Paul Zacharias' What is like the beast and who can stand against it? 2009 (Post No Bills)
If you associate temporary art galleries with generic "sofa-sized" paintings being hawked in gas station parking lots, POST NO BILLS should change your mind.
Housed in a simple structure put together with scaffolding and semi-translucent tarp on the corner of Arthur and McDermot, this pop-up exhibition features a rotating selection of work by over 50 Winnipeg artists, from emerging talents to A-listers.
RAW: Gallery of Architecture and Design, Martha Street Studio and Golden City Fine Art have collaborated on the project, which was sparked by the rapturous reception of the My Winnipeg show now on view in Paris at la maison rouge.
"If 20 Parisians got off a plane looking for art in Winnipeg, where would they go?" asks curator Eric Wood. Yes, there's a red-hot indie art scene in our town, but as Wood points out, there aren't enough commercial galleries dealing in this kind of cutting-edge work.
Some of the very cool art for sale at the POST NO BILLS venue includes Leslie Supnet's wistful little drawings, Pauls Robles' intricately beautiful cut-outs, Kristin Nelson's scrupulous recordings of Winnipeg's surface parking lots, and Darren Stebeleski's clever, crisply graphic posters for an imagined utopia.
POST NO BILLS will also be selling the last of the print run of Paul Butler's iconic image Winnipeg Without the Jets. (image to left) Originally created in 2006, this work has recently taken on a whole new level of meaning.
Drawing on the crowds of the Fringe Festival, which hopes to attract 90,000 people this year, the curators want to take some of the mystique out of gallery-going. Art openings and gallery shows often attract people "who are already in the know," says Joe Kalturnyk of RAW Gallery. He's hoping to catch people who just happen to be wandering by.
"People can be afraid of galleries," adds Wood, "and this should help break that down."
With a big talent pool and a relatively small space, organizers will be rotating stock twice a day, with the more risqué art going up at night.
With a wide spectrum of work, prices will range from $20 to $4000. Curators want to match people and art. "Say somebody sees a $400 painting by an artist that they like but it's too much. We can show them a portfolio of works by that artist," says Kalturnyk, "and maybe find a print for 40, 60, 80 dollars."
While getting a boost from Fringe-related buzz, POST NO BILLS also taps into the current vogue for pop-ups, which are becoming common in big cities for retail outlets, restaurants and clubs. The pop-up phenomenon is all about expectation and desire: A passing pleasure comes out of nowhere and then disappears in the night, leaving everyone wanting more. With its 12 -day run - POST NO BILLS shuts up shop on July 25th -- this show is bound to feel too short.