Michael Dumontier: the middle of the air (plus Ken Nicol's 1000 Fuck Ups)

On the advice of artist Ken Nicol, we stopped in to MKG127 to see Michael Dumontier’s current show, the middle of the air. Featuring a series of well-crafted works in various media including acrylic on MDF, foil stamp and coloured pencil on matboard, foil stamp on fabric, and string, nails and a fishing weight, the exhibition is both playful and spare, quiet yet engaging. With an incredibly light hand and wry sense of humour, Dumontier utilizes tromp l’oeil effects to fool the eye and surprise the mind. Like zen koans, the best of the works call into question not only the material processes used in their making, but the nature of reality itself.

Michael Dumontier is one of the co-founders of The Royal Art Lodge, a well-known collective active in Winnepeg from 1996–2008. More recently he was featured in a major solo exhibition at Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, curated by Micah Lexier. In addition to his ongoing show at MKG127 (closing this weekend), Dumontier is included in the exhibition Read All Over, currently on view at Toronto’s Scrap Metal gallery. His exquisitely subtle artworks are worth making the effort to see in person, wherever they may be.

Speaking of Scrap Metal (and Ken Nicol), this weekend Nicol will be on-site at the gallery executing a performance piece related to his own work in the show, A Thousand Times Fuck Off, 1–9. It seems that the Read All Over exhibition brochure had a nice little error that Nicol couldn’t resist the opportunity to respond to. On April 13 and 14, he will be “correcting” that error 1000 times in the gallery. The corrected handouts, 1000 Fuck Ups, will be available. Scrap Metal is open 12 to 5pm Friday and Saturday.

See more work by Michael Dumontier from the middle of the air on the MKG127 website
For info on his exhibition, A Moon or a Button, at Plug In Institute of Contemporary art, see their website
See work by The Royal Art Lodge (1996–2008) and Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber Ltd.
(ongoing collaboration from 2008) here

See examples of work in the Read All Over exhibition, on view through May 1st at Scrap Metal
More info on Scrap Metal (including a map to their hard-to-find location) can be found on the gallery’s website

See more work by Ken Nicol on his website
See our previous post on Ken Nicol, Art by number: Ken Nicol (and Mel Bochner, and Mary Temple, and Roman Opalka), here

images, from top to bottom:
Michael Dumontier, the middle of the air, exhibition view at MKG127 gallery, photo by Shani Parsons
Michael Dumontier, Untitled (pins and string/triangle), foil stamp and coloured pencil on matboard, 2012; Untitled (needle and thread 02), foil stamp and coloured pencil on paper, 2011; Untitled (folded corner), foil stamp on fabric, 2012
Ken Nicol, 1000 Fuck Ups, Scrap Metal Gallery, 2012

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