Topic: I Must Learn to Like Myself

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Past exhibition, from February 12-August 15, 2010.

I must learn to like myselfA recent survey of works by Richard Lewer. Curated by Leafa Wilson.

History can be illuminated by looking back at one's own family's story, generation by generation-moves, job changes or losses, houses, illness, social expectations, class and religious fluctuations, the role of women, and so on... all the things that connect us to each other and to a community, which can be a place or a feeling.  - Lucy R. Lippard, The Lure of the Local, Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society, p.23, The New Press, New York

Richard Lewer is a stalker in his own life and in the lives of all humans. Basing works on non-fictional events and people, all the while retaining little bits of information to allow us to think about similarities between our own experience and his. His ability to evoke a mood with child-like writing or through the monochromatic drawing of a nun or strangely familiar family portraits, is what makes Lewer, the local Hamiltonian, international. Lewer's figurative stylisation has the deceptive facade of naïve or bad art, but his works are actually highly controlled compositions, opening up tapu* subjects like death, missing persons, stalking, voyeurism and confessional disclosure (in police interviews and Catholic confessionals). Each subject in its own way signifies major concepts that can be traced throughout all of his works. Skill, discipline and training: goal-orientation each become trope by which ideas of strain and effort to perform or to obtain a goal be it godly or criminal, are manifested in the art of Richard Lewer.

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