The Seven Figure Bonus Show

MAR 23, 2009 – APR 11, 2009

Dean Smale + Tessa Nunn + Rob Willms + Nola Cassady

Anyone Want a Surprise Seven Figure Bonus?
No, I’m not talking about the outrageous packages doled out to failed bank executives. I’m referring to the little exhibition I just installed on a whim in the red-floored front half of Common Sense.

You see, with Bruce Dunbar’s recent show already down, and Russell Bingham’s new photography exhibition scheduled weeks away, opening April 17, the bare gallery space called out to be filled with some artworks in the meantime.

So, from the assorted artworks I’ve collected, plus some handy works by my studio-mates, I’ve surprise-curated The Seven Figure Bonus Show, on now, until around April 11, at Common Sense. The title refers to the seven figures depicted in the five works exhibited, and makes a nod to the ‘bonus’ nature of this previously unplanned exhibition.

Dean Smale’s works are the first you encounter upon entering the gallery. His large 1999 painting, Müller’s Brook (inspired partly by Schubert’s Der Müller und der Bach), was acquired by me in trade for a sculpture of mine entitled Idiot Box. His similarly dated work, Nature vs. Nurture, was left behind by Smale when he moved to Medicine Hat to teach at the College there, and I offered to store the work for him.

Tessa Nunn’s painting in the show, if I recall correctly, is simply called “The Girl in the Purple Bra” (if I’m wrong, and you’re reading this, Tessa, please correct me), and dates to 1996 or ’95, I believe, when Nunn was completing her undergraduate degree at the U of A. This work too was acquired from the artist in trade for my sculpture, After London, made around the same time.

The most recent work in the show is Rob Willms’ small 2008 clay study from one of the live model sessions held at the Lady Zog. Although included in this impromptu exhibit without the artist’s permission, I could not resist including it, as Willms’ figure relates uncannily to Nunn’s, so I hope he won’t mind.

I must also plead the forgiveness of Nola Cassady, whose untitled charcoal drawing from her own undergraduate U of A days has also been included in the show, without prior notice, to round out the grouping, along with those of Nunn and Willms, of three ‘études’, each dealing with a similar solitary figure in a prone position, but each executed in a different medium, by a different artist.

Apologies all around, but in my defense, I did it for art… So I hope artists and art-goers alike will approve of this little ad hoc stimulus package. Enjoy now, for a limited time…

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