The catalogue for “Oblique Perspectives,” a Gary Lee-Nova retrospective survey
at the Burnaby Art Gallery, has just arrived from British Columbia, Canada.
The catalogue features personal correspondence between the artist and Jennifer Cane, the curator who developed and organized the show, along with an essay, “Preparing to Send a Signal,” by Sky Gooden. He points out that
“Lee-Nova asks questions of how we communicate today, using visual references reaching back through history. One can read Francisco Goya into his work, Joseph Cornell or John Heartfield; my mind runs to Max Ernst, especially. But the scope and playfulness of Lee’Nova’s work also means that we can reach for Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk. Lee-Nova recently read Paul Virilio; he mentions the deep influences of Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes, Harold Innis and of course, McLuhan. As a young artist he read William S. Burroughs. “I was in search of father figures,” he says.
“In striving for a sustained friction between the verbal and non-verbal in his practice, Lee-Nova allows literature, theory, cartoon, occultism, science and music to inform and even collide in the work, but not to overtake it. And this balance is most evident when you look at his entire practice. As often as he strips down his pieces to foundational forms such as vibrating color bars, penetrating hectogons, and evolving pyramids, Lee-Nova visits with pop-culture formats like the cartoon strip, or art-historical tropes like the Dadaist riddle and the Surrealist collage. He plays with exhibition culture, as well, slyly labeling his sculpture with yet more meaning … It seems that as often as Lee-Nova is driving head-on for pure effect, he’s throwing in another dislocation.
This video takes a look at the exhibition:
Here at Straight Up Lee-Nova’s work has been noted before. It’s only a partial sample of his output, some of which is included in the catalogue, but it gives an approximation of what he’s been up to over the years.
Two Sides of 'A Small Electrical Storm' Talk About 'Graphic Novels' An Evolution of 'Other Means' Nancy Masks Up in Her Bathtub Beyond the Vanishing Points Nancy & Sluggo Get Twisted