Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chris Millar's Got a Brand New Bag Sculpture

Got a last minute opening announcement here for a work that looks promising—Chris Millar, he of the overflowing comic-influenced canvases, is presenting his first "real sculpture" starting tomorrow at Trépanier Baer in Calgary.

Of course, the paintings that Millar is known for are pretty sculptural already, with little tentacles reaching off the edges of most of his stretcher bars. But as the invite notes, artist Ron Moppett encouraged Millar to go further, to “...make those extraordinary sculpted footnotes that hang off the edges of your paintings into singular wall-mounted sculptures...”

The result of this--well, we're unsure of yet whether it's well-heeded--advice is titled Bejeweled Double Festooned Plus Skull for Girls. The invite also says the work will travel across the country, though it'll be on view in Calgary till December 14. Yeehaw! I look forward to reading the reviews on this one.

Image of Chris Millar's Bejeweled Double Festooned Plus Skull for Girls from the Trépanier Baer invite


mashley said...

Please not another succumbing to the glue gun, silicone or spray insulation foam. Going further is getting out of Canada. His brush could do it on its own. Let us all hope it is just an opportunity to break up the tedium of the time consumed by all that love he puts in his paintings.

pixo said...

I think the sculpture will be more enjoyable if one can walk around it and stick one's face up close. This photograph is not helping. It is more like a mug shot.

I wonder if it is intentional that he glues the Chinese words "Good Idea" backward. Or, may be this photo is looking at the back of the sculpture.

Leah Sandals said...

Hey guys -- thanks for your thoughts. I'll admit Pixo that the picture is not great. That's why I'm looking forward to someone who can tell me what is going on on the ground.

Mashley, you sound frustrated with people who just won't let painting be painting... does this apply to other artists, or just Millar, in your view?

Mashley said...

Actually it is a response to "going further". More as a criticism to those who suggest or imply that his paintings have nowhere to go and his subject matter is dried up or have become redundant. What is wrong with trying to be a better painter? Especially when Chris is actually quite good, considering how derivative his material, content and references are, however all compiled into his own voice and vernacular that can be easily emulated but feebly copied. Work all his own.
In regards to painting, painters have their own problems like the Easter palette, the day-glo Ab/Ex colour scheme, epoxy resin and, my personal favourite, the gentle smear of the Leipzig school. This is the same country that still counts Paul Peel a painter of kitsch, when, without a doubt, he is a truly natural and prodigious painter, one of the few that Canada has ever seen. Unfortunately, one day we will be told this, and, of course, come to believe it when someone from outside this country eventually will point it out.
Chris's biggest problem is production - his works take a long time to create. Time does not equal good, but in his case his process can be quite tedious for anyone outside a clinical OCD.

Leah Sandals said...

Hey Mashley,

Thanks for elaborating. I agree Chris's paintings are really great, despite or almost because he takes this run-through material and makes it fresh somehow. I wouldn't have urged him to make a sculpture myself... it wouldn't have occurred to me... but given how much I like his work overall I would be excited to see it. Even if that means risking disappointment, and it not being his strongest medium.

I also hear you, though, on the many crazy lines we have between good/bad and tasteful/kitsch in our nation and the art world in general. Trends, be they critical or artistic, are powerful, but they can eventually be revised or overcome.... we can hope!

Face Paint Calgary said...

Hi dear
I wonder if it is intentional that he glues the Chinese words "Good Idea" backward. Or, may be this photo is looking at the back of the sculpture.