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Peter Bowyer

21 May – 27 June 2003

The Art Gallery of York University presents Peter Bowyer, an exhibition comprised of recent animated film, drawing, and sculpture that probes the relation between art and the urban environment.

Employing industrial materials from mass production and urban landscapes in his sculptures, the artist creates simple forms that often appear familiar yet displaced in institutional environments. In two works, Sculpture and sculpture (both 2001), Bowyer recreates inconspicuous and ordinary objects by altering their scale and erasing their functionality. Bowyer's sculptures draw upon familiar and everyday objects, which, when rendered in galvanized steel resemble both super-sized versions of consumer packaging and large scale, abstract forms more commonly associated with the British 'New Generation' group of sculptors of the 1960s.

Bowyer's charcoal on paper drawings are informed by banal architectural structures that populate our contemporary landscape. Like his earlier murals, which were compilations of stock architectural forms void of figures or signs of life, Bowyer's animated film, Cartoon (2001-2003) consists of seemingly endless variations on the architecture of the townhouse. Bowyer's series of three large drawings, Promenade (2002), is presented with two large garbage receptacles made of galvanized steel. A gloss on Thomas Cole’s allegorical Voyage of Life series, Promenade discards the sublime landscape in favor of the accidental capital of suburbia, the shopping mall.

About the Artist
Since the 1980s, Peter Bowyer has produced work in sculpture, including large-scale works realized in public sites, drawing, and more recently, super 8 film transferred to video. He has had solo exhibitions at the Toronto Sculpture Garden (2000); The Power Plant, Toronto (1995); Cold City Gallery, Toronto (1999, 1996, 1992, 1991, 1989, 1987); and elsewhere. He has also exhibited at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo (2001); Blackwood Gallery, Toronto (2000); and the Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal (1998). Peter Bowyer studied fine arts at John Abbott College, Montreal (1974-76) and received a BA from St. Martin's School of Art, London (1979). He lives and works in Toronto.

This exhibition is produced with the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

Monday Gallery Tours
As part of its ongoing educational program, the AGYU offers free guided tours of its exhibitions every Monday at noon. No reservations are needed. To book a tour at another time, please contact Allyson Adley at 416.736.5169 or
Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at]