In 2018, Prometheus Art Gallery was founded by the lakeside in central Oakville and from then on, has always been devoted to promoting contemporary art and exploring young artists all over the world. The works presented in the gallery are mainly mixed media and prints.
Taking ‘art and community’ as the theme, the works in this exhibition were all created during the pandemic period, so they reflect the various perspectives of the artists under the current circumstance to a large extent.
The Lake, Yuan Zihan, 2020
For the ‘Grab a cup of ART’ exhibition, we chose to step out of the traditional art space and enter the community. We cooperate with many unique cafes in Toronto. Works of the same series will be displayed together in the same store. We are also thinking about how to connect different stores with different works to form new art series, hoping that we can explore a new art display mode under the epidemic situation.
Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash
Over the past year, the pandemic has changed our lives to a great extent. The physical isolation exacerbated the inequality of our society and the separation of interpersonal relationships. By cooperating with a number of unique local cafes in Toronto, the “Grab a cup of ART” exhibition hopes to bring warm and healing works of art into the community and step into people’s sight, so as to give young artists a chance to meet the public while helping local businesses.
Cafes are the last havens for art
Through the history of coffee, we can clearly see the grand trade and development of human history. This brown liquid also helped people who fell into the psychedelic world of alcohol in the 18th century regain their clear minds. People began to have rational conversations in the cafes rather than raving as a drunk. Art has been greatly developed in such places. If contemporary art is about criticism and subversion, coffee is the fuel for those creative minds.
Café Terrace at Night, Vincent van Gogh, 1888, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo
Advertisement for 'Four cats', Pablo Picasso, 1897
In 1897, as a student, Picasso went into four cats café, where has a long tradition of debates, social gathering and art refuge in Barcelona. There were cultural activities organized such as literature reading, puppet shows, music evenings that Granados and Albéniz organized among other artists. Picasso got plenty of opportunities to communicate with other artists and he also designed the menu and posters for this cafe. In 1900, Picasso held his first exhibition here.
As depicted in ‘Midnight in Paris’, a film directed by Woody Allen and released in 2011, all the writers and artists who have had a far-reaching impact on the future generations are regular visitors to cafes. But at that time, Their ideas were ahead of the times and far less widely accepted by the public than they are today. Cafes are the last havens and cradles for these artists who rebel against the system.
In those art groups formed in the cafes, various styles of artistic creation can be exchanged, and the independence and personality of an individual can be maintained freely, which promoted the development of avant-garde art and the change of art history.
Interior of a Café, Edouard Manet, 1880, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Like the Els Quatre Gats to Picasso,
Café Terrace in Arles to Van Gogh,
La Closerie Des Lilas to Ernest Hemingway,
Cafe de Flore to Sartre and De Beauvoir,
Café Guerbois to Impressionism.
The Cafe and art have never been separated.
Let’s encounter in the cafes in Toronto!
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