Bronson Smillie: Almost Begin

Almost Begin, 2023, installation view at Afternoon Projects. Photo: Benny Xu

Bronson Smillie: Almost Begin

October 19 – December 16, 2023
Afternoon Projects, Vancouver

Almost Begin is a solo exhibition of new works at Afternoon Projects by Montréal based artist, Bronson Smillie.

Excerpt from the exhibition text by Rosemary Flutur

But what about the early stages of recognizing that these principles exist in the world, in and out of view, like a latticed network? Bronson Smillie seems to enact this in his solo exhibition Almost Begin: the stage where crude, exploratory creation and the imminent graduation into a more developed thinking meet and grapple with one another. The verb ‘enact’ is key here, as he possesses an aptitude for refinement and the decipherment of nuance, which makes what appears naive in his work a deliberate choice. The child-like objects and motifs—letter blocks, encyclopaedias “de la jeunesse”, line drawings of a house—are present to convey a mind in the midst of crucial development, like a kid on the brink of adulthood. But the movement towards greater thinking is the main point. The works suggest they are the products of a young, forming mind actively parsing and processing the underlying abstract concepts that make up what we sense and know.

Bronson Smillie, L’encyclopédie de la jeunesse (red), 2023, full encyclopaedia set, felt pads, buttons, furniture sliders, wood. 19.5 x 33 in. Photo: Benny Xu

Calgary-born artist Bronson Smillie holds a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University and currently lives in Montréal. His multidisciplinary practice involves sourcing objects and creating works with materials that no longer fulfill their purpose within late-capitalist modes of consumption. His solo exhibitions include A Place for Everything at april april in Brooklyn, Tempo 85 at Espace Maurice in Montréal, and Forever is Closing in at MoMAPS311 in Ottawa. His work has been in group exhibitions in New York, Chicago, and Prague. His current exhibition Almost Begin at Afternoon Projects in Vancouver has been extended until December 16.

Bronson Smillie, Act Below, 2023, polycrayon on address book paper, 12 x 17.5 in. Photo: Benny Xu

Afternoon Projects
603 Powell Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6A 1H2

Hours: Thursdays to Saturdays, 1:00 – 5:00 pm or by appointment

Afternoon Projects is located on the ground floor with a street level entrance (no stairs), with one step leading down into the gallery space from the main entry level.

For additional information please contact: Benny Xu,