This week, exhibitor of PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai 2019, John Monteith has taken over our Instagram platform. Monteith’s work is represented by 10 Years Ago Gallery (Toronto) and Art Labor (Shanghai), and provides viewers with an alternative, creative perspective into architectural structures. Interdisciplinary in nature, Monteith’s artwork intricately combines photography with drawing, painting, installation and textiles, and has exhibited internationally at the Beijing Biennale, Tate Modern, The DUMBO Art Center and many more. The artist has recently transformed his works into a distinct line of limited edition rugs available in Shanghai, demonstrating an impressive level of craftsmanship, and Monteith’s ability to work across a multitude of mediums. PHOTOFAIRS are delighted that Monteith has participated in our October #ArtistTakeover, and we are eager for you to read this personal insight!
John Monteith’s installation piece was part of our Staged public program initiative, powered by Ocula. Staged explores the relationship between photography and other art forms such as installation art, sculpture, performance and painting.
"My name is John Monteith, I’m a Canadian artist currently living in Toronto. This past year I’ve started to exhibit regularly in China, most recently at Photofairs Shanghai (presented by Art Labor, Shanghai and 10 Years Ago Gallery, Toronto) as part of the curated “Staged” public program which explores photography’s expanded discourse. Photography has always been a cornerstone to my practice which also includes drawing, painting, installation, and textiles, in exploring their material and conceptual intersections. As an exhibitor at Photofairs I had the pleasure to introduce my drawings and photographs and to engage with new audiences who were quite curious and receptive to the ideas I’m investigating within my current body of work.
Resonances (above & below) is a 236cm x 516 cm installation composed of layered composite photographs of architectural spaces interspersed within a grid of pencil drawings based on various relational sites of urban social exchange. Skyscrapers and skylines, modernist towers and brutalist buildings, zones, paths, parks, highways and roadways are recast in a series of overlapping, repeating, reformulated geometries—a system of exchanges articulated through reverberations of form. Fluidly collapsing the photographic with the drawn, the eye skips and dart across patterns, following paths and forging visual connections, in ways akin to our traverses across the city.
As part of the Alpina Huss exhibition, the Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin (below) was transformed into a stage for performance experiments pushing the line between spectacle and art gathering as private and public spheres merged. I created this window installation which drew on interior and exterior architectural and decorative details as a mediating barrier between the interior of the museum and its exterior, a site of many years of ongoing re-design, restoration and reconstruction on Berlin’s “Museum Mile.”
(Rock Sculptures by Alvaro Urbano. Concrete and pillow furniture by Pauline Beaudemont.)
Based on drawings from my Resonances series I was commissioned to design a limited edition of rugs for Urban Fabric (below), based in Shanghai. Hand-dyed, hand-tufted and hand- carved, these works explore recent themes in my practice while occupying the intersection between art and design. This particular rug was created in response to the architecture of the post war “Grands Ensembles” neighbourhood in Paris, France."
Watch a video on Monteith's rug designs here.