TRAPPED: Nicholas Crombach at Angell Gallery, review by Brynn Higgins-Stirrup

TRAPPED is a solo exhibition of the emerging sculptural artist Nicholas Crombach at Angell Gallery, running July 25th to August 15th. Presenting Crombach’s clay-built resin-cast sculptures with accompanying two dimensional scenes on embroidered lead, the exhibition represents a significant and accomplished body of work by this emerging artist.

The work percolates around the relationships, inherent pitfalls and hierarchies of the human-animal relationship, calling into question the complexities and hypocrisies of themes such as domestication, hunting practices, and animal as friend and trophy. Crombach’s figures emanate melancholy, a sense of being lost in the wilderness of their own environment or mind. Animals also feature in the works, some as companions to their humans counterparts, some as dead play things or trophies of conquest. Through the multiplicity of created relationships, characters and visual tokens, layered possibilities of meaning come into being — possibilities which prove to be uncomfortably familiar for many of us.

Joining a range of Canadian and international artists who use the figure to advance their visions of humanity, Crombach emerges as a sculptor who uses the human form to remind us of who we are, what we are not, and what we perhaps could be.

artworks, from top to bottom:
Still Life, 2015; Foundling, 2015
all photos by Nicholas Crombach

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