Forgotten Luxury & Ideal Aesthetics


curator - Juno Youn

DURATION: June 27th - July 27th Opening reception June 27th Thursday 7-10pm

Abstraction may be difficult to define in words because it comes directly from intuition and the imagination. For this exhibit, Forgotten Luxury & Ideal Aesthetics, Galerie Youn is presenting five abstract-based artists from Toronto and Montreal; Michael Toke,  Michelle Bui, Pierre Julien, Romas Astrauskas and Martin Ouellette. Together, their drawings and paintings are a collective beauty of minimalist and formalist works and free-flowing styles that resonate with rustic and romantic colours, lines and geometric shapes.

Curator Juno Youn has selected works that echo the lyrical compositions and painterly drawings of his personal favourite artists, Richard Diebenkorn and Helen Frankenthaler. There are elements of Frankenthaler's colourful free-style processes and Diebenkorn's strong geometric representations and atmospheric veils of colour.

Michael Toke's work has sprung from the unconscious. His imagery is process driven which draws beauty from an improvisational approach. His drawings and paintings are finely composed experimentations.

Romas Astrauskas' paintings explore expressing the subconscious.  He often narrates his automatic paintings with poetry, leaving the audience to infer their own ideal imageries and emotions from the experimental compositions.

Martin Ouellette draws beauty from the macro details of damaged, decayed and ruined textures, found objects and street views. Through layering elements of the same object or item, each work is composed like a cinematic photograph. His paintings are carefully designed with hundreds of coats of paint and composed with richness drawing from abandoned beauty.

Michelle Bui's Hologram works at first appear very simple and familiar but become much more profound as we look further and discover new shapes and a continuation of shape and form into unknown extensions (think hologram). The extremely strict and clean lines foreshadow the discipline of her process yet provide us a sense of illusion and evoke playful sensations.

Pierre Julien's work draws on the diversity of fashion, architecture, graphics and pop-culture movements (Japanese Neo Pop). His minimalist and yet formalistic compositions in delightful candy-like colours and geometric shape plays are a perfect blend of the graphic and pictorial. His work reveals a concern for the aesthetics of the abstract yet maintains a hint of content true to the principles of classical compositions.

Together, the works of these five artists' combine and contrast lost beauty and freedom, calculated and unbounded geometric sensations and bring together what is discarded as old and the creation of the new. We become lost in their ideal worlds, something we all can relate to in our daily lives.