Robert Taite’s Interior Latex Eggshell at AKA Gallery

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Something a bit different happened this weekend, there was a closing reception talk for Robert Taite’s Interior Latex Eggshell at AKA Gallery that was led by Levi Nicholat (of Art Placement Gallery). I was excited about the premise of inviting another gallery in the community to respond to a show at AKA. Especially someone from Art Placement Gallery, that has a rich tradition of Canadian Abstraction and Minimalism. Though I ended up feeling a bit disappointed with the talk, it was a great way to revisit Interior Latex Eggshell while engaging with members of the art community. I hope that something like this happens again.

While there was some critical discussion of Robert Taite’s installation, I really enjoyed it.

With Interior Latex Eggshell, Robert Taite seems to be having fun playing a bit of an antagonist. First of all, he’s turning minimalism on it’s head. Most minimalism is lacking personality, composed of shapes in the frame. Robert Taites work breathes some life into the genre by breaking from the frame and creating sculptural paintings that play with material, balance and color. He’s made custom geometric canvases and replacing the painted object with an actual painted object. These objects are organic blobs, goops and turds made of wood that rest and hang by balance and gravity on his canvas frames. The wooden blobs are shaped in a dynamic way that might suggest a life to them but the way they rest seems like someone has pressed pause, nostalgic of an 80’s Nintendo Game

I love Robert Taites use of colour. While a lot of minimalism is a conversation with bold colours, Taite chose to use muted tones of interior latex mis-tints. Using boring mundane home interior colours, the gallery looks a bit odd. Is it a hybrid of homestaging and gallery installation? There’s a prosaic dullness to it with the exception to the colored globs and framed highlights.

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While the gallery does feel like there is a medicated pause, there is some elements of life that Taite has included in his installation. The gallery flows like a oval with focal points holding down each end. At the main entrance there’s a feature wall where numerous sculpture-paintings are hung salon style then at the other end there’s an area that contains sound coming from art crate shipping containers. The sound is close to inaudible, especially when there’s other people in the gallery. But it does bring some life into the gallery. It sounds like some rhythmic white noise but I guess there is a story behind the content which escaped me. Connecting the two ends Taite uses a series of long and short rectangular canvases that follow a zig-zagging path along the interior of the gallery negotiating corners, windows, door frames, fire exit signs etc.

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^the only object in the gallery without a flawless paint job: art crates emitting noise
–*see the rectangular canvas road following through

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^Robert Taite playing with framing and the standard squared pictorial frame

Interior Latex Eggshell ‘s run at AKA gallery is over, but make sure to keep an eye out for Robert Taite’s work in the future.