London Gallery West is delighted to present works of acclaimed Canadian artist Andrew Wright. The artist’s international solo exhibition will feature a new London Gallery West commission – a large site-specific photographic installation that adorns the 24 windows of the glazed façade of the entrance to The Forum. This new work, titled Surge, was photographed in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, the most geothermically active location on the planet. Consisting of never-before-seen images of tumultuous geysers shot at night with high-powered flash, this work presents unquantifiable detail while at the same time inviting a reconsideration of photography’s veracity. These images are a continuation and expansion of Wright’s Illuminated Landscapes series begun in 2001, and are reminiscent of his well-known Water’s Edge (2005), shot at the base of Niagara Falls. Using techniques drawn from the indoor photographic studio and applied to landscape, an overt artificiality characterizes large images that contain both complexities that are essentially impossible to depict or describe—even photographically—and areas of utter void and empty blackness.
Other works include Data Trespass: Illegal Photographs, a conceptual suite of panoramic images that antagonize a recent Wyoming statute that makes outdoor photography an illegal and indictable form of data collection. Accompanying this photographic series is a new video also titled Data Trespass whose footage derives from a mock trial where Wright was prosecuted for his apparent contravention of the Wyoming ‘no photography’ law.
Dawson Looking Glass troubles conventions of landscape and street photography by picturing a photo-performance with a large mirror in the Yukon during ‘midnight sun’, the longest day of the year. Also featured are sculptural works such as Disused Twin Brownie Hawkeye Cameras, an example of Wright’s ongoing use twinning, mirroring and doubling as part of a complex play on perception. Beijing Odyssey is a contemplative video work shot from Beijing hotel room and offers a drastically occluded view of a massive LED advertising billboard that explores the zones of transfer and exchange between the marvels of the machine age and the visual culture of modernity.
Wright’s use of photography is decidedly non-conventional as it challenges lyricism and traditional pictorial aims and favours an exploratory, evocative approach that probes optical and representational technologies, their cultures, their histories, conventions and conceits. Wright’s photographic, sculptural, and video practice critiques the photographic activities of depiction and representation. His provocative use of photographic materials and photo-like procedures suggest alternate ways of both considering and interpreting image and object. For Wright, meaning is often derived from conditions or circumstances outside of or in direct opposition to information presented as depiction.
Andrew Wright’s artistic practice sits at the intersection of traditional and conceptual forms of artmaking. Recent exhibitions include: Penumbra, Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, Toronto (2013); Selected Diptychs & Multiples, Thames Art Gallery, Canada (2014); Pretty Lofty and Heavy All At Once, Ottawa Art Gallery (2015); Untitled Photographic Pictures, Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Montréal (2015); Xi’an Art Museum, China and at Beijing's Today Art Museum alongside the works of Michael Snow, Ed Burtynsky and Iain Baxter&. Two of his photographic works were selected for permanent installation at the newly refurbished Canada House, Canada’s High Commission on Trafalgar Square in 2015.
Wright has also exhibited at Presentation House, Vancouver, the University of California, Berkeley, Oakville Galleries and Photo Miami. As an artist-in-residence, he has worked at the Banff Centre and at Braziers International Artists Workshop (UK). He was a 'war artist' with the Canadian Forces Artists Program, aboard Canadian warship HMCS Toronto. He won the inaugural Gattuso Prize at Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival in Toronto (2011). Andrew Wright is represented by Patrick Mikhail Gallery in Montréal and Ottawa. He is an Associate Professor of Visual Art and Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa.