11 September to 11 October 2014
Opening Thursday 11 September from 7 to 9 pm

Nick Ostoff Negative Space
Eleanor King Wormholes

Diaz Contemporary is pleased to present solo shows by Nick Ostoff and Eleanor King, running simultaneously through both gallery spaces.

Ostoff’s paintings are characterized by their interest in domestic space, details and seriality. His work pushes the boundaries of representational abstractions of commonplace realities. King’s drawing-and-sculpture-based practice is invested in probing material and semiotic relationships to explore and exhaust the potentiality of specific objects.

With this exhibition, Ostoff furthers this approach to explore a series of dialectical relationships: between light and shadow, presence and absence, proximity and distance; and more specifically, between notions of domestic space and the aesthetics of minimalist abstraction. As a compositional device in two-dimensional artwork, negative space is traditionally considered to be the space around, and between, the subject(s) of an image. Ostoff accentuates this device to an extreme, at times collapsing distinctions between positive and negative. In some paintings, pictorial information is pushed to the peripheries of the picture plane, and in others, the painted image appears veiled through the obscuring effects of glazing and over-painting. In others, thick daubs of crepuscular pigment are used to create a rich impastoed surface, which suggest cavities of deep recessional space.

King’s body of work postulates on the language, or rather the limits of the language of objects. Rooted in an on-going relationship with particular materials, King’s work posits the material as medium as a means to negate finite understanding of objecthood through methods of stacking, repeating, and redacting. This exhibition showcases a series of expanding questions around objects such as cds and records, which King repurposes – offering new forms of looking. The site-specific Wormhole drawing in the main gallery explicitly links relationships between objects, materials, forms of hand labour and use value; as the drawings are a series of overlapped tracings of records, such as those used in the sculptural work below. Weaving together the traces of the objects on the floor, with King’s own labour the wormhole drawings offer yet another system of value measurement, of use-less time.

Nicholas Ostoff was born in Los Gatos, California, and spent his formative years in Toronto, Canada. Ostoff received a BFA from OCAD in 1999, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012. He has received numerous grants and fellowships, and his work has been reviewed in such Canadian periodicals as the Globe and Mail and Canadian Art Magazine. His work was recently included in group exhibitions at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago (Making Space) and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto (More Than Two), along with a solo exhibition at Devening Projects, Chicago (Tracing). Ostoff is currently lives and works in Toronto, where he teaches at the University of Toronto and Ontario College of Art and Design University.

Eleanor King is currently based in New York where she is a MFA candidate and Fulbright fellow at SUNY Purchase. Previously, King taught at NSCAD University and was Director at Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. King received a BFA from NSCAD in 2001, and participated in residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and The Banff Centre among others. She has recieved creation grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Arts Nova Scotia, and was short-listed for the 2012 Sobey Art Award. King has exhibited nationally and internationally, most notably at Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Nuit Blanche Toronto, and Galleri F15 in Norway. Her work is slated for a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in January 2015 and highlighted in a feature-length article in Canadian Art magazine, September 2014.