Les Ramsay
Balancing Zing 21 jan.— 28 feb. 2015

Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran is proud to present the first solo exhibition by Les Ramsay at the gallery, entitled Balancing Zing, Les Ramsay creates work by re-purposing everyday domestic forms of contemporary excess, employing both constructive and deconstructive strategies. His practice considers Modern traditions while exploring the frontiers of contemporary painting. Inspired by dimensional and perceptual shifts within Cubism and Dada’s absurdist plays, he’s engaged with materiality of the everyday formed in both painting and sculpture. Humour and balance are key activators of formal compositions and a sense of ‘off-ness’ is often the central balancing key within the work. Merging unexpected connections of domestic materials in relation to painting generates layered formal outcomes, which operate as metaphors for evocative tendencies.

Balancing Zing is a selection of new fabric paintings inspired by the genre of slapstick, a kind of comedy where sounds, expressions and gestures are excessively exaggerated. With this idea in mind, “Zing” is the sound one may imagine when a foot hits a banana peel; an image that would be freeze-framed and then, kept in balance. Material in the studio is brand-new and also reclaimed; this generates the options for tactile equilibriums while allowing the histories of new and used materials to mingle. Ramsay introduces a fresh range of bath and beach towels in place of traditional canvas; elements of interest are fastened into compositional position.

These new works are built to instigate the sensory memories of touch and feeling. The evocative softness of the towels is illuminated when juxtaposed in the company of scratchy wool weavings and images built up from puffy thread. Vignettes of second hand cross-stitching and weaving are the visual focal points in many of the recent paintings. These small windows of representation are selected to reflect their kitschy relation with craft, their soft yet textural values, and their specific depictions of traditional and historical painting formats, from Dutch interiors to Canadian landscape.

Born in Vancouver in 1976, Les Ramsay lives and works in Montreal. He studied visual arts at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, at the Universitat de Politecnica in Valencia and is presently completing his MFA the Painting and Drawing department at Concordia University. He has participated in numbers of group and solo exhibitions such as Ignition 10 at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery in Montreal (2014), Keep the Glove at the Sunset Terrace in Vancouver (2014), De-Accessioned Group Show at the Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto (2012). His work has recently been acquired by many Canadian collections, such as Claridge and TD Bank. His work has been exhibited in Canada, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and in the United States.

Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran would like to thank the SODEC for its financial support.