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Gailan Ngan and Derek Root
Specific Shapes

September 19 to October 14, 2015

Monte Clark Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Gailan Ngan and Derek Root.

Root’s new paintings depict seemingly random geometric forms that sit harmoniously together, tethered by their subtle texture and colour. His positioning of shapes on the canvas play with arrangements by balancing or even stacking, and the compositions allude to ideas and sensibilities beyond the limits of formal abstraction. Merging enigmatic and inventively unexpected elements of representation, Root’s thoughtful arrangements of forms suggest the liminal space between memory and reality.

Hyper-sensitive colour combinations create a psychological energy within the paintings. As the imagery is unfixed and ambiguous, the unusual and unexpected colour choices play a large part in the subject matter and energy of the works. These subtleties and suggestions bring forth a hint of narrative to the paintings, pushing them beyond something that could be labeled as pure abstraction.

Gailan Ngan’s new series of pots are dipped in thick, opaque glazes—pastel drips of pink, mauve, and yellow—which contrast the rough texture of the clay she purposefully leaves untreated. Some of the glazes include rare earth metals, called rare for their tendency to only be found in small deposits, but precious in a wholly different way as many are used in the production of computers and other electronics. Ngan’s vessels in the exhibition are shaped with no feet and sit arranged on a flat plane, creating further dynamic with their kinetic potential.

Root and Ngan’s works both build refined shapes out of rudimentary materials. The common sensibilities of balance, position, and shape highlight the similarities between the two artists. Put together in one room, the works begin to interact with each other as well as with the space they inhabit.

Derek Root is a graduate of the Emily Carr University. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including at Monte Clark Gallery, Union Gallery in London, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. His works are included in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Canada Council Art Bank, and numerous others. Derek Root lives and works in Vancouver.

Gailan Ngan graduated from Emily Carr University in 2002, and since then her works have been exhibited at The Apartment, Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Centre A International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Western Front, and the Museum of Anthropology. Her work is in numerous collections including the Doris Shadbolt Collection at the Helen and Morris Belkin Gallery at the University of British Columbia. Ngan works on Hornby Island and in Vancouver.

Roy Arden
Mixed media
43 x 33 x 24 inches