Exhibition Statement by Robert Yates
If this was a one person show of my paintings only, I would probably do as I have done before and babble on about how words can get in the way of seeing. I would likely remind the viewer that conception is not perception, that perception is prevented by preconception, and that looking at art and talking about art are two entirely different activities which shouldn't be confused with each other. But I can't speak for my colleagues. I am in respected company, and my fellow artists have different soapboxes and divergent opinions or theories. Opinions and theories aside, what the artists here have in common is a simple attraction to abstraction, and they enjoy the act of seeing.
If you believe that you must move your head to a better vantage point before you can properly participate in this artful act, you might climb the Wentworth Street steps, turn around at the top and take off your sunglasses; or, before taking action, you may do a few mental calisthenics. You might try these:
Can you identify the sex of the painter by looking at the painting without reference to the name? Can you determine the sexual preference of the artist? Which of the paintings was done while the artist was in the nude?
Can you say which of the artists was not born in Canada? Can you tell the artist's heritage, race, nationality or political leaning? Can you detect which of these paintings are by visible minorities? Which of these paintings are by invisible minorities? Does the artist come from the lower, middle or monied class? Are any of these paintings painted with the feet or mouth of the artist? Are you sure? Does it really matter?
Do you consider any of these paintings an anachronism? Do any of them seem oblivious to what you think is progress in art? Are they oblivious to your idea of fashion? To what authority do you submit your opinions? Do you think of Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Picasso as fellow human beings or as mythical gods?
Do you have a favorite colour?
Which painting here do you think is the most expensive? Which painting is the best? Is the most expensive painting the best painting? Is the best painting the same as the one you like best?
Please don't hurry with the answers.
Welcome to our exhibition. May you enjoy both it and yourself
at the JOHN B. AIRD GALLERY
at the BROADWAY GALLERY
January 9 - February 10, 1994
AFTERIMAGE was a loose collective of artists who met every once in a while to talk about art. They participated in group shows together for the few years the group was active as a group.
Its members included: Peter Beckett, Diane Cizek, Paul Enright, Justine Giuliani, Jacqueline Huget, Bryce Kanbara, Peter Kirkland, Janice Kovar, Judy Major-Girardin, David Martin, Bob Mason, Denise McKay, Vallery Mokrytzki, Marla Panko, Laurie Sorensen, and Robert Yates.