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Alex Bierk: The Place at the End

Alex Bierk: The Place at the End

September 13 – October 27

1520 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON Canada M6R 1A4

Hours: Wed. – Sat. 12 – 6 pm


Fugitive Pigment review by Earl Miller


Through a personal lens, Bierk’s painting practice examines past and future identities, and over the past few years has focused on his experience with addiction and loss, being a new father, and archiving his experience in small town Ontario – where he grew up and has subsequently returned with his family. The works are as much an attempt to reconcile the past as they are the future: Bierk strives to capture candid and authentic expressions of the often conflicted, ephemeral intersection of past and present. His painting practice draws on both personal photography and photorealistic painting traditions to create images that express the complex processes of memory, history, and place.

Bierk makes paintings by reframing and reworking photographs taken from his everyday. The scenes are characterized by personal themes and the images are largely undirected; for example, the paintings in his exhibition “Pitfalls and Withdrawals” (2013) used images taken by his twin brother Jeff. He found the photos after leaving rehab and they recounted a story of addiction and loss, including the death of both parents. The series communicated a struggle unique to his but found its cultural context in the recent and widespread epidemic of OxyContin abuse in Ontario. By using candid photographic snapshots as the basis for these paintings, Bierk exposed an unglamorous autobiography, in contrast to the sensationalized depictions of opiate abuse found in popular media.

Bierk’s labour-intensive works combine personal history with wider economic and social contexts, resulting in paintings that express the complexities of emotional and lived realities.

Alex Bierk (b. 1982, Peterborough, ON) has presented works on paper in exhibitions in Copenhagen, Paris and Stockholm. Alex has exhibited his paintings in group and solo exhibitions internationally as well as in numerous art fairs: UNTITLED (New York), Art Toronto, Scope (Miami), Papier 14 (Montreal) and Art Southampton. His work is held in the collections of the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank and the Art Gallery of Peterborough along with many private collections. In 2013, he was a finalist for the Kingston Prize, a national biannual portrait competition, and is the recipient of grants from the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils, as well as the Canada Council for the Arts. Bierk’s exhibitions have been featured in The Toronto Star and Canadian Art Magazine. Alex Bierk lives and works in Peterborough, Ontario.

The artist wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council.



Art Toronto
October 25 – October 29
Booth C47

Imago Mundi — Great and North
Onsite Gallery at OCAD University
Curated by Francesca Valente and Jennifer Karch Verzè
Opening: Wed. October 24, 7 – 9 pm
GHC artists included: Alex Bierk, Nicole Collins, Joe Fleming, Caroline Larsen and Mark Crofton Bell

Stanzie Tooth: Coming Home
Opening Saturday November 10, 3- 6 pm
front gallery space
Caroline Larsen
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Arkansas), group exhibition
The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art. The exhibition will be travelling to the North Carolina Museum of Art!

Kate Wilson: The Body May be Said to Think
Curated by Stuart Reid with works by Doris McCarthy & Kate Wilson
Reception: Doris McCarthy Gallery, Thursday, November 15, 5 – 9 pm


Clint Neufeld
Fait main / Hand Made, group exhibition
Musée National Des Beaux-Arts Du Québec
More than 40 Canadian artists from Vancouver to Halifax have been assembled in this sweeping exhibition. promises a brilliant overview of a significant segment of contemporary output in Canada.

Kate Wilson: Fictional Winds
Doris McCarthy Gallery, Vitrine exhibition
September 10, 2018 – March 11, 2019

Lyla Rye
Abide, Truck Contemporary Art , Calgary, solo exhibition 2019
Indigo Gallery, Buffalo, USA, solo exhibition 2019
Art Play/Ground, Medina Public School, Medina, USA, group exhibition, 2018
Lyla Rye: Recent Film Festivals 2018
Overshadow 2 , Revelation Perth International FF, Perth, Australia
Fade, Concrete Dream Film Festival, Los Angeles, USA
Fade, Delete TV Festival,  London, UK & Austria
Ways of Something, The Museum of the Moving Image, New York, USA

Members of AGAC