|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jaclyn Qua-Hiansen – Gallery Assistant
905 896 5088 / email@example.com
LILA LEWIS IRVING: CON SPIRITO |
March 1 – April 29
Opening Reception | Thursday March 1st 6 pm
FREE | RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
ART GALLERY OF MISSISSAUGA
300 City Centre Drive Mississauga ON L5B 3C1
Lila Lewis Irving, Tristan and Isolde, 2007, (Diptych) acrylic on canvas, 152 x 305 cm.
"[Irving's work] expresses what Abstraction is, and can be,
and makes a more convincing case for the emergence of individual genius."
Joan Murray, art historian
Spontaneity is the root of invention for Mississauga artist Lila Lewis Irving. The Art Gallery of Mississauga is honoured to present a retrospective of her art. Lila Lewis Irving: Con Spirito | Retrospective, at the AGM from March 1st to April 29th, highlights a career spanning fifty years and igniting movement inspired by a contagious and enigmatic spirit. New York-born Irving has embraced abstraction as a pure and personal form. Her paintings, in her words, are a "response to a visual or emotional reality. The shapes are simplified and bold, the colours are saturated, the brushstrokes energetic."
AGM Curator Stuart Keeler says, "If Lila were to paint air, she would depict for us what we intuitively feel around us every moment we breathe." A true devotee of abstract expressionism and a former student of abstract expressionist artist Helen Frankenthaler, Irving is committed to the notion that the canvas is "an arena in which to act," and the marks, moments and actions revealed are, in the artist's words, "not a picture, but an event." At 76, Irving's spontaneity and intuition are paired with a spiritual need to record energetic compositions with colour, line and motion. Hallmarks of Irving's work are unconventional painting materials: a broom, a mop, and a spoon, among others. These objects create and diffuse line; they have become active weapons of her signature mark making. The use of unconventional painting tools is arguably common in abstract painting work, however, Irving brings a remarkable scale and rigour to her work.
Con Spirito includes woodcut prints from the 1970s, water colour and gouache on paper from the 80s, acrylics on paper and canvas from the 90s, and monolithic canvas works from the 2000s. Irving's dedication and vision are the driving forces behind her work. Keeler says, "[Irving's] work is a response to life!"
In conjunction with Con Spirito, the AGM is pleased to present Appassionata, a publication project initiated by the artist and produced in collaboration with the AGM. This 97-page hard cover book consists of full-colour images and essays by commissioned writers on the work, thinking and inspiration of the artist.
Art historian Joan Murray comments,
"Ask most people what they think when they hear the word "Abstract Painting," and they're likely to pause before replying. But if they thought of the work of Lila Lewis Irving, they would be able to answer more quickly. Hers is the kind of painting that expresses what Abstraction is, and can be, and makes a more convincing case for the emergence of individual genius."
Appassionata also includes contributions by Patience Morrissey, Stuart Reid, Robert Freeman, Bryce Kanbarra, Joan Murray as well as Irving's peers and former students. The book is available for purchase at the AGM.
Con Spirito also features Lila, a 30 minute film that reveals Irving's creative process. Produced by Joss Monzon of Mucho Motion, Lila features Irving in her studio as she produces a large scale painting. The film creates a thoughtful, sensitive and memorable portrayal of the artist at work. It reveals Irving's methods of approach, and explores the gestures and movements that characterize her art. [Chris Vandijk, Director of Photography/Producer, Joel-Adam Powley, Camera/Editor]