Mark Preston, Trace Yeomans, Rande Cook: Gestures
August 16 – September 21, 2019
Fazakas Gallery, 688 E Hastings Street Vancouver BC V6A 1R1
Opening Reception: 4:00PM – 6:00PM
Fazakas Gallery’s Tanúyap Project Space is pleased to present Gestures, a group exhibition featuring works by Mark Preston, Trace Yeomans, and Rande Cook. The following exhibition considers the word gesture and its diverse meanings. Gestures can be understood as actions, physical movements, intent, and creative processes, but moreover, the term connotes the now famous “gestural abstractions” created in the 1950s by the American Abstract Expressionists; artists whose works were characterized by an intensely personal and subjective response towards the mediums they were working in. In a distinct vein, the selected works by Cook, Preston, and Yeomans infuse their own unequivocal styles into their art. The following artists not only play with aesthetic gestures such as abstraction, but the artworks also lend themselves towards an overarching shared artistic gesture: Cook, Preston, and Yeomans are each carving out bold Northwest Coast styles ranging in material and form. These include Cook’s plays on pop art, Preston’s abstraction and minimalism, and Yeomans’ material applique techniques. Through their art, these artists are reworking and redefining art historical categories from a distinct contemporary Northwest Coast perspective; a gesture in its own right.
Jewelry by Mark Preston
Fazakas Gallery is excited to announce the arrival of jewelry by Mark Preston! In conjunction with our exhibition Gestures, for a limited time only these unique pieces vary in techniques drawn from both traditional and contemporary aesthetics.
Preston pulls from a long history of jewelry-making on the Northwest Coast. Having learnt the art form from renowned Gitksan artist Phil Janzé, Preston challenges conventions and explores new techniques. Traditionally, jewelry along the Northwest Coast not only acted as personal adornment, but connoted social standing, lineage, and culture. After contact, when the first silver and gold metals became available, artists transferred their wood carving skills to these new materials. Given the jewelry was made with exceptional precision and skill, the artists referred to their work at “carved jewelry”. Through innovative touches that reveal his multi-disciplinary skills as an artist, Preston’s deep lines and carving methods evoke sculptural work and complement his minimalist practice.
Mark Preston is a Tlingit artist born in Dawson City, Yukon. Preston began studying silver carving under Gitksan artist Phil Janzé while attending K’san in Hazelton, BC, and also learnt various techniques of wood carving. Preston recontextualizes Northwest Coast formline, turning traditional shapes into negative space, as his minimalist motifs symbolize clarity, peacefulness, and open-mindedness. His pieces are purposely left untitled, allowing for open interpretation. Preston’s work resides in both private and public collections internationally.
Rande Cook is a Kwakwaka’wakw multimedia artist born in culture-rich Alert Bay. Surrounded by the beauty of the land and art, he found his passion for artistic creativity at an early age as he studied traditional jewellery and carving techniques under several master craftsmen including carver John Livingston (1951-2019). In 1991, Cook moved to Victoria where he was exposed to a wide range of art forms and practices from the Western tradition. With his unique accumulation of heritage, knowledge, and experience, Cook continually pushes boundaries to create beautiful and provocative works that challenge audiences to reconsider the role of traditional techniques for contemporary art-making.
Trace Yeomans was born on Haida Gwaii to a Haida mother and a Ukrainian father. As a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of media, her passion for art-making is fostered by beautiful Dance Regalia with appliqued Haida designs and fabric art techniques. Her Haida style applique techniques point to her inspiration in designing pieces that are culturally significant to her combined dual heritage. Several of her works are displayed in museums around the world. Trace frequently works with her partner, Don Yeomans, combining their respective skills to create unique and critically acclaimed artworks.