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Chris Curreri: So be It

8 years ago

Chris Curreri’s CONTACT exhibition at Gardiner Museum features clay-inspired photographic series along with major new sculptural work made from 800 lbs of clay

MAY 1 to 31, 2015


Untitled (Clay Portfolio), 2013, gelatin silver print, 7 3/4 x 5 3/4 in., from a portfolio of 21 images

TORONTO, APRIL 7, 2015—As part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, acclaimed Toronto-based multi-media artist, Chris Curreri, is exhibiting striking photographs taken in 2013 while he was attending weekly clay classes at the Gardiner Museum. Curreri photographed the other students’ wet, discarded projects, capturing raw materials in different states: fresh and untouched clay; mounds of bowls and other objects; and the process of recycling this matter into new, usable material.

The installation in the Museum Lobby, entitled So Be It, also features an ambitious new sculptural work by Curreri—his first piece of ceramic art. Resembling a pile of discarded vase forms, the sculpture measures eight feet long and is made from 800 lbs of clay.

“It’s special to be exhibiting these photographs in the place where they were taken. It feels like they’re coming home,” says Curreri. “The sculpture was quite daunting because of its size, but I’m excited about the result. It expands upon the relationship between raw material, latency, and finality that’s introduced in the photographs.”

Some of the prints have a subtle solarization effect—a phenomenon in photography in which the image is wholly or partially reversed in tone by exposing the print to light during the development process. This process underscores a correspondence between the photographic darkroom and the pottery studio by emphasizing the brief moment where the image is still malleable and has yet to be fixed to the photographic paper.

Visitors to the Gardiner can experience Chris Curreri: So Be It free with regular admission.


Untitled (Clay Portfolio), 2013, gelatin silver print, 7 3/4 x 5 3/4 in., from a portfolio of 21 images

“Chris Curreri’s installation bridges the artistic visions of the Gardiner and the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival seamlessly,” says Kelvin Browne, Executive Director and CEO of the Gardiner Museum. “The works explore the potential of clay as both an artistic medium and as a beautiful and dynamic photographic subject matter.”

Chris Curreri studied photography at Ryerson University before completing a master’s degree at Bard College. He has exhibited locally and internationally, and his work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO); the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University; Hart House, University of Toronto; TD Bank; and Royal Bank of Canada. He was shortlisted for the 2014 Sobey Art Award.

Learn more at gardinermuseum.on.ca/exhibition/chris-curreri-so-be-it.

IMAGES: Untitled (Clay Portfolio), 2013, gelatin silver print, 7 3/4 x 5 3/4 in., from a portfolio of 21 images

Located in the heart of Toronto at 111 Queen’s Park Crescent, the Gardiner Museum is Canada’s only ceramics museum, and one of the world’s great specialty museums. The Gardiner is committed to making a contribution to the medium of ceramics, as well as the community it serves, and is an inviting destination that inspires and connects people, art and ideas through clay. The Gardiner’s permanent collection comprises several extraordinary collections from sophisticated, dedicated collectors, making it one of the most significant centres of ceramics in North America. The breadth of the Museum’s holdings include pottery from the Ancient Americas, rare examples of Meissen, Du Paquier and Chelsea porcelain, Chinese blue and white porcelain, Japanese and Japanese-inspired porcelain, to contemporary ceramics—including an exceptional donation from contemporary ceramics collector, Raphael Yu. For more information, details on exhibitions, events, workshops, clay classes, and more, please visit: www.gardinermuseum.com.

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is an annual event in May with well over 1500 Canadian and international artists and photographers exhibiting at more than 175 venues throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Founded as a not-for-profit organization in 1997 and now a charitable organization, the Festival is devoted to celebrating, and fostering the art and profession of photography, through a diverse range of programmes.

As a leading proponent of photography, the Festival increases exposure and recognition for local, Canadian and international artists and is committed to advancing knowledge, creativity and innovation in photography. It stimulates excitement and discussion among a diverse audience that has grown to over 1.8 million. CONTACT is the largest photography event in the world, and a premiere cultural event in Canada.

For more information, interview requests, and images, please contact:

Rachel Weiner
Gardiner Museum
Communications and Volunteer Assistant

Antonio Tan
Gardiner Museum
Marketing Manager

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