Between the Light and the Dark
Janice Mason Steeves & Morley Myers
April 25 to May 8
Graduating with an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Manitoba, Mason Steeves held Clinical and School Psychology positions in Manitoba and Ontario before leaving the field to focus on painting. Further studies were completed at the Ontario College of Art and Design where she graduated with an Honors Diploma in Drawing and Painting and was the recipient of the Nora E. Vaughan Award. She exhibits her work annually in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and in the U.S. and is represented by galleries in Canada and the U.S.A. Her work is included in numerous corporate and public collections both in Canada and internationally, including among others, The Government of Ontario Art Collection; The Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, ON; CIBC World Markets, London, UK; First Gulf; Intrawest Corporation and the Senvest Collection, Montreal.
When creating a sculpture from a raw block of stone Myers often starts with the fault line, the unruly fracture, or some other perceived defect, not in order to make a correction, but rather to initiate a process of discovery. The chisel is guided into a series of moves and countermoves; shapes emerge and disappear and a hidden three-dimensional poetry is, in the end, revealed. Myers is like the archer who, though he knows where he is aiming his arrow, ultimately retains a certain indifference to its exact destination. The work is meticulously composed but open. If this approach sounds like the working method of a previous era – it is precisely that. Myers is one of a growing number of artists who have been struck by the disappointing results of the “new critical” artistic forms and styles. When compared to the art produced in the first part of the 20th century, it is hard not to notice that the results of postmodernism are sometimes little more than sociologically inspired one-liners with perhaps limited durability. Over the last 30 years postmodern critics have tended to emphasize the disruptions and downplay the continuities. This has lead, in certain quarters, to the belief that the art of the past is merely historical artifact, lacking in aliveness or contemporary relevance. Given the relative paucity of durable results, dealing in recoveries, re-developments and extensions is not only valid but perhaps necessary. In a conscious effort to disengage with the new orthodoxy, Myers has investigated anew pre-postmodern strategies and methods.