On now at The Modern Toronto, a solo exhibition of Jiri Ladocha’s work, collected by the painter Ben Woolfitt, draws fascinating parallels between form and function.
Over his 35+ year career, Czech artist Jiri Ladocha has been creating abstracted pieces that leverage their materiality to explore themes of form, value, perception and art-making as a practice. Working primarily on surfaces—canvas, rock, aluminum and more—his work takes on otherworldly qualities that question not only their original context but the future they may survive to meet. From where do these forms emerge and what will they morph into next?
Housed underneath a condominium, The Modern is a stark, concrete-forward space with exposed infrastructure snaking throughout, the ideal environment to contemplate the materials that form the foundation of everyday life. Set against a concrete backdrop, the pieces demonstrate a surprising materiality that not only draws one in, but questions the juxtapositions and comparisons we typically make between them. One example, “The Alchemist” comprises of three glass tubes filled with broken glass and ball bearings, an intriguing interplay between two divergent materials merged under impossible circumstances.
Another, “The Four Directions” takes 24K gold leaf, white gold leaf, silver leaf, aluminum leaf and acrylic to abstract nature itself, whether it be the seasons, directions or the elements themselves. Together, they morph into an impressionist representation of the laws that govern Ladocha’s materials and practice.
“Architectonics” debuts tonight with an opening reception at The Modern Toronto (68 Abell St) at 7 PM, just behind the Drake General Store flagship on Queen Street West.