TYPOLOGY is pleased to launch its third year of programs with The Lowest Relief, an intimate solo exhibition of art by Maria Flawia Litwin, curated by Katherine Dennis. In this new body of work, Litwin uses wycinanki (pronounced vih-chee-nahn-kee), a Polish paper cutting tradition, to weave stories layered with personal memories, social history, symbolism and mythology. Each work stems from a significant autobiographical detail in the artist’s life. Yet the illustrations are stripped of overt personal narrative. The focus instead is on quintessential life experiences — those as simple and complex as birth and death, and as fleeting or all encompassing as love, alienation, pain, fear or passion — that transcend gender, geography and culture.
Whimsical but touched with dark humour, the complex cuts, colours and patterns draw the eye in. Through these intricate details we are eased into the absurdity of memory, a space where the recollections of the artist become a jumping off point for the experiences of the viewer. The fantastical vignettes, filled with elaborate costumes from Polish folk to Canadian plaid, and animal and human actors ranging from a murder of crows to an armed attacker or gentle lover, unsettle and disturb as much as they delight.
Click to download/print the media release below.
We will have two public receptions for this exhibition!
FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 6–8 PM : Summer Opening Reception with the Curator and Artist
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 6–8 PM : Fall Season Kickoff Celebration with the Artist
(coinciding with Koffler Gallery’s exhibition opening on the ground floor)
Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.
No. 302, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
See Google map of location
About the Artist
Maria Flawia Litwin is a visual artist who grew up in both Poland and Australia, straddling the Iron Curtain. She has spent the last eighteen years living and working in Toronto. Encounters with communist and consumer ideologies within social and educational structures have made Litwin sensitive to the fluid and shifting nature of belief systems. She is particularly concerned with the way changes in ideology manifest themselves in her figurative and literal environment. Marxism, feminism and humour have greatly impacted her art production. Although trained as a sculptor, Litwin’s work is not medium specific and takes the form of textiles, data collecting, performance, acting, video, photography, and fiction writing. Litwin holds a BFA from the Ontario College of Art & Design and a Master’s degree from York University in Toronto.
About the Curator
Katherine Dennis, a Vancouver-based curator and researcher, has worked with a range of institutions, from historic houses to public museums and independent galleries. Her practice bridges disciplines including exhibition making, public programming and visitor studies, and places such as British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. Currently, Dennis is Adult Public Programs Coordinator at the Vancouver Art Gallery and Research Associate at Pivotal Research Inc.
A PDF of the media release is available here; contact Shani K Parsons at info (at) typology (dot) ca for more information.
Not local? Stay tuned for pics from the show and related events, which will be uploaded before it closes at the end of September. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram for updates and images in your news feeds.
image: Maria Flawia Litwin, Anima (detail), 2015