Jen Aitken & Caroline Monnet

Architectonic Transmissions

Alex Bowron
Arsenal Contemporary Art Toronto March 9 — May 22, 2021
Architectonic Transmissions exhibition views, 2021.
Photos : Courtesy of Arsenal Contemporary Art Toronto
[En anglais] 
Aptly titled by Arsenal curators Anaïs Castro and David Liss, Architectonic Transmissions brings the sculptural practices of Jen Aitken and Caroline Monnet into dialogue around the formal and communicative aspects of raw materials. The pairing makes beautiful sense. Together, the works speak a language of contemporary abstract modernism, where volume, surface, and geometry combine to produce scaled-down architectures that push shape into space and play with perception. By refining common construction materials into aesthetically confident wall and floor sculptures, both Aitken and Monnet build their practices through a process of unveiling the inherent properties and intimacies of matter.


Continuing her expansive personal history of working with modular geometric concrete sculpture, Aitken’s signature style is bolstered in this exhibition by a series of new works titled Knots, each with a mass so minimal that their three-dimensionality is mere technicality. Fabricated from thin strips of pine trim, spruce plywood, and framing lumber, and augmented with brass and copper sheeting, these spindly armatures look almost like angular tumbleweed, functioning as sculptural illustrations that delineate space rather than occupy it.

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