ArtYard is pleased to present Ordinary Obsessions, an exhibition in which two playful minimalists encounter the banality and mystery of material culture, lived experience, and time. Motivated by the questions of ordinary life and the mystery behind every action, Torontobased artists Ken Nicol and Lois Andison consider everyday objects and verbal expressions that are hiding in plain sight. They explore issues of fragility, intimacy, introspection and loss in a dialogue that is by turns unsettling, melancholic, comical and profound. Lois Andison’s works include texts, sculptures, installations, and video projections. Her work is often kinetic and performative, but it is also literary, objectifying language in cascading visual puns.
Her Plexiglass and paper sculpture, timeline II, is a portrait of the artist depicted as a thin paper trail documenting her health, financial status, places of residence and correspondence with family and friends. Ken Nicol’s wry drawings, assembled objects and sculptures chronicle a compulsive nature grappling with absurdities. Nicol spent ten years collecting the 100 Big Ben clocks in this exhibit, setting and winding them obsessively while producing such works as This is Your Life and It’s Ending One Minute at a Time. As the critic Murray Whyte writes, “Nicol is an oldschool conceptualist, fusing an absurdist glee with quotidian ritual and everyday things: counting this, ordering that, and trying with Sisyphean hilarity to impose structure on the persistent entropy of life.” Ordinary Obsessions is the fourth exhibition at ArtYard since it’s inception in September of 2016. ArtYard is a contemporary art center based in Frenchtown, New Jersey, founded by a group of artists, writers, curators and friends. Its campus of repurposed factories includes a theater and film program, an artist residency and art exhibition spaces