Canadian artist James Carl makes uncommon use of common things. His works explore art as a public conversation—as an opportunity for group speculation. In recent work, Carl has constructed sculptures from venetian blinds, foregrounding possibilities for the visual encounter, and playing with various levels of signification. The ostensibly negative status of craft in fine art discourse, for example, is woven into conversation with modernist sculpture's characteristic negative space.
This show presents Carl’s latest forays with this material, in addition to some new drawings.
Carl has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. The first major survey of his work, entitled do you know what, was presented in 2008 at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto, the Cambridge Galleries Queen’s Square and the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph. Other recent solo shows include jalousie at Galerie Heinz-Martin Weigand in Karlsruhe, Germany, negative spaces at Florence Loewy in Paris, plot at Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery, and bottom feeder at Mercer Union in Toronto. Recent group shows include Beyond/In Western New York, Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, It Is What It Is: Recent Acquisitions of New Canadian Art at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, and Nothing to Declare: Recent Sculpture from Canada, at the Power Plant in Toronto. Carl earned his MFA from Rutgers University and has degrees from McGill, the University of Victoria and the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing. His work is in public and private collections across North America and Europe. Currently, Carl is an Associate Professor of Studio Art at the University of Guelph.