Fall 2023 Exhibitions at Oakville Galleries: Elif Saydam | Leisure

Oakville Galleries is thrilled to announce its fall 2023 exhibition program with a solo exhibition by Elif Saydam in Gairloch Gardens. The interactive exhibition by Leisure at Centennial Square has been extended for the fall season and is open during regular gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM. For information about upcoming public programs presented alongside our exhibitions, please visit oakvillegalleries.com.

Fall Exhibitions Opening Reception
Friday, September 29, 2023, 7 PM. Everyone is welcome.
Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens

Elif Saydam: Eviction Notice

September 29, 2023 – January 6, 2024
Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens

Oakville Galleries presents Eviction Notice, the first institutional exhibition in North America by Berlin-based Canadian artist Elif Saydam. The exhibition features a new body of work commissioned by Oakville Galleries and is curated by Theresa Wang.

In their expanded painting practice, Saydam examines the formation and judgment of aesthetic taste and the forces that influence them. With humour and rigour, the artist employs strategies of abundance and excess—combining diverse techniques, materials, content, and style—to create works that defy medium-specificity, bringing forth the connections between aesthetic and social ambivalences.

Eviction Notice comprises a new body of work encompassing painting, textile, installation, and photography. Drawing upon traditions of ornamentation outside of the European canon, Saydam considers the dynamics of desire that are extended to objects and social spaces. They mine the decorative as a methodical and transgressive tool, one inextricably bound up in racialized ideologies of class and gender, and mobilize its falsely attributed frivolity to challenge what, or who, is of value.

Set in the suburban backdrop of Gairloch Gardens where the gallery itself is a former domestic home, the exhibition extrapolates the material qualities of built structures. Mural-sized pieces expose the gallery’s skeletal foundations and ornamental origins, articulating broader topics around our collective aspirations of social mobility within both private and public spaces. In addition, diminutively-scaled artworks depicting urban landscapes under threat by commercial development are heavily embellished to form an expanding archive of cities bending and breathing under the inevitable forces of gentrification. Ultimately, the focus is on the lives and desires of those who dwell within these spaces. Saydam stages these relations and complicates them by using a contradictory logic of adornment. Together, the works in Eviction Notice disrupt, take up, and reshape spaces through the visual grammar of decoration to offer emancipatory potential.

Leisure (Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley)
Having Ideas by Handling Materials

June 3, 2023 – January 6, 2024
Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square
Curated by Frances Loeffler

Leisure is a collaboration between Montreal-based artists Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley. Working together since 2004, they use a wide range of media, including video, sculptural installation, and text. Their practice considers ideas of connection, collaboration, creativity, and relation, and in the past has often highlighted the work of overlooked women, such as the landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander and playwright Lina Loos. For their exhibition at Oakville Galleries, they draw on educational theories articulated by artist Barbara Hepworth’s son Simon Nicholson, to create an exploratory, participatory space for children and visitors of all ages. Particularly relevant is his essay The Theory of Loose Parts, which advocates for children to have freedom over their play environments. Here this becomes a potentially transformative proposition with wider implications in society at large, asking us to rethink how we make, exhibit, and experience art—and ultimately how we lead our daily lives.

Audio Interview: Leisure in Conversation with Curator Frances Loeffler
Listen to a conversation between Leisure (artists Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley) and curator Frances Loeffler, as they discuss individual works in the exhibition Having Ideas by Handling Materials, and some of the histories, narratives, and thematic threads that run through the exhibition.

About Oakville Galleries
A contemporary art museum housed in two gallery spaces and located 30 km west of Toronto, Oakville Galleries is one of Canada’s leading art museums, with a primary commitment to presenting the work of early and mid-career artists from across Canada and around the world.

Oakville Galleries operates with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario and the Corporation of the Town of Oakville, along with our many individual, corporate and foundation partners.

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Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens and at Centennial Square
905.844.4402 | info@oakvillegalleries.com | oakvillegalleries.com | @oakvillegalleries

Images credits:
1) Elif Saydam. Hell, 23k gold, inkjet transfer and oil on canvas​, 2022.​ Courtesy of the artist and ​Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Los Angeles and Franz Kaka, Toronto. 2) Installation view of Leisure: Having Ideas by Handling Materials. Oakville Galleries in Centennial Square, 2023. Photo: Laura Findlay.