Christian Hidaka & Raphaël Zarka: Peter’s Proscenium

Christian Hidaka & Raphaël Zarka

June 20 – August 18, 2019
Koffler Gallery
Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street
Curator: Mona Filip

SUMMER OPENING RECEPTION Thursday, June 20, 2019 | 7–9 PM
ARTIST TALK Sunday, June 23, 2019 | 2 PM | FREE

Bringing the work of artists Raphaël Zarka and Christian Hidaka to Toronto for the first time, this major exhibition extends their decade-long dialogue around shared interests in the connected histories of scientific, philosophic and artistic invention.

Referencing science, industry, philosophy and the perpetual human search for new paths of discovery, the work of Paris-based artist Raphaël Zarka relies on the collection and re-contextualization of iconic forms that range from minimal to complex geometries. The point of departure for his artistic production is fundamentally sculptural, within an expanded field that encompasses photography, video and the written essay. Working within existing vocabularies of spaces and volumes, Zarka’s artistic process parallels his practice of skateboarding as a re-writing of spaces, repurposing and mining structures as an ecology of critical and contemporary relevance.

Japanese/British artist Christian Hidaka creates imaginary, limitless worlds, drawing upon distinct sets of representational languages. His paintings mediate references that inform the depiction of the pictorial plane: those of the 1480s, of Piero della Francesca and the influence of Euclidean geometry; and others which infer a boundless unfolding of space as in Chinese calligraphic landscapes or 1980’s computer games. The intrinsic ambiguity of Hidaka’s compositions suggests that whether we roam nature, shopping centres or virtual worlds, we navigate countless, interweaved cultural forms, codes and stories.

For Peter’s Proscenium, Hidaka and Zarka consider the gallery as a site of intellectual reflection where ideas and thoughts are distilled, creating a site-specific painting and sculpture installation investigating space and perspective. Inspired by the original architecture of gallery – the repurposed library of a former elementary school – the artists’ vision derives from their awareness of a concealed archway and proscenium now hidden by the renovations. These buried vestiges of previous use along with a sustained interest in the visual explorations of Renaissance artist and craftsman Peter Halt inspire an immersive installation that stages the gallery as a space for observation and reflection. Hidaka’s murals surround the viewer creating the illusion of endlessness while focusing attention inwards, where Zarka’s mysterious sculptural characters offer grounding objects of contemplation.

Wednesday to Friday, 12–6 PM | Saturday & Sunday 11 AM–5 PM | Admission is FREE
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays & statutory holidays. The Koffler Gallery is fully accessible.

Exhibition is generously supported by Institut français and The Cultural & Science Services of the Embassy of France in Canada.

The Koffler Gallery is a forum for the presentation and development of contemporary visual art that reflects diverse cultural, material and aesthetic perspectives, generating critical discussions around ideas of our time. Featuring a year-round program of exhibitions, publications, public programs and educational initiatives, the Koffler Gallery fosters new production while equally aiming to expand the visibility of existing work by Canadian and international artists. The program positions the contemporary Jewish experience in a context of comparative discussions of identity, memory and place. The Koffler Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Image: Christian Hidaka and Raphaël Zarka, Gnomonica, 2019 (exhibition detail, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest). Photo: Raphaël Zarka.

Artscape Youngplace | 180 Shaw Street, Suite 104-105 | Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
647.925.0643 | |

Tony Hewer, Director of Marketing, Communications and Archives
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The Koffler Centre of the Arts is a cultural platform that explores critical ideas and concerns of our time through exhibitions, publications, performances, conversations and digital initiatives. We examine complex issues in respectful, constructive discussions that position our Jewish identity in conversation with diverse perspectives and global voices. Koffler Centre of the Arts acknowledges the support of the Koffler Family Foundation, Cultural Season Sponsor CIBC Wood Gundy, the Ontario Arts Council through the Community and Multidisciplinary Arts Organizations Program, our donors and patrons.