Make Gallery is hosting an exhibition for their summer Artist in Residence, Jane Q Cheng, on Thursday, July 21st from 7-10pm. The exhibition Jane Q Cheng: Studying Andy Dixon explores the themes of originality and authorship as Jane undergoes an intensive direct study of locally lauded artist Andy Dixon. Touching on the sensitive topic of copies, reproductions, and authenticity, it begs the viewer to decide, what makes original art? Who held the paintbrush?
In a society that is fully immersed in the digital, there is an endless barrage of inspiration and ideas that we encounter almost daily. Art would be empty without its references to its predecessors; the entirety of art history is dedicated to evaluating and commenting on the theories and styles that have already occurred and applying it to our society and culture today.
Dixon already does this in his practice; he uses fine art tropes and his works are based off of 16th and 17th century reference paintings. He approaches these works contemporarily giving them vibrant swaths of colour and abstract geometric patterns. During her residency, Cheng has assigned herself the task of anticipating works that Dixon will create for an upcoming art show in Toronto later this year. With the help of Dixon, she will be learning everything about his artistic practice down to the way he walks and talks. Cheng has been documenting this dialogue directly onto her works themselves. It’s been a collaborative and educational process due to its self-reflexive nature.
In challenging the nature of authorship, Cheng is studying the work of an influential painter similar to how art historians and painters study artists in class. The upside? The artist she’s studying is in the same century! Who wouldn’t love the chance to pick the brain and style of one of their primary influences? The works in this series capture how artists begin to find and shape their own style among myriad others. It is about how they navigate the art world in order to find a style that remains theirs.
Check out how far Cheng can push her artistic limit at the opening! RSVP here.