The Vanitas

The Vanitas

Katie Pretti

From October 22nd to November 6th
Opening October 22nd, 2010 from 6-9pm

Please join LE Gallery for an offsite exhibition of a new body of work from LE Gallery artist Katie Pretti.

Location: Upstairs @ 111, 111 Bathurst St. – Above Waddington’s Auction House

Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday – 12-5PM

The ten large-scale paintings, titled “The Vanitas” continue Pretti’s interest in exploring the themes of death, emptiness, disenchantment, and the brevity of life.

The term Vanitas refers to a genre of symbolic art associated with Northern European still life painting in the Netherlands and (what are now parts of) Belgium and France during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Pretti, also a Dutch citizen, has approached this classical theme with elements of lyrical abstraction for her latest body of work. Driven by Pretti’s desire to engage a large and even more physical scale of work, “The Vanitas” pushed the boundaries of Pretti’s studio and LE Gallery. Expanding to a second studio space, and an external exhibition space, this exhibition marks a shift in Pretti’s practice to explore even more immediately, her gestural act and interpretation of historical themes.

With additional inspiration recently drawn from sources as seemingly disparate as Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro, Rachmaninov’s piano concertos, Gore Vidal’s cinematic gore-orgy Caligula, and the banned poems of Baudelaire, “The Vanitas” follows on the heels of Pretti’s popular “Memento Mori” and “Lo Mismo” series of works in exploring the connection of her contemporary mark making approach to classical themes in literature art and cinema.

The fleeting rise and fall of a central character as she fumbles and flails her way through a day long cycle features at the core of “The Vanitas” as Pretti continues to build on cues from Abstract Expressionism, gestural abstraction, and mark- making to imply emotional and thematic elements.

Katie Pretti is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design University (2004). Pretti is represented in Toronto by LE Gallery and has exhibited in Montreal with Galerie Simon Blais, and in Vancouver with Bjornson Kajiwara. Pretti has received press in local National and international publications including Now Magazine, Fashion Magazine, and Canadian House and Home Magazine. Her first publication, a book of drawings entitled Sonority of Words, was launched in Toronto by Art Metropole, featured at the 2007 NYC Art Book Fair, and subsequently added to the collection of The National Gallery of Canada.

LE Gallery and Katie Pretti would like to thank the generous support of the Toronto Arts Council, David Cooper and Cooper’s Office Furniture, and Colette French.