Illusion and Material in Mid-Sentence

New York-based Canadian artist Rachel Beach is opening her first major exhibition in this country in a decade. A collaboration with Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Rachel Beach: Mid-Sentence will be presented at Confederation Centre Art Gallery from December 10 through April 30, bringing the artist back to the Maritimes, where she was originally trained.

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The show consists almost entirely of new creations, selected from Beach’s studio in Brooklyn, NY, where she has been based since 2001. Educated at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and later Yale University, Beach’s work has been written about in The New York Times, Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, among others.

Originally from London, Ontario, the artist works with abstract shapes and a variety of materials to produce colourful sculptures and two-dimensional pieces that play between illusion and material, geometry and surface. Her works typically deploy a vocabulary of shapes in creative interplay; although non-representational, they often evoke the human figure.

The Centre’s Pan Wendt curated the exhibition with Saint Mary’s Robin Metcalfe. “It is impressive to see what Rachel Beach has created over the past few years,” says Wendt. “Her studio, and everything in it, was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy, but she hasn’t slowed down at all, and her work has grown even richer.”

Gallery Director Kevin Rice looks forward to seeing the exhibition come to life in the Centre’s lower west gallery. “This exhibition will be like eye-candy, colourful and fascinating objects in dynamic arrangements,” he says. “Rachel’s work is known for its visual appeal and playful use of material and shape. Her sculptures are constructions built out of a variety of shapes that evoke folded paper, masks, the built environment, and the history of the medium. We are excited to bring her work back to the Maritimes.”

Rachel Beach: Mid-Sentence opens at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on December 10. The artist will be present for an enriching exhibition tour on Saturday, December 10 at 7 p.m. All are welcome and the tour is presented free of charge.

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