Prairies and The North

Michael Dumontier & Neil Farber | Cedric Bomford | Divya Mehra | Zin Taylor | Michael Dudeck


Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber


Michael Dumontier (b. 1974) and Neil Farber (b. 1975) handle paint with a studied crudeness, bringing to mind outsider art’s earnest, underdog aesthetic and turning the act of painting - traditionally a serious, solitary affair – into something casual and collaborative. As founding members of the influential Royal Art Lodge collective, the artists perfected the imperfection of improvisational painting, and their musings with paint and text carry on in that spirit.

From a distance, the colourful pictures read like panels of a children’s comic – sunny, cheerful, and populated with people, animals, and fantastical creatures. Up close, they seethe with ironic text and bizarre, downbeat humour. They are profound musings on human psychology, and as we laugh at the absurdity of the artists’ imaginary world, we recognize in it the realities of our own.  

Their works can be found in numerous public and private collections including that of the National Gallery of Canada and of fellow artist Takashi Murakami. Both artists live and work in Winnipeg, Canada.

IMAGE:Library (detail),2014, acrylic on hardboard, 7.6cm X 7.6cm

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Cedric Bomford


Cedric Bomford (b. 1975) currently lives and works in Winnipeg, where he is an Assistant Professor in the School of Art at the University of Manitoba. His installation and photographic work has been exhibited in Canada as well as internationally in Germany, Sweden, Australia, Iran, and Taiwan. He has also participated in residencies in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. Bomford holds an MFA from the Malmö Art Academy (2007) and a BFA from Emily Carr University, Vancouver (2003). His Practice often focuses on the power dynamics established by constructed spaces and takes the form of large-scale, rambling, ad hoc architectural installations. The projects follow a methodology he calls ‘thinking through building’ in which construction takes on an emergent quality rather than an illustrative one. Concurrent to this is a rigorous photographic practice that operates, at times, in parallel with, while at others, tangentially to, the installation work.

While the majority of his projects are solo efforts, Bomford also works collaboratively with a number of different partners, including his brother Nathan, father Jim, and with other artists such as: Verena Kaminiarz, Mark Dudiak, and Carl Boutard. Upcoming projects are planned for this year with Other Sights for Artists’ Projects in Vancouver; Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon; KUNSTrePUBLIK in the Recklinghausen, Germany; and a major public art commission, also in Vancouver.

IMAGE: Sumavská (from the series “Air Vents of Prague Metro”), 2003 (printed 2014), Digital inkjet from film original, 97x 76 cm. 


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Divya Mehra

The Bitch Blues (promo)_sm

Divya Mehra (BFA Honors University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada; MFA Columbia University, New York, USA) Mehra’s research-fueled practice often explores marginalization, otherness and the empty promise of diversity. Through appropriating, editing and reassembling a variety of literary, comedic and musical sources, she creates an acerbic dialogue on the commandeering, consumption and construction of race and identity politics. Often foregrounding the ongoing struggle with her personal diasporic identity and cultural expectations, she calls into question our unexamined beliefs. Mehra’s work has been included in a number of exhibitions and screenings across North America and overseas, most notably with Creative Time, MoMA PS1, MTV, and The Queens Museum of Art (New York), MASS MoCA (North Adams), Art Asia (Miami), Platform: center for photographic + digital arts, and Plug In ICA (Winnipeg), Artspeak (Vancouver), Images Festival (Toronto), Groupe Intervention Vidéo (Montréal), The Beijing 798 Biennale (Beijing), Bielefelder Kunstverein (Bielefeld), and Latitude 28 (Delhi). Recent publications featuring her work include: The New York Times, Art in America, Vogue India, whitewall Magazine, Border Crossings magazine, Hyperallergic, Blouin ARTINFO, ARTnews, BlackFlash, C Magazine, Canadian Art, AGYU Studio Blog, and The National Post. Mehra currently divides her time between Winnipeg, Delhi, and New York.

IMAGE:The Bitch Blues (where does the Divide begin?), 2014, acrylic ink and sizzurp, 55.9 x 76.2cm. Photo: Larry Glawson.

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Zin Taylor


Zin Taylor was born in 1978, in Calgary, Canada and lives and works in Brussels. He has exhibited internationally with solo projects at Gallery Isabella Bartolozzi in Berlin (DE), Miguel Abreu Gallery in New York (US), Maison des Arts of Malkoff in Paris (FR), Gallery Micky Scubert in Berlin (DE), Ursula Blickle Stiftung in Kraichtal (DE) and Kiosk – contemporary art space- in Ghent (BE). He is represented by Jessica Bradley Gallery, Toronto, and Supportico Lopez, Berlin.

IMAGE: A Portrait of Arranged Parts (Stripes and Dots), 2013, Plaster, wood, wire, acrylic paint, 38.5cm x 11.75cm x 12.5cm. Photo credit: David M.C. Miller


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Michael Dudeck


Michael Dudeck is an artist and cultural engineer whose work de-codes dominant cultural mythologies and re-codes them into contemporary fictions. Methods thus far have included live ceremonial mediated performance, authoritative publications, the development of fictive personae/institutions, sound/musical composition, museological display/installation and the writing/publishing of fictive theoretical texts. He has performed/exhibited nationally and internationally including John Connelly Presents, The Watermill Center, Center for Performance Research + Parade Ground (New York), The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Ace Art, Platform Center + Plug in ICA (Winnipeg), Gallery Connexion (New Brunswick), Latitude 53 (Edmonton), Neutral Ground (Regina), DeFibrillator (Chicago), The Glasshouse (Tel Aviv and New York), Witte de With (Rotterdam) The Insel Hombroich (Neuss, Germany) and the Brucebo Museum (Visby, Sweden). His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Canadian Art magazine, View on Canadian Art, Border Crossings magazine as well as The Younger Than Jesus Artist Directory by PHAIDON Press, Queer Spirits from CREATIVE TIME and The Artist is Present (documentary and publication) from MoMA. He has worked and trained with AA Bronson, Marina Abramovic, and La Pocha Nostra among others, and was recently the recipient of the Brucebo Foundation European Travel Award, funding a research pilgrimage across Europe.

IMAGE: Prototypes for an New Iconography (Study 03), 2014, inkjet print on rag paper 43.8cm x 29.1cm. Photo credit: Larry Glawson

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