Text for Exhibition
by Anik Glaude
Present | Perfect | Continuous
To celebrate our 20th anniversary, a year-long rotation of our most popular works by F.H. Varley will be on view in the Collections Gallery. Both the exhibition and accompanying publication will highlight 20 years of acquisitions, acknowledge the role of the Varley-McKay Art Foundation in the development of the collection, and many donors who have contributed to its growth.
Grammatically, the Present Perfect Continuous is used with actions that began in the past but that are still continuing in the present. Symbolically, it implies the passing of time, something that is not fixed but always evolving. In this view, selected interventions by contemporary artists will bring new insights to the study of F.H. Varley’s work from our collection.
Paired with F.H. Varley’s Second Growth, Lynn Peak (c. 1932–1936), Susana Reisman’s photographic series Standardizing Nature explores the transformation of trees into building materials used in the construction industry. With this work, Reisman encourages us to question and understand the reasoning and decision-making behind the 'shape' of things. Specifically, she is concerned for the natural resources we harness from the earth and the form, function, and role they play in our everyday lives.