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Andrew Salgado

The large scale, gestural paintings of Andrew Salgado explore concepts relating to the destruction and reconstruction of identity – a process that he views as re-considering the conventions of figurative painting through a pursuit toward abstraction. Salgado questions the nature of identity and even the act of painting itself as something monstrous, allegorical, or symbolic. Incorporating Classical archetypes alongside a wildly inventive approach to his chosen media, Salgado’s work defies categorization.

Recent works include collage, mixed-media, and even hand-dyed and hand-stitched linen and canvas. ”I am interested in how my paintings operate independently from their literal figurative foundation, and how they might deconstruct through colour choices, reduction of forms, and triumph of materiality to become something altogether otherworldly.

Blue Rainbow, the first solo exhibition in Toronto by London, U.K.-based Canadian artist Andrew Salgado. Blue is associated with the sky and the sea – vast spaces often used as metaphors for freedom and inspiration, or signifiers of tranquility and calmness. Perhaps this is why Andrew Salgado chose this colour for the title of his exhibition.

After years of making work in which the political was very personal, Salgado’s new paintings find him unburdening. “My practice was being weighted down by my own history,” he explains. “I have been vocal about LGBT issues, but I think I’m cooling down.”

Salgado insists that his latest work isn’t political; however, with the rise of right-wing attitudes in many parts of the world – and the anti-LGBT sentiments that often accompany them – producing positive representations of gay people can be read as political acts. Salgado, who has been the target of hate crimes, dealt directly with his experiences in earlier works such as Bloody Faggot (2011).

That painting represented what he was going through physically and emotionally at the time, and became a key work in his solo show at the Canadian High Commission in London in 2017.

Salgado has closed the door on that period of his life. Now, he wants his work to be about the sense of joy and discovery that he experiences while creating paintings, and he hopes that visitors to his shows feel the same when viewing them.

“The process, the joy, the colours, the feelings I get … I want those to be enough for me, and I want them to be enough for viewers,” he says. “I’ve learned to stop talking about what my work is about because what others bring to it is just as important as my intentions.”

Salgado’s figures throughout Blue Rainbow are situated within vibrant and textured environments that suggest the out-of-doors: quiet moments on azure beaches, walking through a garden or contemplating a cobalt sky at dusk. Serenity, freedom and expansiveness inform the paintings; they serve as meditative yet irreverent rejoinders to the socially and politically proscribed lives that people too often feel hemmed in by. “A line from the Bjork song Big Time Sensuality– ‘it takes courage to enjoy it’ – really hit me recently,” says Salgado. “I’ve heard this song a million times, but suddenly I was like: Oh my god, that’s so true. So, this show is me, learning to enjoy.”


BIO 

ANDREW SALGADO(b. 1982, Regina, Canada) lives and works in London, England. He graduated with an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2009, and a BFA from University of BC, Vancouver, in 2005. Forthcoming solo exhibitions include: ‘How to Build a Boat’, Angell Gallery, Toronto (October 2018). Selected previous solo exhibitions include: ‘Dirty Linen & The Nihilist’s Alphabet, Christopher Moller Gallery, Cape Town (2018), ‘A Room with a View of the Ocean’, Lauba Art House, Zagreb (2017); ‘TEN’, Gallery of the Canadian High Commission, London (2017); and ‘The Fool Makes a Joke at Midnight’, Thierry Goldberg, New York (2016). Salgado was the subject of the 2015 documentary ‘Storytelling’, and was featured in the 2014 publication ‘100 Painters of Tomorrow’ (Thames & Hudson). He has been featured widely in the press, including GQ, The Evening Standard, The Independent, Artsy, and Metro. Salgado’s solo showings with BEERS London include ‘Storytelling’, London (2014); and ‘The Snake’, London (2016). He curated the group show ‘The Fantasy of Representation’ at BEERS London in 2015, and was part of the group exhibitions ’75 Works on Paper’ (2017); ‘O Canada!’ (2017); and ’35 Works on Paper’ (2016).

Blue Rainbow – Toronto Gallery Showcase featuring a suite of new paintings by the internationally exhibited artist, the show runs from Friday, Oct. 5 to Saturday, Oct. 27, with an opening reception with the artist on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7:00 p.m.

Angell Gallery, 1444 Dupont St, Unit 15 (Entrance off Campbell Ave.), Toronto

Hours – Wed to Sat, 12pm to 5pm, or by appointment

Telephone – 416 530 0444

www.angellgallery.com

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