Walter May

15 November 1990 - 15 December 1990
Opening Reception 15 November 1990 8pm

East Gallery:

Low Table: High Chairs

Opening Thursday November 15 at 8:00 pm, Mercer Union presents ‘Low Table: High Chairs,’ a new sculptural work by Calgary artist Walter May. Incorporating fabricated components with found and salvaged vernacular items, May’s recent work effects formal elegance, discretion and resonant significance.

The combination of these elements with mass produced items refers simultaneously to the original site of manufacture, the domestic or industrial function, and to individual histories and desires Aged articles have elements added or removed. Allusions to history, industry, nature and art are implicit in the visible degeneration of materials and their painstaking regeneration as art object. May’s juxtaposition of incongruous forms, elements or titles contradict traditional notions of the heroism of the art maker and the aura of the art object.

Walter May’s new work ‘Low Table: High Chairs’ groups together over thirty ‘chairs’ with one large low table in a single exhibition space. A variety of sculptural alterations and treatments have been applied to the table; small sculptural details have been suspended beneath it; objects have been attached to the industrial metal work stools by the artist. The assortment of shapes, forms and surfaces provide the viewer with a multitude of rich associative clues from which to begin deciphering individual objects or the work as a whole.

Walter May has participated in solo and group exhibitions since 1971, in Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, Regina, Winnipeg and Montreal. May’s first solo exhibition in Toronto, in Mercer Union’s East Gallery opens Thursday November 15 at 8:00pm and continues through Saturday December 15. To compliment this exhibition, a published interview with the artist, conducted by Calgary artist and writer John Chalke, has been produced by the gallery and will be available to the public during the exhibition. A public talk by Walter May is scheduled to take place at Mercer Union on Wednesday November 14 at 8:00pm. Admission is free.