Newzones is pleased to announce Current Play, a solo exhibition by contemporary Canadian painter Vicky Christou.
Craft and formal painting processes continue to be inspirational sources for Vicky Christou to explore and reference. Christou’s paintings characterize a merging together of formal abstraction with crafted textile properties. This intermixing of historically opposed traditions is encoded with Christou’s personal history and her intuitive painterliness. She symbolically references her ancestry and their utilitarian handiwork practices such as weaving and crochet into the fine art concepts of abstract painting. In her works, what was once considered oppositional processes become a simultaneously infused object, offering the viewer different considerations of perceived beauty.
In this new body of work aptly titled Current Play, Vicky Christou explores color, line, and paint materiality through her personal distinctive methods of application. Her methodology, inspired by traditional textiles is guided by an intuitive visual process by which she is in the constant engagement and rearranging and assembly; this is the play of her choices and decisions visually apparent in her new works. Some paintings are thick and impasto, involving several years of responding to the materiality of the paint surface. While other works though assembled over shorter periods of time involve equal consideration.
Christou’s use of the grid as a point of departure is also used as a form of order and simplicity. Known for her impasto layered grid work, she meticulously layers line upon line of extruded impasto acrylic paint to construct the tactile bias relief sculptural textured surfaces of her paintings. The concept of the grid though often strictly adhered to, does allow for variations by use of bold or subtle color patterns and rhythmical proportions of lines. These multiple framework variables occur, and different visual directions are encouraged as the painting process develops.
The paintings materiality takes on a sense of a performed three-dimensional calendar as its surfaces are painted over and over again and built up over weeks, months, and years, becoming a record of time. The constructed physicality and material nature of the work can also become surprisingly directional. As when viewed from different vantage points the viewer often sees an unexpected movement of color tonality and shades.
Current Play holds the eclectic contents of Christou’s ongoing creative explorations.
Rose Ember, 2021, Acrylic on Panel, 16 x 16 inches
Born in Melbourne Australia, Vicky Christou immigrated to Canada in 1969. She is a graduate of the Emily Carr College of Art and Design and is a mid-career artist living and working in Vancouver B.C. Christou has been exhibiting across Canada since 1986 and has appeared in galleries such as Newzones Gallery, Calgary; Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, and Tracey Lawrence Gallery, Vancouver, as well as has work in permanent collections throughout North America.