ABOVE: Les Newman's Winnipeg studio, 2008.
LES NEWMAN: MAJOR SOLO RETROSPECTIVE
(North Wall Gallery One One One) 15 January to 2 April 2009.
Opening reception: Wednesday, 14 January, 5-8 PM, with an artist's talk immediately following the reception in the Art Barn (Building 21 on campus) at 8 PM.
Curated by Cliff Eyland.
Les Newman lives in Winnipeg. He was born in Stephenville, Newfoundland, attended college at Lambton College, Sarnia, Ontario, and graduated with a BFA (major: studio, minor: art history) from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since 1994 he has shown in group and solo exhibitions in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. He has also been the recipient of several provincial and federal arts grants.
Newman is perhaps most widely known for works shown at Plug In Inc several years ago that dealt with his experiences as a telephone market researcher. Since then much of his work has consisted of computer drawings and graphics that he re-photographs so that the finished work is at several removes from its digital source. Since 2000, he has done this photo/digital work, but most recently he has been making paintings that build on the methodologies of his previous text and digital prints.
Although Newman has shown widely, this Gallery One One One exhibition is his first public gallery survey and the first time that his work is being shown art Gallery One One One.
Cliff Eyland: "I first encountered Les Newman's name inscribed in felt marker on a microwave oven at the Khyber Gallery in Halifax. It read: 'Les Newman Memorial Microwave.' He was well-known in Halifax for organizing raves at the Khyber with the artist Kelly Mark. Before he moved to Winnipeg Les was a force to be reckoned with in the Halifax art scene, and true to form, he has also become a legendary underground figure in Winnipeg. He has made, for example, art about drugs -- including a set of drawings made under the influence of various intoxicants -- as well as charts about states of mind. His digital works can't be accurately apprehended through reproduction, and so he makes plain what digital culture often obscures."
Newman on his earlier work: "In my earlier series Clouds, I photographed directly from a computer screen in order to create a decidedly 'low-fi-high-tech image.' The Science Drawings included finer details, more drawing elements, and smaller text while still retaining the original photo's exaggerated pixelation and distortion. The Science Drawings focus on themes of alienation, abandonment, and loss, (usually with a twice-removed reference to a pop-song lyric, self help passage, or other popism/truism). In combining these misanthropic sentiments with humour, brightly coloured scientific models/charts/graphs, and pat explanations, my intention has not been to reduce, but to diffuse these seemingly solitary experiences as universal paradigms. Jealousy, nervousness, nostalgia, inspiration, this is the stuff of our emotions -- how we feel. Trying to quantify such sensations, let alone illustrate them visually, graphically, becomes an absurdity, yet we feel compelled at times to do so."
Les Newman website: http://www.lesnewman.com/
Download exhibition mailer (104K PDF).
Download exhibition poster (172K PDF).
Many thanks to the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, School of Art staff and volunteers.
Gallery One One One hours are: Noon to 4:00 PM closed weekends. Admission is free. Gallery One One One is located at the School of Art, Main Floor, FitzGerald Building, University of Manitoba Fort Garry campus, Winnipeg, MB, CANADA R3T 2N2 TEL:204 474-9322 FAX:474-7605. The FitzGerald Building is located at the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry Campus next to the University Centre. Parking is available in the Parkade behind FitzGerald Building, and at meter and ticket dispenser lots. Parking is free after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends. Campus map link.
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