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Ron Mueck and Guy Ben-Ner at Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square
Ron Mueck Workshop. © Gautier Deblonde.

OAKVILLE< ON.- Oakville Galleries presents the only Ontario stop of the National Gallery of Canadaʼs touring exhibition Real Life, featuring artists Ron Mueck (on view at Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square) and Guy Ben-Ner (on view at Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens). This exhibition will be on view at Oakville Galleries from June 26 until September 5, 2010.

Real Life showcases the work of two important figures in contemporary art: internationally renowned sculptor Ron Mueck, and the Berlin-based video artist Guy Ben-Ner. The extraordinary hyper-realist sculptures of Ron Mueck revisit the course of life from birth to death, while Guy Ben-Nerʼs affectionate and intimate “home videos” dwell on more precise moments when life and our relations with others begin. Together, the work of these two artists creates a narrative about the contradictions, challenges, and creative possibilities of the human condition.

The magical, life-like quality of Mueckʼs hyper-realist sculptures is striking. They show no traces of the artistʼs hand, which allows each work to create its own psychological effect—from defiance to puzzlement to sorrow—without an apparent mediator. The artistʼs sculptures not only engage the viewer in an emotional voyage from birth to death, but present a poignant image of the existential problem of the human condition.

Guy Ben-Nerʼs seemingly off-the-cuff ʻʼhome videos,ʼʼ created in collaboration with his family, are actually carefully constructed, often taking over a year to make, governed as they are by innumerable hours of editing and the restrictions of working with children. His narratives have clearly delineated plots from beginning to end that interrogate such archetypal human concepts as love and marriage, necessity and shelter, desire and responsibility.

According to Jonathan Shaughnessy, curator of the exhibition, "Real Life draws connections between two very different artists who share a common interest in a direct, hands-on approach capable of bridging the gap between experience and our reflection on it. In this, neither Ron Mueck nor Guy Ben-Ner stray very far away from ʻreal lifeʼ—in artistic process or content—as they work to diffuse the boundaries between art and everyday life."

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and presented by Oakville Galleries, the exhibition features two sculptures by Mueck and five works by Ben-Ner. An extensive display of preparatory materials for each artist, including sketches, maquettes and storyboards is also featured.

Real Life is curated by Jonathan Shaughnessy, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC). In 2007, he was the curator of One, Some, Many: 3 Shows by Carsten Höller, displayed at Shawinigan Space. He also collaborated in the organization of two exhibitions – Cai Guo-Qiang: Long Scroll (2006) and The Elements of Nature (2005)–also presented at Shawinigan Space and in 2006, he co-organized Art Metropole: The Top 100, exhibited at the NGC. Most recently he was the coordinating curator for the exhibition currently on view in Ottawa, Pop Life: Art in a Material World, organized by Tate Modern, London, in
association with the National Gallery of Canada.

Oakville Galleries | Ron Mueck | Guy Ben-Ner | Centennial Square |

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