Susan Hobbs

and, something like fire dancing

08 Sep - 15 Oct 2016

Barbara Kasten, Studio Construct 19 (2007)
and, something like fire dancing
Amy Brener, Patrick Cruz, Barbara Kasten, and Scott Lyall

Toronto, ON – opening on Thursday 8 September from 6 to 8 p.m. and continuing through to 15 October, Susan Hobbs Gallery is pleased to present and, something like fire dancing, a group show organized by Ella Dawn McGeough.

And holding in, a plant infects the trunk of a tree, displaying itself as tiny yellow fruit. It is both guest and host. A mass of ants play bodyguard and caretaker while caterpillars relentlessly chew. As the caterpillars grow, the ants lick a honeydew that spills from their backs. And, when the butterfly finally presents itself, its wings blaze with the mark of an ochre orb. An image of home. An image of process called colour. Each entity is held to each other through the dynamics of infection.

Taken out of the context of an artists’ practice, individual works lose their self-sufficiency. Within the space of exhibition, a brief inter-dependence is created―held together by a viewer’s gaze―in which each work valorizes the other (shapes the other, attributes a role to the other). "and, something like fire dancing" is composed of a relationship between four artists; each artists’ work loosely mirrors plant, ant, caterpillar, or butterfly. As such, the exhibition becomes a type of portrayal. However, it is a portrait that follows the rules of mimicry over representation.


Like light staining a forest floor, Barbara Kasten’s work assumes the twinned roles of host and guest, a being that is both here and there. Patrick Cruz’s practice eschews permanence in favor of diffusion. Here, polychrome canvases slowly transfer to the soles of shoes. New work from Amy Brener’s Flexi-Shield series hang in repetition: talismanic dresses made from poured silicone whose slippery interface performs as equipment, like armour or second skin. Upstairs, Scott Lyall pursues his reflection on the emergence of digital colour within painting and photography as an eternal object that comes when called, that appears when wanted―colour that matters.

Amy Brener (b. 1982, Victoria, lives in New York)) Recent solo exhibitions include Julius Cæsar, Chicago; Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts; and MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie Ontario. Brener work has also exhibited at Wentrup Gallery, Berlin; MoMA PS1, Queens; Derek Eller Gallery, New York; American Medium, Brooklyn; and Marlborough Chelsea, New York. Patrick Cruz (b. 1987, Manila, lives in Toronto) Recent solo exhibitions include G Gallery, Toronto; Centre A, Vancouver; Light & Space Contemporary, Quezon City, Philippines; and Unit/Pitt, Vancouver. Cruz has also exhibited at Material Art Fair, Mexico City, Mexico; the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Vastermalmsgallerian, Stockholm; and Western Front, Vancouver. Cruz is the winner of the 2015 RBC Painting Competition. Barbara Kasten (b. 1936, Chicago) Recent solo exhibitions include the MOCA Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles; Bortolami Gallery, New York; Fotografieprojekte Frankfurt / RheinMain, Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. Kasten's work has also been exhibited at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; MOMA, New York; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington. Her work is represented by Bortolami Gallery, New York. Scott Lyall (b. 1964, Toronto) Recent solo exhibitions include Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; Campoli Presti Gallery, Paris and London; Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto; The Power Plant, Toronto; The Sculpture Center, New York; and the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto; Lyall has also exhibited at Hermès Foundation, Brussels; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Pace London, London, Belgium; and Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany. His work is represented by Susan Hobbs Gallery.

Susan Hobbs Gallery is open to the public Wednesday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment. The gallery is located at 137 Tecumseth Street, Toronto.

For more information about this exhibition or the Susan Hobbs Gallery, please give us a call at (416) 504.3699 or visit

Tags: Barbara Kasten, Scott Lyall