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posted : 2009.Jun.17 @ 7.02pm

 

June 4, 2009 – Meta Gallery is pleased to present Anatomy of Being, new and old works by Alex Grey. In the artists first solo exhibition with the gallery, as well as the first exhibition of his work in Canada in over 20 years, the works exhibited represent a wide spectrum of the inner and outer worlds Grey depicts through his artworks during the years spanning 1999-2009. With a career going back over 3 decades, Alex Grey’s paintings represent a bold and courageous statement in contemporary art today. One where despite the collective struggle of humanity and the tremendous amounts of suffering occurring on a daily basis, good exists. And what Grey’s artwork offers is evidence  - a tangible thing we can see and touch that in its silence is a potent reminder to be good, and to love.

 

 

 

In Anatomy of Being, Grey’s vision, what one New York Times critic referred to as  “ … of a flawed but perfectable mankind” is dynamic in its expression, both in medium and subject. In Reading, a man and his daughter sit together, reading Blake’s famous poem Tiger, Tiger. As he speaks the words of the first line, their eyes meet on one point of the page. A golden flaming figure eight connects their hearts, a reminder of the infinite love a parent shares with their child.  Young and Old similarly depicts the connection shared between an infant and parent in what may be a very ordinary, yet very sacred moment. These depictions of what appear to be somewhat commonplace interactions within the collective experience gently push us towards contemplating, is it possible that perhaps every moment could share this sacred quality? Executing these works in the aesthetic style he is perhaps best known for, translucent skin revealing the precise anatomical detailing of the human biology, from inner organs to muscle structure and the lymphatic system to the bodies subtle energetic fields, Grey’s depictions of various physical and meta-physical aspects of the human form are powerful messages to consider our similarities rather than our differences, and to see ourselves reflected in others.

 

Alex Grey was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1953. He attended the Columbus College of Art and Design for two years (1971-73) and after dropping out to paint billboards for a year he enrolled at the Boston Museum School for one year to study with the conceptual artist Jay Jaroslav. It was there where he met his wife and collaborator of over 25 years, Allyson Grey.  Their journey together as artists has resulted in Grey’s Sacred Mirror series. 21 paintings in total, they take the viewer on a journey through the physical, metaphysical and finally transcendent realms of existence. By depicting each state, the viewer is invited to see themselves as reflections of each other, and the divine. Inspiring a sense of profound connection and wonder, the series is the crux of the vision of The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, or CosM. A registered non profit 5013(c) organization, the Greys are dedicated to building permanent architecture inspired by the great sacred structures on earth  and which would house the Sacred Mirrors as well as many of Alex’s most important works. The series was exhibited in their Chelsea, NY gallery from 2004 – 2009. They have recently moved to a 40 acre piece of land which will be the future home of CosM. In addition to his work to make his most inspired art available to the public, Grey has contributed artwork for the rock band TOOL, reaching millions with his work. His artwork over the past 30 years has been shown in many exhibitions worldwide, among them P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre, Long Island, NY (1982) , Stux Gallery, NY, NY (1985) a mid-career retrospective at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art (1999), and Feature Inc, NY, NY (2001)

 

Anatomy of Being will be on view from June 26 to September 4, 2009. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11-6 and Sunday from 12-5. The opening reception will be on Friday June 26 from 7-10pm. Artist in attendence. Alex will also be giving a talk on his art and life on Saturday June 27, 2009. For more info please contact mk@metagallery.com

 

For additional information or to be put on the preview list for this exhibition please contact Jody Polishchuk  at 416.955.0500 or jp@metagallery.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 








posted : 2009.Jul.11 @ 1.32pm

Art is Vision


I am still basking in the afterglow of an awe inspiring time in Toronto. Hundreds of people came from all over Canada to participate in this historic occasion, a rare visit of Alex and Allyson Grey to Canada and the first gallery show in over a decade. 


