Opening reception: February 6, 2010, 2 – 5 p.m.
nowhere if not here is organized by the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, in partnership with the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre
Spanning a period of nearly twenty years, nowhere if not here presents a comprehensive cross-section of the work of contemporary Canadian artist Will Gorlitz. Through a rigourous painting practice, Gorlitz has examined a range of iconographic subjects. His choice of subjects—as seen in his Road Paintings, Numerals, and Not Everyone series— broadly evoke considerations of place, both within the internal context of the painting but also in terms of geographic, social, and theoretical references. To examine the practice of Will Gorlitz is to carefully consider the specific purpose of representation, presentation, and interpretation in the world of images and image-making.
Always Already, Will Gorlitz’s new work for MOCCA’s Project Space, imagines a possible future which was provoked by a recent encounter with an 18th C European allegorical painting by Johann Melchior Roos. An artwork of enormous, commanding scale, the painting presents a highly idealized view of the world where disparate varieties of animal species are gathered together without strife in a lush natural environment for a group portrait. The painting was produced in a time when human superiority and stewardship over the natural world were absolutely assumed. However, in our era of environmental crisis, this original meaning has been fundamentally lost. Always Already is a response to this shift. The installation involves several distinct groupings of paintings, modest in scale and empathetically painted, each separately depicting a variety of animal species stranded in a desolate frozen environment. The setting is unspecific yet its probability never in doubt.
Guelph-based artist Will Gorlitz was born in Buenos Aires and raised in Winnipeg. He studied at both the University of Manitoba School of Art and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Gorlitz’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in exhibitions including the Shanghai Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Power Plant, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Sao Paulo Bienal. He is a Professor in the Studio Art program of the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph. Will Gorlitz is represented by Michael Gibson Gallery (London, ON); Birch Libralato (Toronto); and Galerie René Blouin (Montreal).