The hottest show in the city right now (so popular half the people couldn’t get in on opening night!) is Jason Botkin’s solo exhibition titled ALLKIN, at the brand new Lndmrk Gallery. Botkin is one of the founding members of En Masse, one of Montreal’s greatest artistic claims to fame: it’s an art collective that groups over 20 artists at a time to make amazing black-and-white wall art. They’ve done work inside office buildings and museums, but you might know them best for their work on city walls.
In full contrast to those monochromatic group works, Botkin’s solo work is a mind-blowing, crazed colourfest full of tribalesque masks and monstrous personages. It’s mostly faces – some small, some bigger and more complex, made out of various layers of thin wood painted bright colours. And of course there’s the biggest face of all, the black-haired beast Botkin built around a staircase at the back of the gallery, which gives the viewer the impression they’re about to be eaten. Amazing.
Lndmrk is the latest brainchild of gallery owner Yves Laroche, whose other space, on Saint-Laurent in Little Italy, is also showing work that’s associated with street art these days. Among this commercial gallery’s most famous top sellers are Ron English, who famously manipulated billboards in 1980s America. Laroche also represents graffiti artists like Other, Cope2 and Push, all of which have works up right now. Stop by to check them out.
And finally, downtown at Galerie B-312 in the Belgo Building, duo Séripop – composed of Chloe Lum and Yannick Desranleau – has created a massive installation that will be in the gallery’s main room until February 7. Séripop made its name on the Montreal scene in the early 2000s because of their postering – the duo silkscreened beautifully weird and idiosyncratic ads announcing upcoming music shows. They’ve segued from that into an exciting gallery career, full of outlandish paper-based works like this one, which makes the viewer feel like they’re awash in a sea of colour.
ALLKIN, by Jason Botkin, at Lndmrk Gallery (550 Beaumont), until March 29, 2013
General collection at Galerie Yves Laroche (6355 St-Laurent, 514-393-1999)
The Options that Are Offered to Us: The Least Likely/The Most Tolerable, by Séripop, at Galerie B-312 (372 Ste-Catherine W., suite 403) until February 7, 2013