The Power Plant

Solo Exhibition

Karla Black

Past Exhibition

Oct 20 – Dec 30 2018

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Karla Black, 2018. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Photo: Henry Chan


LEAD SPONSOR

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SUPPORT DONOR

Laura Adams & Michael Serbinis

SUPPORTED BY

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CURATOR

Nabila Abdel Nabi

Karla Black’s sculptures hover between sculpture, painting, installation, and performance, challenging easy categorization. Her work comprises traditional art-making media including pigment, plaster and paint alongside everyday substances such as eye shadow, Vaseline, lipstick, cotton wool and toilet paper. Black thus draws from a multiplicity of artistic traditions, including expressionist painting, land art, performance and formalism. Materials are suspended in space or carefully arranged on the floor to produce a multisensory, visceral experience.

The artist is concerned with the physical properties and aesthetic possibilities of the materials she works with, rather than their symbolic or cultural connotations. Hers are self-contained gestures, not intended to draw associations with elements in the external world. In particular, Black regards language as a secondary framework to the deeply material, affective experience that her sculptures evoke. Her simultaneously delicate and monumental works often reveal traces of the artist’s process on their surface—such as fingerprints and dust—and are therefore encountered as both sculpture and site, an experimental approach that enables her audience to engage with the materials differently and encourages new ways of looking at the spaces they activate. For her exhibition at The Power Plant, the artist produced a new site-specific, immersive sculpture that engages with the particular spatial and light qualities of the gallery.

Karla Black, 2018. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Commissioned by The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Karla Black, 2018. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Commissioned by The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Karla Black, 2018. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Commissioned by The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

 Karla Black, 2018. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Commissioned by The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Karla Black, 2018. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Commissioned by The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Karla Black, 2018. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Commissioned by The Power Plant, Toronto, 2018. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

LEARN MORE
Watch Karla Black's Interview with The Power Plant

Watch Karla Black's Artist Talk at OCAD

FALL 2018 PROGRAM GUIDE

Click here to read more about The Power Plant's Fall 2018 exhibitions and programming for the season!

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About the Artist


Karla Black

Karla Black is a Scottish artist who creates abstract, immersive sculptures that explore physical experience as a way of communicating and understanding the world around us. She is interested in ideas of play and early childhood learning as well as the primitive, creative moment when art comes into being and draws on a range of artistic traditions from expressionist painting to land art, performance and formalism. Everyday matter such as soap, cotton wool and toothpaste are explored alongside traditional art materials including plaster, pigment and paint, expanding the limits of what sculpture can be.

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