February 19 - April 2, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 19, 6 - 8 pm
Curator's Office is pleased to present its third exhibition of works by internationally acclaimed Canadian collaborative team Nicholas & Sheila Pye. Entitled Amend, the exhibition features 6 photographs from their latest body of work together. This exhibition coincides with the presentation of their dramatic three-channel video installation, The Coronation, at The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.
In Amend, the Pyes once again perform in front of the camera to create a series of tableaux that reflect the transition from their union to their separation from one another. The artists explore the powerful ties that unite people on different levels, even during separation and departure. In these six works the artists delve into powerful subjects such as the death of a relationship, vulnerability, denial, acceptance and release with an ambiguous undercurrent of hopeful transformation and resurrection. The Pyes allude to their own relationship in a creative way, yet their work shares universal themes about a union that is no longer tenable between people.
One trenchant aspect of this body of work is that the Pyes give the impression that they are faking their deaths to take mortality, blame, and repentance into account. The title, Amend, refers to the modification of their relationship in search of something better and raises questions about what it means to get angry, to refuse, to love and lose, to accept that change and be forever altered.
The Pyes relentlessly blur the borders between their lives and their art as they tackle the highly charged yet poetic issues that arise from their own relationship. But theirs is not a self-absorbed biographical fascination. Rather, the relationship depicted in their work becomes emblematic of all things that can go wrong in a mutually dependent and suffocating relationship. Their work joins a lineage of other artist couples -- such as Marina Abramovic & Ulay and Gilbert & George -- who use their relationship to explore the nuanced tribulations of coupledom.
The Pyes' artistic output spans photography, film, performance, video, and installation while acknowledging the profound influences of surrealism in film, narrative conventions in painting, 19th and early 20th century portraiture, and conceptual approaches to subject matter. Given this well-versed theoretical blend, they avoid prosaic performance art documentation preferring to transform their photographs and films into works that cleverly reconfigure art historic antecedents.
The Pyes have exhibited their work at museums such as The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France; Incheon Women's Biennial, Incheon, Korea; Kunsthallen Brænderigården, Denmark; Meet Factory, Prague, Czech Republic; San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA: Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Canada; The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada; The Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada; and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Their work has been screened in numerous international film festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Canada; the Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland; and Les Rencontres Internationales in Paris, Berlin, and Madrid. Their work has also been exhibited internationally at numerous galleries including Curator's Office, Washington, DC; Begoña Malone Gallery, Madrid; Art Mur, Montreal; Artcore / Fabrice Marcolini, Toronto; Alexia Goethe Gallery, London; Galerie Adler, Frankfurt; Caprice Horn Gallery, Berlin; Nettie Horn Gallery, London; RARE Gallery, New York; Angell Gallery, Toronto; and Kasia Kay Art Projects, Chicago.
Nicholas & Sheila Pye
The Departure, 2010
archival digital print mounted onto aluminum
48 x 48 in, edition of 5
Courtesy of Curator's Office, Washington, DC
1515 14th Street NW
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