Nell Tenhaaf

Quick Fix

February 10 - March 3, 2001

Paul Petro Contemporary Art is pleased to present Quick Fix, a two-person exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Derrick Hodgson and drawings and photo-based works from 1993-95 by Nell Tenhaaf.

Quick Fix expresses the urge to regain a sense of control over our future in relation to an escalating loss of nature. Tenhaaf approaches this dynamic from the viewpoint of the body's interior space, the solitary self looking inward and trying to know and understand the body in any direct way. Hodgson depicts complex social spaces crowded with familiar and mutated characters that portray the consequences of technological advancements from real and speculative viewpoints.

Parallels emerge in the works. There are underlying visual patterns inspired by the organic world. There is the manifestation of an ambivalence: the works have a certain celebratory mood, yet suggest an underlying threat that could be characterised as the hyper-management of life via biopower politics. In each case the artists are tallying the effects of “progress,” more and faster, on rural and urban environments and the human psyche.

Nell Tenhaaf is a Toronto-based artist currently on faculty in the Department of Fine Art at York University. Her practice reaches back to the mid-1970's in Montreal where she was active in the artist-run culture of the time. By the early 1980's her work had begun to explore the visual prospects of the new computer-based media, the interactive work Shopping For Value Systems being one example. She is known internationally (as an artist, writer and speaker) for her multimedia explorations of genetics, biotechnology and cyberspace from a position informed by feminism. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Concordia Art Gallery, Montreal, and the National Gallery of Canada.