MICHAEL VICKERS

In his work, MICHAEL VICKERS addresses the seductive and poetic qualities of form. Vacillating between painting, sculpture and installation, his modulating forms develop an autonomous and distinctive visual language. Insistently remodeled industrial sheets of metal, folded fabric, and molded plexiglas morph into artworks, as gradients of brightly-hued paint camouflage their unyielding surfaces. By relying on acts of negation, and investigating notions of inner and outer space, the compositions simultaneously convey familiarity and strangeness, weightlessness and mass, fragility and monumentality, playfulness and menace, completeness and provisionality.

 

Seeping art historical references, the works speak of the 1960s minimalist ideology, of Donald Judd’s finish fetishism and geometric impulses, of Richard Serra pouring and folding metal, and of John Chamberlain contorting automobile parts. Yet, Vickers’ engagement with independent themes and the obliterative qualities of matter lend his practice a unique position within the context of contemporary art. The calculated creases and folds – a palpable reference to Gilles Deleuze – are remnants of an interaction between the artist and his material, a depiction of the transitional moment of struggle before the medium yields. They eloquently recall the physical actions by which they were brought into being; and in this sense, never cease to exist in liminal space. Colliding with this facture element, a destructive impulse can also be perceived, as the act of creating oscillates between transformation and defacement. Arguably, this places the artworks within a realm of transgression, of George Bataille’s informe or formless, of sculpting and painting understood as a primal urge to mutate, disfigure, embellish and transform.

 

While their physicality arrests motion, anchoring the art in a specific temporal continuum, their chance placement within diverse contextual frameworks points to the ephemerality of these captured moments. Needless to say, there is a claustrophobically tight circularity between the spectrums of time and space. Reacting to – and at times reflecting – the light and characteristics of their milieu, they transcend their function as mere objects. Hence, it is through presentation that the potential of matter is explored and meaning, attributed. Moreover, the insistent materiality of the installations firmly places the viewer alongside them in the gallery space. Seemingly dancing with the beholder, the pieces become the protagonists of a concealed narrative, as one’s perception and spatial relationship to the works develop the creative process.

 

Capturing a sense of urgency and immediacy, Vickers’ practice favors negation, provisionality and occluded beauty. More than a testament to artistic intuition, the works are, in the artist’s own words, a celebration of the seductive and poetic qualities of form.

 

-Ariane Bélisle

 

MICHAEL VICKERS holds an MA in Contemporary and Modern Art History from the University of Toronto (2013) and an Honors BA from the University of Ottawa (2009). Currently Toronto-based, his work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. He has appeared in solo and group exhibitions at Toronto’s Mercer Union, Katzman Contemporary, Drake Hotel, Nuit Blanche, Art Spin, and Toronto Image Works Gallery; The Warkworth Art Project, Warkworh, ON; Truck Contemporary, Calgary, Alberta; Queen’s Museum of Art, New York, N.Y.; Sienna Art Institute, Sienna, Italy; The Billboard Arts Project, Chicago, IL; and the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.  Critical discourses and reviews have appeared in ESSE Magazine, The Toronto Star, and Canadian Art magazine online.  His work will next be seen in the exhibition MONTREAL PREVIEW at Patrick Mikhail Gallery, and in the sculpture garden at Feature Contemporary Art Fair in Toronto, both in October 2014.

