Derek Liddington, Modern Love

October 25th - November 23rd, 2013

Opening Reception: Friday, October 25th, 8-10pm
Artist in Attendance

Daniel Faria Gallery is pleased to present Modern Love, Derek Liddington’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

In his current body of work, Liddington continues to mine Constructivist imagery and symbolism. A personal narrative pushes collective revolutionary accounts to the brink, bordering on abstract fluidity and individualism. Liddington describes his work as “explorations of moments of love, violence, tension and passion as a means of understanding larger social and cultural dynamics developed in those histories that run parallel to periods of unrest and revolution.” Simple Constructivist forms are complicated by vibrating edges and blurred planes. Using drawn or textile-based geometric forms, Liddington investigates tension as a means for uncovering moments of violence and passion.

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  • A drawing by the artist (all the components of a half open venetian blind overlooking a couples riot), 2013
  • A drawing by the artist (looking out from the screen door we could see their impassioned rally), 2013
  • A drawing by the artist (a view overlooking a tower and two squares in constant motion), 2013
  • A drawing by the artist (5 views of an uncomfortable silence), 2013
  • A drawing by the artist (two lovers fucking over the setting sun), 2013
  • 11_modern_love
  • Installation view of Modern Love at Daniel Faria Gallery
  • Installation view of Modern Love at Daniel Faria Gallery
  • Installation view of Modern Love at Daniel Faria Gallery
  • A love worth fighting over (a monument to those that preceded me), 2013
  • Installation view of Modern Love at Daniel Faria Gallery
  • A steel plate from Japan dropped from the second floor of the studio 31 times (self portrait embodying the violence of men who preceded me), 2013

At first, Liddington’s new works from the Rothko Series read as Constructivist homage; drawings composed of geometric forms. Yet upon closer inspection, one can decipher an overwhelming tension as the crowded forms push against one another. Emphasis is placed on the gestural elements present in what are believed to be an initially static, structured composition. In keeping with his interest in movement, line and repeated forms, Liddington stresses the trace of his hand on a surface through laboured drawings founded in abstract expressionism, specifically the surfaces of works by Mark Rothko.

Liddington’s protest banner  A love worth fighting over (a monument to those that preceded me) appropriates elements that can be traced back to the Russian Constructivist period when artists working in dance, theatre, painting and textile collaborated on projects that supported the common goal of developing a labour aesthetic. Steel rods affixed at intervals to a canvas secure this ten-foot high sculptural installation. The banner itself is an expansive 100-foot-long stretch of fragmented canvas recomposed and folded in upon itself. To create this large work, Liddington dyed the material using graphite powder as pigment. The fabric was then cut into different geometric forms and re-assembled into an operatic abstraction. The smaller sections feature repeating forms signifying ongoing narrative moments presenting a quarrel unfolding between three lovers, a car and two ballerinas.

Derek Liddington lives and works in Toronto, Canada. He obtained his MFA from the University of Western Ontario and BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Liddington’s work has been exhibited in numerous public settings, including his staging of Allegory for an Opera as part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2010). His most recent solo exhibition, titled Every moment can be traced back to the first time I felt the warmth of the sun touch my face, is on view this fall at Cambridge Galleries, Cambridge, Canada (2013). This past summer Liddington completed a residency at Onagawa AIR, Japan (2013) and, following this, Liddington’s work was exhibited at Art Berlin Contemporary (2013). His work has most recently been included in group shows curated by Iga Janik (Cambridge Galleries), Cole Swanson and Rui Amaral. Liddington has been the recipient of numerous grants, including the Emerging Artist Grant from the Toronto Arts Council and the Emerging Artist Grant from the Ontario Arts Council.