EXHIBITION: The Lowest Relief

August 21, 2015 - September 17, 2015

The Lowest Relief is an intimate solo exhibition of art by Maria Flawia Litwin, curated by Katherine Dennis. In this new body of work, Litwin uses wycinanki (pronounced vih-chee-nahn-kee), a Polish paper cutting tradition, to weave stories layered with personal memories, social history, symbolism and mythology. Each work stems from a significant autobiographical detail in the artist’s life. Yet the illustrations are stripped of overt personal narrative. The focus instead is on quintessential life experiences — those as simple and complex as birth and death, and as fleeting or all encompassing as love, alienation, pain, fear or passion — that transcend gender, geography and culture.

Whimsical but touched with dark humour, the complex cuts, colours and patterns draw the eye in. Through these intricate details we are eased into the absurdity of memory, a space where the recollections of the artist become a jumping off point for the experiences of the viewer. The fantastical vignettes, filled with elaborate costumes from Polish folk to Canadian plaid, and animal and human actors ranging from a murder of crows to an armed attacker or gentle lover, unsettle and disturb as much as they delight.

Programs, Events, and Public Art

Summer Opening Reception with the Curator and Artist
Friday, August 21st, 2015
6:00 – 8:00 pm: Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.

Fall Season Kickoff Celebration with the Artist
Thursday, Septwember 17th, 2015
6:00 – 8:00 pm: Coinciding with Koffler Gallery’s exhibition opening on the ground floor. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.

Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC) was founded in 2013 under our former name, TYPOLOGY. Established as a not-for-profit space devoted to curatorial and artistic experimentation, we devoted our first three years to providing opportunities for curators and artists to mount fully realized exhibitions within a critical framework. In 2016, we relaunched under our new name (CDCC) with a new Board of Directors and a commitment to meet the need, voiced by local and national curators, for a truly vital curatorial community—one that both supports emerging and underrepresented curators, and advances curatorial practice and inquiry. The Lowest Relief took place in CDCC’s exhibition space in 2015 under our former name, TYPOLOGY Projects, originally located at 180 Shaw Street, No. 302, Artscape Youngplace, Toronto.

iImage: Maria Flawia Litwin, Anima (detail), 2015.

About the Curator(s)

Katherine Dennis

Katherine Dennis is a Vancouver-based curator and researcher. She has worked with a range of institutions, from historic houses to public museums and independent galleries.

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About the Artists

Maria Flawia Litwin

Maria Flawia Litwin is a visual artist who grew up in both Poland and Australia, straddling the Iron Curtain, and now lives and works in Toronto. Encounters with communist and consumer ideologies within social and educational structures have made Litwin sensitive to the fluid and shifting nature of belief systems. She is particularly concerned with the way changes in ideology manifest themselves in her figurative and literal environment.

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