friday, January 3, 2020 8:30PM

Lithic Innards is an exhibition of new work by Toronto-based artist Ellen Bleiwas. The installation’s assembly of unfired clay figures prod at conscious and unconscious knowledge, prompting an experience that is something like recognition, a form of looking that is both familiar and new all at once. The individual works are formed from molded masses or coils of clay, rolled and stretched long into slippery ropes. These soft, pliable coils are wound around and around to form towers that are pinched and smoothed, creating space and texture inside and out. The arrangement of these forms activates circular movement, which direct the viewer to move around the works in a circle, reinforcing the artist’s interest in repetition, reflection, and looking in. Holding space, the installation also produces a feeling of grounded monumentality characteristic of architectural forms and primordial rock. Inviting you into this space and into yourself, Bleiwas asks: do you know this place?

Ellen Bleiwas is an emerging visual artist based in Toronto. She has recently exhibited at Idea Exchange (Cambridge), Angell Gallery (Toronto), and Art Mûr (Montreal). Bleiwas holds a MFA from York University (2017) and a Master of Architecture from McGill University (2010). She has participated in artist residencies including Takt Kunstprojektraum (Berlin), Artscape Gibraltar Point (Toronto), and the School of Visual Arts (New York). Her practice has been supported through grants and awards from the Toronto Arts Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 401 Richmond through the 2017-18 Career Launcher Prize, and here at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery through the RBC Emerging Artist Residency Program. Immediately following her tenure at the RMG, Bleiwas is attending an artist residency at the NARS Foundation in New York, supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

This exhibition is supported by the RBC Foundation and the RBC Emerging Artist Project