The Power Plant

Scott Lyall

20 Sep - 23 Nov 2008

© Scott Lyall
'The Color Ball', 2008
Photo: Rafael Goldchain.
The Color Ball

20 September – 23 November 2008

Opening Reception
Friday 19 September | 7:30 PM

On the heels of his participation in SITE Santa Fe’s Seventh International Biennial, The Power Plant presents Toronto artist Scott Lyall’s largest solo exhibition to date. Titled ‘The Color Ball,’ the exhibition is named after a fictitious gala party reminiscent of the gallery’s annual Power Ball. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a new installation realized under our annual Commissioning Program in partnership with the Toronto-based Partners in Art, a group of supporters of the visual arts. Inhabiting 3655 square feet of gallery space, ‘The Color Ball’ references works from a range of Lyall’s previous exhibitions. The result is an exhibition that falls somewhere between a survey of past work and an entirely new assemblage. Exposing the dichotomies that arise from our notions of the contemporary gallery space as a site for presentation, the project investigates how art works can be finite and infinite, and how an ‘art exhibition’ can possess symbolic and imaginary functions.

‘The Color Ball’ draws from seven previous projects where Lyall has used the figure of dance (and, partly, lyric poetry) as an empty sign for material production. These include two solo shows at Greene Naftali, New York (1996/1998); the photographic project ‘Belle Epoque;’ ‘an aaliyah’ at Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto (2006); ‘a dancer dances’ at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York (2006); ‘the little contemporaries,’ in collaboration with choreographer Maria Hassabi, at the Sculpture Center and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2006–07); and ‘Simple Agonie’ at Sutton Lane, London (2008).

The titles Lyall selects–a process that he refers to as ‘graphical assignment’–frequently provide a key to understanding his work’s duplicity. Strange and surprising connections also emerge from the artist’s placement of seemingly disparate shapes, forms, surfaces, and images in physical space. The effect is one of improvisation and incompleteness married with calm predetermination.

Scott Lyall (born in Toronto, Ontario, 1964) lives in Toronto and received his MFA in 1993 from CalArts. Previous exhibitions include collaborations with artist Rachel Harrison at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver (2006) and with Blake Rayne at Art Basel 2008.

The exhibition is curated by Director Gregory Burke, following Burke’s selection of Lyall for the 2008 SITE Santa Fe. An 80-page catalogue accompanying the exhibition, ‘The Color Ball,’ will be published in November 2008.

Commissioning Partner:
Partners in Art

Presenting Sponsor:

Tags: Rachel Harrison, Maria Hassabi, Scott Lyall, Blake Rayne