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ERIC METCALFE AND GARY LEE-NOVA

7 June to 6 July 2003

* Note Special Reception Time: Friday 20 June 2003 from 8 to 10 p.m.

Belkin Satellite, 555 Hamilton Street, Vancouver

The Belkin Satellite is pleased to present new works by Vancouver artists Eric Metcalfe and Gary Lee-Nova. Both artists began their careers in traditional media such as drawing (Metcalfe) and painting (Lee-Nova). Shortly after they met in the late 1960s, however, Metcalfe and Lee-Nova gained international recognition and contributed to the development of Vancouver’s burgeoning performance and mail art traditions via their alternate personas of Dr. Brute and Art Rat. A persistent interest for both artists throughout the last four decades has been the exploration of unexpected and often humorous interplays between the verbal and the visual. Psychoanalytic and Structuralist models are combined in equal measure with pop imagery, in-jokes and art-world myths.

For the upcoming exhibition at the Belkin Satellite, Gary Lee-Nova has chosen to exhibit a recent body of work based on characters in Ernie Bushmiller’s comic strips, first created in the 1930s and still popular after the artist’s death in 1982. Lee-Nova began this body of work by cutting up Bushmiller’s comic strip and recombining it to emphasize sometimes humorous and often prescient verbal and visual patterns – a process somewhat akin to Noam Chomsky’s notion of bringing deep structure to the surface. Alongside the Uncanny Old Gags series, Lee-Nova has produced an edition of glass etchings, which combine several disparate elements – a tap, glass, raindrops and the character Nancy – in a rebus-like visual game.

Eric Metcalfe’s work in the exhibition is centered on two series of gouaches. The first is a playful rendition of Jacques Lacan’s schemas for the Marguis de Sade’s 1795 opus Philosophy in the Bedroom. In the second, larger series, Metcalfe creates variations of geometric compositions that recall a high-point in Vancouver’s modernist painting tradition in the 1960s as well as prior, utopian investments in decoration and design, which prefigured these modernist experiments on the West Coast. As in the rain-drenched glass etchings of Gary Lee-Nova – a Nancy for Vancouver so to speak – Eric Metcalfe’s Retro Series addresses the intersections between international (post) modernism and specifically regional concerns.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at jana.tyner@ubc.ca,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689