A collection of new Photoworks and Prints, Portal showcases Valentine’s unique embrace of subjects from classical antiquities to contemporary sculpture. Drawing inspiration from the histories of art, urbanism and mythology, his work creates moments of fascination and wonder, re-contextualizing the familiar and stimulating questions about the everyday.
In his celebrated Neo-Classical Contemporary style, Valentine presents new artworks from three on-going series: From the Archives, Parisian-Mirrored Gateways and Greco-Roman Icons.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Harley Valentine provides a portal to the past, re-imagining Toronto’s regal history with photo-based works generating from the Toronto Archives. An extension of his sold out Fire Series, Valentine again accesses the archives of Toronto’s past as documented on film. Bookmarked moments in time and space are then re-invented, a Classic celebration of the High Time for the modern viewer.
PARISIAN MIRRORED GATEWAYS re-imagine a Parisian promised land, every artist’s fairytale of a creative Elysium. By re-arranging, inverting, and folding in upon themselves street scenes ripe with iconographic power - the Champs-Élysées, the Pont Neuf - Paris is dissected into its molecular building blocks. The images become a liminal space between reality and myth. These door-sized images, each a unique artwork, stand open for you to enter.
Following the Parisian Mirrored Gateway series, Roman Classic Prints are a modern twist on classical ideals of balance and completeness. Here Greco-Roman sculptural icons fold and mutate within themselves, creating the rhythmic movement that classic art sought to restrain.
With this solo exhibition, Valentine returns to the Alison Milne Gallery where he first crafted his distinct medium of sculptural Photoworks at our original Ossington location. That principle exhibition launched several ambitious installations that transformed the space, and defined Valentine's voice in Toronto's Contemporary Art world.
Since then, Valentine has gone on to win major public sculpture commissions, while staging significant exhibitions around Canada. He is currently completing a large public sculpture series for the Sony Plaza, in front of Daniel Libeskind’s iconic L Tower building at the corner of Yonge and Front. His work has been exhibited in Canada and the United States and is held in various private and public collections.