January 19 to March 19, 2017
Koffler Gallery
Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street
Guest Curator: E.C. Woodley 

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 6–9 PM | FREE

ARTIST & CURATOR TALK: Sunday, January 22, 2017 | 2 PM | FREE

Conceived as Leopold Plotek’s first survey, this exhibition spans five decades, including the debut of his most recent paintings alongside pivotal earlier canvases that establish the artist’s formal investigations and his intellectual rapport with Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein and Adrian Stokes.

Born in 1948 in Moscow to Jewish parents, Plotek later moved to Warsaw with his father who became an economic attaché to the Polish Embassy in Moscow during the late Stalinist period. Living and working in Montreal since 1960, he has created a substantial body of work that has been extensively exhibited and collected, carving an essential place in Quebec’s artistic history. Initially a protégé of prominent Plasticien artist Yves Gaucher, Plotek became a teacher and major influence himself, forming a new generation of artists who are at the forefront of Canadian painting today, including Allison Katz, Etienne Zack, Martin Golland and Ben Klein.

While staging a picture of Plotek’s evolving subject matter and existential world-view, this exhibition foregrounds his drive to forge a studio production of unique works. The discordance of form and genre that Plotek favours and explores invest his oeuvre with a depth and complexity that defies both modernist traditions and contemporary art market pressures.

Plotek’s radical, immersive works mine the territories of memory and experience, the subconscious and the intellect, the abstract and the figurative. Positioning pictorial space as a vehicle for both narrative content and emotional exploration, Plotek re-imagines architecture and objects, artists, philosophers and gods, displacing the cultural pantheon onto precarious grounds and offering poignant commentary on the current state of Western civilization, its enduring folly and persistently dark psyche.

Image above: Leopold Plotek, The Ledikant (detail), 2009. Oil on canvas, 165 x 165 cm.