 

 

CURRICULUM VITAE

 

EDUCATION

2013 MA: Contemporary and Modern Art History, University of Toronto
2009 Honours BA: Major in Visual Arts, Major in Communication, University of Ottawa

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017 Monument, Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Montreal, QC

2015  Glide Path, Clark House Initiative, Mumbai, India
2013 That Same Small War Within You, Truck Contemporary, Calgary, AB

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016 VOLTA 12,Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Basel, Switzerland

2016 Midnight Massive, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON

2016 Papier 16, Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Montreal, QC

2016 10 Years, Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Montreal, QC

2015 Surface & Stratagem, Division Gallery, Toronto, ON
2015 Triumph of the Theraputic, Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Toronto, ON
2015 Bunting, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, India
2015 Patrick Mikhail Gallery Montréal Opening, Montréal, Canada
2015 Papier15 Contemporary Art Fair, with Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Montréal, Canada
2014 Montréal Preview, Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Ottawa, ON
2014 Art Spin, Toronto, ON
2014 Refined Linen, Katzman Contemporary, Toronto, ON
2014 Push and Pull, Mercer Union, Toronto, ON
2012 Everything and Nothing, N/A, Toronto, ON
2012 Post, The Fifty Fifty Arts Collective, Victoria, BC
2011 Drawn Together, Sienna Art Institute, Sienna, Italy
2011 The Billboard Art Project, Billboard on Interstate 90, Chicago IL
2011 Hang With The Best, Toronto Image Works Gallery, Toronto, ON
2009 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Queens Museum of Art, New York, NY

 

GRANTS / AWARDS

2016 Artist Travel Grant, Canada Council for the Arts

2016 Exhibition Assistance Grant, Ontario Arts Council

2015 Emerging Artist Grant, Ontario Arts Council

2015 Emerging Artist Grant, Toronto Arts Council

2005 Ontario Secondary School Visual Arts Award, Ontario Arts Council

 

PUBLIC INSTALLATIONS WITH OLIVER PAUK

2015 Tensions (with Stephanie Flowers), The Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON

2015 Come Up To My Room, The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, Canada
2014 Nuit Blanche, The Drake Hotel, Toronto, ON
2014 Toronto International Film Festival, Grolsch Open House, Toronto, ON
2014 Sunday Drive Presents Warkworth, Warkworth, ON
2014 Long Winter at The Great Hall, Toronto, ON

 

RESIDENCIES

2014 VSVSVS Studio Residency, Toronto, Canada


LECTURES

2014 OCAD University, Toronto, Canada


RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2012-2014 Program Manager, Akin Collective

2013 Inventory Support, Art Metropole
2012 Research Assistant, Barbara Fischer
2009-2010 Gallery Assistant, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, NY
2009 Artist Assistant, Justin Lowe & Jonah Freeman, Deitch Projects SoHo, New York, NY
2009 Events, PS1 Contemporary Art Center New York, NY

 

PRESS

2015 Art F City, Pastoral Romanticism for the Hashtag FOMO Generation

2015 TOM* Magazine, Summer Issue

2015 TOM* Magazine, Spring Issue
2014 Canadian Art,  Ruralism: Sunday Drive Takes Art Out of the City, Aug. 29.
2014 The Toronto Star, Toronto Art Makes the Trek to Warkworth, Aug. 28
2014 Carbon Paper, Issue 3, Fall 2014
2014 Esse Arts + Opinions, Review Push and Pull
2009 GQ Magazine, September Issue 2009, Project Upgrade: Artist/Curator Profile
2008 Ottawa Arts Review- Selected Work Vol.2, No.4, Fall 2008 For: Adam Brent 2007

 

FILM AND VIDEO

2010 Works featured in ‘Happy Thank You More Please’, premiered at 2010 Sundance Film Festival   

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Press

MICHAEL VICKERS'S EXHIBITION MONUMENT LISTED IN CANADIAN ART MUST SEES
MICHAEL VICKERS IN ARTFCITY ABOUT THE # FOMO GENERATION
MICHAEL VICKERS IS FEATURE IN TOM* MAGAZINE SPRING ISSUE

CHEMICAL VALLEY

A toxic, neon atmosphere glows over chemical valley: a post-apocalyptic world of ss15 menswear featuring an industrial landscape of recent work by artist michael vickers. 

ARTIST WEBSITE
MICHAEL VICKERS | TORONTO ART MAKES THE TREK TO WARKWORTH
MICHAEL VICKERS IN CANADIAN ART