Lois Andison: all the world began with a yes

4 October 2019 to 12 January 2020

Curated by Crystal Mowry

Public reception: Friday 1 November, 7 pm

Toronto-based artist Lois Andison is known for creating elegant works that allow us to see objects as being reactive, capable of eliciting and mimicking emotions. In recent years, Andison’s work has focused on language as a material that cannot be wholly trusted. In her use of neon lettering or blind impressions of words on paper, Andison reveals the poetry that might emerge from seeming gaps in communication.

all the world began with a yes marks the KWAG premiere of two works recently acquired for the Permanent Collection. This exhibition borrows its title from the opening lines of Brazilian author Clarice Lispector’s final book, The Hour of the Star (1977) in which the story’s unreliable narrator declares, “I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort.” A parallel for this sentiment can be found in the dialogue between threading water and comb, two works that anchor Andison’s exhibition. In threading water, a solitary swimmer moves through a body of water with a giant comb, much like the one that Andison has realized as a sculpture. Balancing agility and stamina, the swimmer performs a surrealist gesture shaped by a subtle play on words between a grooming technique to remove hair (threading) and the act of staying afloat in water through constant movement (treading). At once humorous and poetic, these works allow us to see a swimmer as both a stylus and an agent of change.

Lois Andison is a sculptor and installation artist who works primarily in the field of kinetic sculpture. Andison has exhibited nationally and internationally and her work can be found in private, corporate and public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, BMO, and Royal Bank of Canada. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Fine Arts Department of the University of Waterloo and is represented by Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, and Art Mûr, Montréal.

Lois Andison, threading water (still), 2014. Courtesy of the artist. © Lois Andison.