January 5, 2008 - The Power Plant - Steven Shearer, Andrea Bowers, Stephen Andrews
January 5, 2008

Steven Shearer, Andrea Bowers, Stephen Andrews

Steven Shearer, Sorry Steve, 1999, ink in paper.
Collection of the artist.

ANDREA BOWERS The Weight of Relevance

1 December 2007 – 10 February 2008

231 Queens Quay West
Toronto ON Canada M5J 2G8


Vancouver’s Steven Shearer is celebrated for his works that investigate the cultures of, and links between, youth, Heavy Metal, and the avant-garde. His sculptures, prints, collages, paintings, murals and drawings approach class, gender, and alienation with a keen sense of absurdity that is rarely applied to such subjects. The first major survey of Shearer’s work in Canada, the exhibition focuses on recent works and features key pieces from the past decade.

The raw material for Shearer’s works comes from his image bank of some 36,000 JPEGs, clippings, Xeroxes, reproductions, and found snapshots. As he recycles these pictures, Shearer looks for visual rhymes and puns, formal and thematic associations that reveal unexpected, frequently hilarious, affinities. The results revel in the anger, aggression, and creative opposition that bubble beneath polite society’s surface. Shearer’s fascination with the art historical resonances in contemporary life emerges in works throughout the show, from collages and sculptures to portraits of long-haired androgynous men and 1970s teen idols.

‘Steven Shearer’ is a collaboration between The Power Plant and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK. A version of the exhibition was presented earlier this year at Ikon Gallery, 30 May-15 July 2007.

An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition. The first major publication devoted to Shearer’s work, it includes essays by Nancy Tousley, Nigel Prince, and Helena Reckitt, and an introduction by Gregory Burke, Director of The Power Plant, and Jonathan Watkins, Director of Ikon Gallery.

‘Steven Shearer’ is presented in Canada with the support of ROGERS.

The exhibition is generously supported by the International Cultural Relations Division at Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) with the assistance of the Canadian High Commission in London.

ANDREA BOWERS: The Weight of Relevance
Bowers is an LA artist whose work investigates the intersection of activism and art. Timed to open on World AIDS Day, 2007, ‘The Weight of Relevance’ addresses the legacy of AIDS activism and the current state of the AIDS Memorial Quilt–the largest piece of folk art in the world. In an installation that includes a three-channel video projection, drawings, books, and a light work, Bowers highlights the current state of the Quilt and the people who maintain and display this monumental artifact. The exhibition includes new drawings that reference HIV/AIDS art and activism in Canada and continues The Power Plant’s 20-year tradition of presenting exhibitions on HIV/AIDS-related art and activism.

Like Shearer and Bowers, Toronto artist Stephen Andrews uses archival materials and found footage. Since 2002, Andrews has been taking images of the Iraq war from the Internet and hand-rendering them in crayon drawings rubbed over a window-screen on mylar. This technique imitates the CMYK dot-matrix of a newspaper image. For ‘Cartoon,’ his first solo exhibition at The Power Plant, Andrews presents an animation and related drawings that allude to the violence and consumer motivations for the situation in the Middle East.

The Power Plant
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