The title for this new series has a multi-layered meaning. The turn of phrase was a favoured one for the artist’s mother and something Meszaros interpreted as empowering. In the studio the artist recontextualized this phrase as a framework for both complicating the reading of the images and slowing down the viewer’s experience of the work. Making Strange also makes reference to navigating through uncertainty and grief and how we can do so boldly and with resilience.
A delicate hand adorned with fire-engine red nails is caught frozen as it strokes the other; visual cues conveying emotion across women’s faces are obscured by exotic blossoms in hues of pinks, reds and yellows, the flowers blooming or cascading from their unseen mouths. Other natural forms appear almost as stand-ins for the female figure as if reshaping how they might be represented. The artist deploys her images as poetic intention, the spaces become pauses and breaths, the works manifesting as visual poetry. With these observations in play it is clear Meszaros is paying special attention to visual juxtapositions and encounters as much as to connections between images revealed through the overlapping and cropping of her subjects and the opening of voids within the spaces throughout her pieces. Across her ouevre, Meszaros recenters the women who populate her artworks returning to them their agency while simultaneously overturning the male gaze allowing for a reclamation of women’s power.
Text by Maeve Hanna
Sondra Meszaros continues her ongoing exploration of counter-narratives of female sexuality and representation through an expanded practice of collage as a vehicle to slow down images. Reworking photographic images from instructional manuals, fashion magazines, stock erotica and 1950’s nature imagery, Meszaros uncovers dynamics of power and inequality in the history of image-making. Working with pages ripped from books, Meszaros dismantles, disrupts, and renegotiates original images by remounting, cutting, blocking, tearing, and hinging them together.
Sondra Meszaros graduated with honours from the Ontario College of Art and Design and received her MFA from the University of Windsor. She currently teaches in the School of Visual Arts in the Drawing Department at the Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary. In 2018, Meszaros was awarded a residency in the prestigious International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York. Her works can be found in numerous private and corporate collections across North America and Europe. She is represented by Jane Corkin Gallery in Toronto, and Norberg Hall in Calgary.
Please note | Although we will not have an opening reception for this exhibition, we do invite you to visit the gallery at your own leisure. Masks mandatory, vaccination preferred personal space respected.
NH Fine Frames | Comfort safety are still a top priority for everyone these days. At NH Fine Frames, we will continue framing consultations on an appointment-only basis. We’ve found this to be a better experience for everyone, allowing more time attention for each individual client their unique framing needs, as well as maintain ongoing safety measures. 30 min – one hour framing appointments may be booked between Tue – Sat | 11 – 4 pm.
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