Estate of Robert Flack

Love Mind

April 5 - May 5, 2012

Love Mind (fire-circle)
Love Mind (ascent)
Love Mind (star-mandala)
Love Mind (lotus-spiral)
Love Mind (triangle)
Love Mind (sword)
Love Mind (sword circles)
Love Mind (celtic-mandala)
Love Mind
Love Mind (fire-star)
Love Mind (labyrinth-orange)
Love Mind (infinity-roses)
Love Mind
Love Mind

Love Mind (fire-circle)

Love Mind (fire-circle), 1992
C print
ed. of 3
14 x 11 inches

Paul Petro Contemporary Art is pleased to present EDITIONS part two and, on behalf of the estate of Robert Flack, we are pleased to present Flack's Love Mind chromogenic photographs from 1992. This will be the first public viewing occasion for Love Mind in nearly twenty years.

Here are some biographical notes on Robert Flack and his practice:

Robert Flack (1957-1993) was born in Guelph, Ontario and moved to Toronto to study at York University. After graduating in 1980 he began working at Art Metropole and as a layout artist on many General Idea-related projects including FILE Megazine. During the 80's he exhibited extensively in Canada at numerous artist-run centres and public galleries, the Cold City Gallery artist collective and the S.L. Simpson Gallery (a complete exhibition history is available on our web site). By 1990 he was exhibiting internationally, in Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam, and was represented in New York at Feature Inc. and in Toronto at Garnet Press. His work was included in the touring group exhibition Corpus Part II curated by Bruce Grenville in 1993 for the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon. A survey exhibition was curated by Nancy Campbell at the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, with catalogue, in 1993. In 1997 Philip Monk included Flack's work in Rococco Tattoo: The Ornamental Impulse in Toronto Art at the Power Plant in 1997. In 1999 the National Gallery of Canada celebrated Flack's work to commemorate A Day Without Art, December 1999 - January 2000.

"From the beginning, Flack's work expressed an "otherworldliness" - a quality that focused sharply with his HIV sero-conversion in 1988. From that point forward, Flack's vision rocketed almost exclusively into the internalized realms of psychic energy, the chakras and the etheric body." Andrew Zealley, Art Metropole, Halos: David Buchan and Robert Flack 2005.

Amongst the work's many distinctions is Flack's use of pre-digital or analogue production techniques. Flack painted in enamel on clear acetate and overlaid his photographs with these painted layers before re-photographing the work, producing an "iconic, sensual mapping of the body and dazzling use of colour and pattern" (NGC web site). During this period he was sharing studio space in Toronto with Stephen Andrews. Flack had acquired a computer and had begun experimenting with digital image-making techniques at the time of his passing.

More recently Flack's work has been included in group exhibitions such as The Cold City Years at the Power Plant, 2005 and The Invisible Landscape revealing our place in the world at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in 2006-2007, from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

Love Mind is amongst Flack's final works, exhibited at Garnet Press and Feature Inc. in 1992 and at Floating World Gallery in Winnipeg in 1993. Love Mind was printed as an edition of three sets of C-prints. One set is in the permanent collection of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography at the National Gallery of Canada. We are exhibiting a near-complete set of twenty-four works and have several individual works available from the third set in the edition.

Robert Flack's work has been featured in two group exhibitions at Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Real Man (with Stephen Andrews, Sheila Butler, Dennis Day, Tom Dean, Sadko Hadzihasanovic, Andrew Harwood and Nell Tenhaaf) in 2000 and Legion (with Stephen Andrews, Paul P. and Ho Tam) in 2002.


Flack's work can also be seen this year at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University, Kingston, included in the group exhibition Trouble in Mind April 21 – August 5, 2012, with Betty Goodwin, Joyce Wieland, and Christian Boltanski.

"Under the title of the blues standard Trouble in Mind, this exhibition focuses on artists' representation of the suffering individual, and the religious and philosophical traditions that provide meaning and solace. Drawing on the depth and historical scope of the Art Centre's holdings, the show juxtaposes works from the 17th and 20th centuries to expose the ways spiritual alienation is expressed and comfort sought in these periods." -- Jan Allen, Chief Curator/Curator of Contemporary Art, AEAC

Flack's work will also be included in the group exhibition Undetectable at La MaMa Gallery, 6 East 1st St, New York, NY May 31 – June 31, 2012, curated by Nathan Lee for Visual AIDS, NY. With catalogue. Undetectable brings together a set of artworks and practices concerned with questions of visibility and measurement, presence and absence, transparency and contagion, privilege and access.


EDITIONS part two brings together a group of gallery artists and invited artists and their printed works and multiples. Where Part One of this two-part exhibition focused on a playful approach to 1960s Conceptualism, a gestural approach to Pop and the interface of identity and architecture, Part Two has a more holistic bent, where "natural systems (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) and their properties, can be viewed as wholes, not as collections of parts." While being clearly evident in Flack's Love Mind there is a connection to be made with the holistic and empowering aspects of Will Munro's work (as evinced in Munro's recent survey exhibition "History, Glamour, Magic" at the Art Gallery of York University earlier this year)) and by extension with many of the other artists in the EDITIONS show.