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Larissa Tiggelers
/ double-bodied

November 20 – January 16, 2021

The paintings in double-bodied expand on the unwavering concerns of Tiggelers’ practice. Like her previous work, this new series is deceptively formal, but its seemingly smooth, care-filled surfaces uproot painting’s traditional affinity to gestural authorship. Historically, a painter’s prowess relied on how they wielded their brush and controlled colour. Tiggelers’ work upends these doctrines by refusing to convey meaning through brush-based gestures. Instead of authorial description, she offers spaces for pause and reprieve. What initially appears flat and stable is, in fact, raised, quietly dynamic, and full of rich and spatially complex colour. By rejecting conventional colour theory’s efforts to standardize and rationalize colour, she insists on colour’s unknowability and vitality. With sustained looking, her paintings’ soft surfaces expand and their hues shift. This slow unfolding offers a counterpoint to the incessant scrolling and whiplash speed of contemporary life.

Tiggelers’ work has consistently offered spaces for contemplation, but the respite found in double-bodied is more urgent. Like many artists, her practice has been deeply impacted by the global pandemic, and the (almost) diptychs in double-bodied reflect the uncertainty of the present and the precariousness of the future. Formally, each painting’s double compositions are fused at their vertical planes, and while they seem to repeat each other, they are not resolved, exact copies. Rather, they are stealth doppelgängers, each side attempting to match the other.

Each painting’s colours and forms have strong proximate relationships across the repeated composition. At first glance, the paintings’ shapes seem knowable and their colours appear easily categorized, but over time those shapes and colours transform. Our eyes readjust. We realize that the seemingly mechanical shapes are actually created from long, infinitesimal brushstrokes, and the flat surfaces are not entirely flat. What first appear as plains are small cliffs of paint with nuanced edges. The paintings’ tonalities, too, resist easy classification; a cool slate eventually reveals undertones of warm violet. By engaging various blacks, green-blacks, red-blacks and blue-blacks through calibrated forms that interrupt the near monochromes, the paintings aim to extend viewing time and the compositional possibilities inherent in the near equals. Over time, colours expand and confuse, and preliminary assumptions don’t hold. In other words, things are not as they first appear, nor should they be.

While painting can’t solve the myriad and preexisting problems highlighted by this global pandemic, double-bodied offers space that encourages contemplation. By rejecting tonal and conceptual assurances, the work helps move us towards valuing the unknown, offering breathing room to search for—and even germinate—solutions beyond the painted surface.

Larissa Tiggelers holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and a BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, she served in a number of positions within Calgary-based artist-run centres, culminating her service in 2015 as the Director of Stride Gallery. She is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. Tiggelers’ work has been exhibited at Jarvis Hall Gallery (Calgary), Christie Contemporary (Toronto), Erin Stump Projects (Toronto), Galerie D’Este (Montréal), The Bakery (Vancouver), Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton) and Paniki Gallery (Población Batan, Philippines).

For availability and all inquiries please contact info@jarvishallgallery.com or call us 403.206.9942

We have designed a new Online Viewing Room to accompany this exceptional exhibition. For the winter JHG will remain open By Appointment Only. Using this platform and approach, we can continue with our planned exhibition schedule while ensuring that the health and safety of our artists, collectors, clients and staff is a top priority.

With that in mind we have temporarily changed our hours. Given the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Alberta, JHG is erring on the side of caution for all and is currently open Tuesday – Saturday, By Appointment Only. We are optimistic about the future and keen to re-open our doors to the public. However we are also cautious and want to ensure the safety and comfort of our clients and staff is a top priority. We invite you to book your visit today and look forward to seeing you soon.

 Book your visit HERE or call us at 403.206.9942