Donovan Barrow "Gleaning"


poster for Donovan Barrow "Gleaning"

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RARE presents an exhibition of new mixed media works by Donovan Barrow. The show, titled Gleaning, marks the artist's third solo turn at the gallery.

Barrow intermingles various techniques and mediums to stunning effect in a series of small-scale works that are a lesson in the possibilities and permutations of painterly exuberance and experimentation, and a study in the nature of human perception. He transforms remnants of garden-variety debris and vintage items by combining them with colorful, marbleized panels created through a complex process that would make an Old World papermaker or printer beam.

The artist's utilization of re-purposed materials exudes a neo-archival aesthetic that highlights the importance of object-ness and substantiality in his work. Barrow seems to relish altering viewers' perceptions of the aesthetic and conceptual qualities of his work by layering junkyard and vintage relics over a marbleized backdrop and cutting out sections of them to reveal psychedelic landscapes that are simultaneously retro and futuristic.

Barrow deftly translates the age-old decorative technique of marbling into a contemporary language by incorporating it with items that are recycled, replicated by casting, or painted and/or cut to mimic the Op art style. In doing so, he provides an alternative way for us to appreciate familiar forms and subject matter. Corrugated cardboard is replicated in resin and married to panels covered with interwoven skeins of saturated colors, vintage platters and trays are cut out to reveal portals to other dimensions, painted Plexiglas is transformed into nostalgic imagery, and retro countertops are dissected and carved into frame-like shapes or geographic borders to provide windows into mind-bending aesthetic environments.

Donovan Barrow received a BFA from the University of Victoria in British Columbia in 2001, and obtained an MFA from Hunter College in New York City in 2005. He is the recipient of the Helen Pitt Fund for Fine Art Award and the British Columbia Art Council Grant. Barrow most recently exhibited in a three-person show entitled Tales to Astonish both at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, New York (2011), and at Cambridge Galleries, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (2010).



from February 09, 2012 to March 08, 2012


Donovan Barrow

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