Canada Council for the Arts

Robert would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Bringing the arts to life


Lost in Thought

Jennifer Lefort, Robert Davidovitz & Darcie Kennedy

August 1 – August 28, 2019

Colborne Street Gallery

44 Colborne Street, Fenelon Falls, ON K0M 1N0


Curated by: Natalie Shahinian

July 20 – August 23, 2019

BoxHeart Gallery

4523 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh

If we think of art as an artist’s attempt to construct physical or metaphysical order, then pattern must be the approach to that order. Physically, an artist needs to adhere to the principles of the natural world and the elements to which it is organized – this being the basic geometric shape of circle, square, triangle, and line. Metaphysically, an artist must arrange the natural order, wholly uniquely, so the pattern can supersede its function to organize and relate, but also, guide: like a map or set of instructions. If an artist succeeds to present pattern as a kind of exit from the customary or even chaotic, then they have devised the metaphysical way to exist in the physical world.

In addition to their handling of pattern and use of geometric shapes, Shahinian selected the artists for Allsorts based on their unconventional merging of materials with traditional art forms. Carmelo Arnoldin weaves aluminum strips cut from scavenged soda and beer cans; Robert Davidovitz pipes acrylic paints from a pastry bag. Andrew Ooi sculpts folded, painted papers, and collaborators John Armstrong and Paul Collins transform photography into painting.

Arnoldin’s woven tapestries ascribes shape and pattern to highlight the complicated histories of North American Indigenous and African cultures, which as his materials, without resolution will continue to recycle. Davidovitz conversely, utilizes pattern to reveal metaphysical geographies, consisting of overlapping shapes and perspectives where order and chaos, meet. Ooi’s paper reliefs are the patterned structures that reify the illusive reality as an expression of its type, similar to DNA, making shape active, dynamic, and ever-evolving. Armstrong and Collins animate pattern across photographs of everyday spaces isolating shapes, pattern, and its variant, texture, with uniform strokes of thick oil paint, producing an additional pattern, moiré, that amplifies, crosses-out, and recreates the underlying photograph’s illusionism.

Taken together, the patterns by these five artists are the key or legend to a map, as well as its navigation. Their artworks dare to unite realities that may or may not exist, consequently, creating another: the entry point into our understanding of life.