HEADLINES @ ELLEPHANT january 14 – february 18, 2017

January 6, 2017


solo exhibition by karen elaine spencer

January 14 – February 18, 2017

1201 St-Dominique
Montreal (Québec) H2X 2W3

Opening Saturday January 14, 14:00 – 18:00

Two live readings of the artworks by the artist at 15:00 and 17:00



Image: le devoir, 8 janvier 2015, ils étaient charlie, acrylic on linen, 30cm x 30cm

karen’s artistic practice is singular, exacting and sensitive; her work is known for its intricacy and its deep socio-political concern (…). Touching on conceptual art, performance, writing and drawing, karen elaine spencer incorporates a range of artistic strategies that are always refreshing. – Catherine Bodmer, jury member for La Centrale’s Powerhouse Prize 2012

ELLEPHANT is pleased to present the exhibition Headlines, featuring a series of text-based paintings by Montreal artist karen elaine spencer.

spencer’s practice is simultaneously poetic and socio-politically committed. Oscillating between work in the streets, exhibitions in galleries, and dissemination via the web, her works are often nourished by the targeted context in which they exist.

In Headlines, spencer explores the media rhetoric and the production of daily news through a visual language transcribed into a grid system, which at first can be read as abstraction. As the news’ frenetic rhythms adjust to the world’s perpetual movement, spencer captures these beats using a technique that requires time and patience. To be deciphered, these paintings reciprocally  require a commitment of sustained attention from the viewer.

The headlines chosen by the artist are based on local newspapers and situate Quebec within a world perspective. Through her practice, spencer questions hierarchies and how we, as transient beings, occupy the world we live in. Chronicling the news acts as a reflection of where we have been, her art captures specific moments right now, revealing a media in flux, as evident in the Trump win, the proliferation of fake news, and the changing and challenging media landscape.

karen elaine spencer

Since obtaining her MFA in 2001 (UQAM) karen elaine spencer has been awarded numerous international residency programs, including the Symposium international d’art contemporain in Baie-Saint-Paul (2015), the International Studio and Curatorial program in Brooklyn (2012), the Cité Internationale des arts de Paris (2005), and the John Snow House in Calgary (2011). In 2016 spencer was a finalist for the Prix en Art Actuel du Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and in 2012 she was awarded La Centrale’s Powerhouse Prize. Her work is in both public and private collections including la collection Prêt d’œuvres d’art du Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

Information: Christine Redfern, 514.778.7068, redfern@ellephant.org


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: