1 North Square, Cambridge, ON
Emblems of the Enigma is a retrospective exploration of the meaning of exile and return as it manifests in the art of Vessna Perunovich. Her work contemplates in physical form what it means to construct our identities from the shared psychological components of our overlapping cultures. One common theme is our desire for a safe place.
The pieces selected for this show comprise a wide spectrum of physical media and format; from painting and drawing, to video and performance, to sculpture and installation, all marshaled to investigate the way our desires create emblematic experiences which amount to dreaming with our eyes wide open.
This survey offers a fascinating glimpse into the artist’s continuity over a twelve year period of evolution. Her work employs paradoxical takes on a multitude of human appetites, and she is able to make a deft commentary on our shared values as embodied creatures that require metaphysical as well as physical sanctuary. In fact, the search for sanctuary has become an emblem in itself for the multitude of miniature enigmas that we all face on a daily basis.
Donald Brackett, Guest Curator
Vessna Perunovich is a Yugoslavia-born Canadian artist who works in a variety of media that ranges from sculpture and painting to video installation and performance. She immigrated to Canada settling in Toronto, Ontario in 1988. A nationally and internationally acclaimed multidisciplinary visual artist, Perunovich uses a variety of media for her creative expressions, such as painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, video and performance. In her sculptures, she is known to use pantyhose as symbol for societal restrictions imposed on individual full self-realization. She has been a recipient of grants from the Canada Council of the Arts, Ontario Council for the Arts and Toronto Arts Council. Her survey exhibitions Borderless and Emblems of Enigma toured prestigious galleries and museums across Canada and Europe. Perunovich’s work has been shown internationally at the 8th Havana Biennial in Cuba, the Second Tirana Biennial in Albania, the XII International Art Biennial of Cerveria in Portugal, the IV Cetinje Biennial in Yugoslavia, the VI Vrsac Biennial in Serbia and Montenegro, and at ARTiade 2004 in Athens, Greece. In Canada, she has exhibited in nuite blanche, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, Textile Museum of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, CAFKA, and in numerous public and artist-run galleries across the country. Her work has been reviewed in Canadian Art, Espace Sculpture, Flash Art, C Magazine, The Globe and Mail and Border Crossings. She is represented by Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto.