Sky Glabush, Projet Pangée, Montréal

Projet Pangée
  • Exhibition view, Projet Pangée, Montréal, 2018. Photo: Jean-Michael Seminaro
  • Exhibition view, Projet Pangée, Montréal, 2018. Photo: Jean-Michael Seminaro
  • Exhibition view, Projet Pangée, Montréal, 2018. Photo: Jean-Michael Seminaro
  • Exhibition view, Projet Pangée, Montréal, 2018. Photo: Jean-Michael Seminaro
  • Exhibition view, Projet Pangée, Montréal, 2018. Photo: Jean-Michael Seminaro

Sky Glabush: The Practice of Multiple Perspectives
Projet Pangée, Montréal, April 26–June 2, 2018

Sky Glabush is an artist who doesn’t back down from the challenges of exploration and renewal in his practice. He isn’t exactly a project-based artist, so much as a virtuosic jack-of-all-trades who fully invests in achieving mastery of each body of work, one at a time. His current exhibition at Projet Pangée incorporates a number of different methods and materials into a rhythmic and beautifully counterpointed environment of pictorial thoughts and moments. The walls are hung with the doubling (and in an implicit sort of way, the rhyming) of two seemingly different kinds of work: a series of abstract and colourful framed woven pieces, luminous and recalling certain modern artists like Paul Klee, especially in structural organization; and a series of framed “portraits” in gouache on paper that likewise recall Klee, albeit in a very different form. The heads/faces he has portrayed are both extremely open and direct in their depiction, and are somewhat de-personalized and stylized. Both bodies of work are made by hand in a powerful, searching, and sensitive manner. An oddly spiritual sense emanates from these pieces, because even though the abstract woven works and the expressively figurative portraits openly encourage viewers to understand their perceptions, in terms of historical citation and art historical thinking, they retain an esoteric kind of individuality when viewed on their own or in relation to one another.

The exhibition includes a wooden table near the back of the gallery, placed in a way that creates a perfect flow around the room, activating the wall-and floor-based work. On the table, which is also intricately designed and constructed, we find a number of works on paper, selected from different parts of the artist’s production and research (and from different periods; in some cases these pages go back to sketchbooks from years ago). The works displayed on the table relate to Glabush’s interest in schizophrenia, and draw attention to the conceptual kernel that the show grew out of. Ultimately, the viewer isn’t forced to confront a specific theme or come to a specific conclusion. It’s more that a given grouping of thoughts, and the experience of undertaking a certain process, helped him arrive at a result that gives a lot of pleasure without forcing the issue, and does so in a manner that could not have been preplanned. The artist’s formal methods raise questions that can be answered upon close inspection. The formal questions lead to questions about the content, and the spiritual and ethical dimensions that are being explored; which bring us to further questioning, until we grasp that doing this is the point. We aren’t presented with stable meanings within this show. The artist has placed his faith in an aesthetic exploration that draws us into his process. As a whole, the exhibition is enjoyable yet serious. With this body of work Glabush has created a meditative space that invites us to look, and go from there.

Published on May 22, 2018.

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