Joseph Drapell: Liberty

Exhibition and launch of new publication “Liberty”

Liberty, 2023, acrylic, rhinestones, holographic additives, feathers, 60 x 48 in.

November 18, 2023 – February 26, 2024
Opening Reception & Launch: Saturday, November 18, 2023, 2-5pm
Museum of New, Toronto

Liberty is an exhibition of thirteen new works inspired by the challenge from Joseph Drapell’s friends: TW Peacocke and Joseph Gatto. During Drapell’s last opening, they pointed to “Dream of Georgian Bay”. They both agreed that Drapell should paint eight works like that. Drapell replied that being 83, he could no longer work that large. However, the next day, he ordered 36 new canvases! Thirteen works were successfully completed; the group is titled “Liberty” after the above painting.

We can find echoes of recent world events in these paintings. Instead of slowing down, the artist takes the greatest provocative artistic risk of his career, combining rhinestone drawing of his nudes with the advanced painting style he is known for. Half the group is dark, half is yellow-orange. Both show our small horizon against our huge sun, and against our planet in the dark paintings. Stylistically they belong to the large series “Nude Ascending”, which is Drapell’s long conversation with Marcel Duchamp and his legacy.

[Duchamp’s works] thumbed “their nose” at the great art of the past, suggesting an easier way, eagerly taken by the multitude of artists and the art public.
– Matthew Kyba

The Dream Again, 2023, acrylic, rhinestones, holographic additives, 60 x 48 in.

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Museum of New
123 Bellwoods Avenue (rear)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M6J 2P6
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