Hosted by the incredible Meta Gallery which just opened in the autumn of last year in the nuanced character of old town Distillery District in downtown Toronto. Rebuilt from its original form in the late 1800's, this hip part of town includes an array of galleries, restaurants, shops and theaters. 

 

 

 

photograph by Kevin Hedley : www.kevinhedley.com

  

A huge crowd had already gathered when the doors opened for a packed event that would remain full of energy until hours past the time it was scheduled to finish. People of all ages and cultures came here to share in the splendor of many amazing new paintings, live works, artist study's and little seen older works. The high end gallery was an appropriate context for experiencing the full splendor of this visionary treasury.

 

 

 

photograph by Kevin Hedley : www.kevinhedley.com 

 

The gallery was full to the brim with excited energy as people poured over the details of an astounding collection of inspired paintings. 

 

 

 

photograph by Kevin Hedley : www.kevinhedley.com 

  

For the entire night, Alex and Allyson Grey ceaselessly engaged a non-stop stream of signings, stories and dialogues by the diverse collection of people who came to share in this inspired scene. 

 

 

 

photograph by Kevin Hedley : www.kevinhedley.com  

 

Celebrating this event was a rare edition of signed and numbered prints featuring the 'Vajra Being' painting of which some remain and are being distributed through Meta Gallery.

 

 

 

photograph by Kevin Hedley : www.kevinhedley.com  

 

Here is me and Meiko holding space for the flow

 

 

 

photograph by Kevin Hedley : www.kevinhedley.com  

  

Many bows go to Jody, Meiko and Chris for putting together a purely professional and extremely engaging high end exhibition.


The following day 160 of us gathered at the heavenly St. Stephen-in-the-Fields Anglican church. Sitting on pews under the huge stained glass windows and massive organ, we watched in wonder as Alex Grey delivered a memorable talk from the pulpit. Illustrated by a slideshow, he took us on a visionary foray into his life and work including readings from his newest book : Art Psalms. Afterwards he and Allyson remained engaging people still caught in the glow of this sacred experience. 

 

 

photograph by Chris Dyer : www.positivecreations.ca 

 

That night the fabulous Suma crew organized a sold out all-night event at a beautiful old pub next to a flowing offshoot of Lake Ontario. After a few inspiring words, Alex and Allyson gave a trance inducing live painting performance to a huge crowd of onlookers.

 

 

 

photograph by Scott Southerland : www.thinkincolor.net 

 

Some dancing to the large sound system featuring incredible music and some just bearing witness, hundreds watched as these two incredible beings shared their process of creative exploration.

 

 

 

 photograph by Scott Southerland : www.thinkincolor.net 

 

We watched in wonder as the two visionary master painters applied layer after layer of love into their work. 

 

 

 

photograph by Scott Southerland : www.thinkincolor.net

 

By the end of the night, reflecting the magic that everyone shared was a splendored image from the inspired depths of Alex Grey's visionary imagination. Here you can see how he painted anatomical layers upon layers as the performance. At the finish most of the bone, muscle and veins were covered by numinous skin. 

 

 

 

photograph by Chris O' Sullivan

 

Chris Dyer and I bro'ed out all night, immersed in all the light that flowed out at this intersection of spirits. 

 

 

 

 

The visionary legacy of the Grey's World Work is being forged at the CoSM Sanctuary project, a lineage collection and institute being established in upstate New York. In its initial stages of development it seeks financial support and volunteer energy to put its roots down. You can learn more about this at www.cosm.org


Those who missed out on the festivities and who are inspired for the experience of a lifetime can come to the West Coast of Canada in Late July to participate in the "Visionary Arts Intensive". This course in art and vision will take place at Hollyhock, a beautiful institute located on Cortez Island in the stunning reaches of beautiful British Columbia. 

 

The inspiring visions of Alex and Allyson Grey resonate and harmonize those who take the time to explore them. Seeing this work on the web or in a book is one thing, but seeing the brushstrokes of the original works is an entirely different experience. 


Without a doubt the Art and Vision I was privy to on that wonderful weekend will share its glow with my life for many years to come. 

 


 








    

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