Micah Lexier: Five Shapes

Micah Lexier: Five Shapes

On view until November 25, 2023
Birch Contemporary, Toronto

Five Shapes is being presented on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Micah Lexier and Robert Birch’s relationship as artist and dealer. In that time Lexier has presented thirteen solo exhibitions in three different spaces (King St East, The Distillery and Tecumseth) and three different iterations of the gallery (Robert Birch Gallery, Birch Libralato and Birch Contemporary). This is Lexier’s fourteenth exhibition with the gallery.

Working with two dozen different artists and fabricators—including a baker and a writer—Lexier has created an exhibition that highlights the roles that friendships (both old and new) and collaboration play in his work.

To create the exhibition, Lexier presented his collaborators with five found geometric shapes to engage with. The five shapes are specific and carefully chosen but not meaningful or significant in and of themselves—their role was to inspire action and reaction from Lexier’s collaborators.

In the main gallery space, Lexier invited twelve artists to arrange the shapes however they pleased. The twelve artists are Polly Apfelbaum (New York), Lolly Batty (London UK), Ruth van Beek (Amsterdam), Claude Closky (Paris), Faye HeavyShield (Standoff, Alberta), Paul Ramírez Jonas (Brooklyn), Jill Magid (New York), Jonathan Monk (Berlin), José Quintanar (Rotterdam), Kay Rosen (Gary, Indiana), Ricky Swallow (Los Angeles), and Elsa Werth (Paris).

In the back gallery, Lexier asked a variety of makers to recreate the shapes in their signature materials: Susan Day (London ON) produced the shapes in ceramic; Jocelyn Prince (Providence, RI) created the shapes in glass; Joel Robson (Toronto) fabricated the shapes in wood; and Lisa Naftolin (New York) embroidered the shapes on a work jacket.

In addition, Erris Huigens (Wageningen, The Netherlands) painted the shapes on the wall of an abandoned building in Delft, the documentation of which has been turned into a twelve-page, free newspaper available at the gallery; baker Lindsey Gazel (Toronto) turned the five shapes into cookies, complete with colour-matched icing which were served and consumed at the opening; and Ihor Holubizky (Hamilton) has contributed a text which ends with the following: “But above and beyond the nomenclature and the game of the mind, for Micah this is an armature and premise to connect to people. A writer on Micah’s work cited the E.M Forster epigram in Howard’s End (1910), “Only connect,” to underscore the value of personal relationships. That for Micah is “the meaning of this exhibition.”

Birch Contemporary
129 Tecumseth Street
Toronto, ON M6J 2H2


Thursday – Saturday, 11-6
or by appointment

Celebrating 30 years in 2019

Image Credits: All photos by Toni Hafkenscheid