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Shining a light on newly-discovered talent

by John Cairns February 28, 2017
Shining a light on newly-discovered talent

In its latest exhibition, Galerie Youn showcases the work of emerging artists

A tree is represented at the very back of Galerie Youn—it is the tree of paradise on which a gang of defiant “Eves” cavort and gorge upon the fruit. This provocative and beautifully-rendered piece by Robin Crofut-Brittingham is part of the gallery’s NEW WORK exhibition, which showcases new and emerging talent.

It is difficult to fully immerse oneself in the pure aesthetic pleasure of a topically and stylistically diverse exhibition when a space is so steeped in one of the principal philosophic dilemmas of art. This is true particularly during these times of technological and economic predominance. The shredded U.S. flag and photograph of former president Obama, which beckon passing patrons into the gallery, serve to reinforce the current sense that we are entering an age in which anti-intellectualism and retraction of support for creative endeavours will only be intensified.

Youn described a conversation with a nurse in which he attempted to argue the equality of value between what she did and what the artists he represents produce. His main point is that the physical, intellectual and emotional effort put into creating a piece, such as Dan Ivic’s Half a Soul, is as valuable as the work carried out by a health professional. For this reason, it is perfectly appropriate to expect remuneration for the compositions, which range from $275 right up to $8,000. According to Youn, what seems to be the deciding factor is how essential a product or service is to a person’s life—is the correct functioning of our physical being a more valuable asset than the kind of spiritual awakenings or affirmations we might access through art?

The Old Satyr by Mark Liam Smith provides an interesting insight into this dilemma, where the viewer of a work has begun to fuse with it. Art can certainly perform a kind of intellectual surgery, one which will probably never be available in any conventional clinic. With 12 years of experience in the “tough world” of running galleries, Youn certainly is an example of a human totally possessed by his passion.

With its current exhibition, NEW WORK, Galerie Youn has provided a serious and reflective space for what is an aesthetically and politically vibrant company of emerging artists. The array of media is astonishing, and provides a stimulating viewer experience.

The gallery itself will have a table at the prestigious Volta Art Fair in New York at the beginning of March, and Youn states how this would give his artists access to the kind of markets in which patrons were more likely to dig deep in order to acquire their work. The NEW WORK exhibition runs in Montreal until March 11. The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

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