Robert Fones’ latest work featured in Canadian Art Magazine

Robert Fones working in his studio for the Canadian Art magazine.

Robert Fones working in his studio for the Canadian Art magazine.

Canadian Art magazine has published a six page spread on Robert Fones’ work. Robert, who is a full-time professor in the Art and Art History program, was a Governor’s General Award recipient for Visual Arts in 2011. This is the second time Fones has been featured in Canadian Art Magazine this year.

Robert is represented by the Olga Korper gallery. His work has been featured in The National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Ontario and other public and corporate collections along with numerous reviews and articles in Vanguard, C Magazine and Parachute.

He was also commissioned by Sheridan to create “Leviathan 1,” an installation at the Davis Campus Welcome Centre. More about this piece can be seen here in Sheridan’s Curiosities blog.

Robert said “My photographic installation, called Leviathan 1 for Sheridan, is an enlargement, a very considerable enlargement of a single panel from a series of eight photographic panels entitled Leviathan that are now in the National Gallery of Canada’s collection. The phrase that runs through all eight panels is from the introduction to Thomas Hobbes’ book, Leviathan, a phrase that stopped me dead in my tracks when I first read it. In Leviathan 1 for Sheridan we can read the beginning of that phrase: ‘Nature, the art whereby, go…’

The whole phrase was almost incomprehensible to me when I first read it, which is why it preoccupied me for so long trying to understand what it meant and why, once I felt I did understand it, decided to use it in my artwork. Here is the whole phrase:

‘NATURE (the art whereby God hath made and governs the world) is by the art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an artificial animal. For seeing life is but a motion of limbs, the beginning whereof is in some principal part within, why may we not say that all automata (engines that move themselves by springs and wheels as doth a watch) have an artificial life?’

My work uses letter-forms that I made out of clay and then photographed and assembled in PhotoShop with another photograph of clouds reflected in water as a background. I wanted the letter-forms to look alive, to look as animated as the natural forms and automata that Hobbes talks about. For me, letterforms are living things.”

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