Shop the Show: In a New Toronto Gallery Exhibition, Three Artists Take a Personal Approach to Minimalism

Tim Forbes, Aron Hill, and Jana Osterman present recent works in "Minimalism Transformed" at Oeno Gallery.

Installation view
Installation view "Minimalism Transformed," 2021. Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

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What You Need to Know: Minimalism Transformed” at Toronto’s Oeno Gallery takes a closer look at the ways the language of Minimalism has adapted to meet the needs of artists today. The show brings together recent works by contemporary artists—Tim Forbes, Aron Hill, and Jana Osterman—each of whom uses the language of Minimalism to unique ends. These artists each draw from and draw away from Minimalism’s industrial, seemingly anonymous aesthetics to ask new questions of their materials. 

Why We Like It: Unlike their Minimalist forebears, each of these three artists engages the pared-down, meticulousness as a means of embracing personal narratives, cultural context, and even viewers’ interpretation. Tim Forbes’s elegant black-and-white paintings of simple geometric forms call to mind the works of Sol LeWitt, but presented as diptychs or triptychs, the works possess a puzzle-like, open-ended quality that invites speculation. Aron Hill, meanwhile, creates hard-to-classify paintings that seemingly employ elements of composition—line, color, volume, shape—as unique subjects within the space of the canvas. Hill sees this isolation as a means of reconsideration; the artist wrote of their works: “When we separate things there is always the chance that the decontextualization will alter their understanding.” Slovenian artist Jana Osterman’s tactilely alluring biomorphic sculptures seem to flirt with an anthropomorphism, while never quite crossing over. Many of her recent works are carved from catalpa wood, and though from a distant, cool aesthetic, a closer look reveals the nuances of wood grain and natural growth. 

What the Gallery Says: “I think of the creation of this work as dancing on a high wire but without a net. To create something with restraint, elegant and evocative in its simplicity—this act allows no room for error or correction. Each of these artists strives for perfection. They are also preoccupied with the use of black— Tim Forbes describes black as a color that has made up its mind. And suddenly, the focus shifts to the form, to the void, and the sculptural preoccupations of these artists become clear,” said Carlyn Moulton, founder of Oeno Gallery.

Aron Hill
Large Blue and Lavender with Fading Sun (2021)
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Aron Hill, Large Blue and Lavender with Fading Sun (2021). Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

Aron Hill, Large Blue and Lavender with Fading Sun (2021). Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

 

Jana Osterman
Biomorphic No 17 (2021)
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Jana Osterman, Biomorphic No 17 (2021). Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

Jana Osterman, Biomorphic No 17 (2021). Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

 

Tim Forbes
Currents 01 02
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Tim Forbes, Currents 01 02. Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

Tim Forbes, Currents 01 02. Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

Aron Hill
Single Black Block (2021)
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Aron Hill, Single Black Block (2021). Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

Aron Hill, Single Black Block (2021). Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

 

Tim Forbes
Double Speak (2020)
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Tim Forbes, Double Speak (2020). Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

Tim Forbes, Double Speak (2020). Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

Jana Osterman
Ovoid 1/9 (2021)
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Jana Osterman, Ovoid 1/9 (2021). Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.

Jana Osterman, Ovoid 1/9 (2021). Courtesy of Oeno Gallery.


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