What You Need to Know: Studio Sixty Six in Ottawa is currently presenting the exhibition “Constructed Truths: Alexandra Flood, Andrew Morrow, and Atticus Gordon.” The gallery is recognized for fostering and promoting regional artistic talent, and the present show is no exception, as all three artists are based in the Canadian capital. On view through June 30, 2023, the exhibition coincides with the 10-year anniversary since the gallery was founded. Flood’s work draws inspiration from the wide variety of media and materials she encounters, from American pop culture to art history, resulting in atmospheric total abstractions. Gordon investigates the boundaries of painting and representation in his practice, creating otherworldly vignettes that engage with the subjectivity of modern lived experience. Lastly, Morrow’s paintings offer alternatives to and expansions on the current state of figurative painting, rooted in the historic trajectory of the mode. Together, the works featured in the show—individually as well as in conjunction—explore the place of painting within the present tech- and digital-dominated age.
Why We Like It: The “Constructed Truths” exhibition highlights each artist’s painting practice and achieves a thematic cohesiveness that is indicative of a broader trend or movement in art that responds to the current times and evolution of visual culture—specifically the expansion of digital media. As one of the oldest modes of artmaking, painting is primly situated at a revolutionary juncture, and the artists featured each engages with contemporary life and experience in diverse ways—but with the shared commonality centered on the basic tenets of the medium. Works such as Morrow’s (2023) evoke the historical genre of nude painting, but the execution and composition are uniquely his own and contemporary. Elsewhere, Gordon’s (2023) suggests a dreamscape and illustrates the “photobashing” technique where various images are composited. In contrast to these more representational compositions, works like Flood’s (2023) provide an expressive heart to the show, conveying through color and brushstroke an emotional, responsive facet to the current cultural milieu.
According to the Gallery: “Alexandra Flood, Atticus Gordon, and Andrew Morrow share a love of painterly mark-making. Each uses emotive, thoughtful brushwork to build sophisticated visual truths for the digital era. Viewers of are invited to reflect on questions the artists considered as they worked: what does a digital image like? What does it mean to pose for a portrait over Zoom? And, what happens when we put away our smartphones—and our reference points—and lose ourselves in the luxury of pure color?” —Victoria Solan