Zachary Leener & Anders Oinonen
August 1 - August 31, 2019
1134 Dupont St.
Toronto, Ontario, M6H 2A2
COOPER COLE is pleased to present a two-person exhibition featuring the works of Anders Oinonen and Zachary Leener.
I toil in the waiting room beneath a veneer of boredom. My body slouches. As my head drags my eyes down with it, I spy an abacus (one of those ancient counting devices). Plump beads line its framed wire spines; its configurative calculation escapes me. Old ceramic lamps swell on side tables between rows of chairs, providing spills of light for reading. Anxious, I can’t help my legs from shifting, and in the shadow of the light I think my nose becomes a mountain. My upper lip hairs, a front lawn. My stomach droops and pains me. Now—with blurred vision—I look out at the patients. They are like sitting ducks. Then a name is called and they leap like shoals of fish. Jarred, I refocus on their faces, all of which feel differently perplexing.
While I search for posture on a raised bed, the doc reflects on what my flesh encrypts, seeks meaningful resolve for it. As far as they’re concerned, a wheeze wanders aimlessly, and with this I grow nostalgic for fixity.
At first, an Oinonen work may appear like a portrait. Maintaining attention, the image morphs into a range of mountains, or becomes its own architecture of colourful, painterly swaths. Some work is large scale, gesturing to the geological.
Leener’s sculptures play image tricks similarly. Distilling the bodily into a knobby sculptural language, he fires and glazes ceramic sentinel conglomerates—also makes small etchings—using forms evocative of ribbed tissue, uvulas, guts and phalluses.
Together these artists share an interest in the semi-figurative as a means of multiplying possible interpretations. Privileging intuitive modes of production, both Oinonen and Leener dip into the surrealist tradition, but do so with a distinctive emotional urgency, all the while challenging the perception of associations between body and space.
Zachary Leener (b. 1981, Los Angeles, USA) received his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, USA, before receiving an MFA from the University of California, Riverside, Riverside, USA. He has exhibited at COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada; Parker Gallery, Thomas Soloman Gallery, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles; Klaus von Nichtssagend, Lisa Cooley, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York; Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Davis, USA; Dio Horia, Myconos, Greece; Aïshti Foundations, Beirut, Lebanon; and Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels, Belgium. Leener currently lives and works in Los Angeles, USA.
Anders Oinonen (b. 1977, Kenora, Canada) received his MFA from the University of Waterloo, and studied for his bachelor’s degree at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Canada. He has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, G Gallery, COOPER COLE, Toronto; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal; Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles; Deitch Projects, The Hole, New York; Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton; CTRL Gallery, Houston, USA; V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark; Friends, Glasgow, Scotland; and Max Wigram Gallery, London, UK. Oinonen currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.