Our next show at Pentimento Gallery will be Susan Valyi's sculptural work.  Valyi works with found objects and atypical materials to create pieces that play with form, silhouette and weight and has created a show of varying sizes, subjects and materials.  We look forward to putting together the show next week!
     The opening for Valyi's show will be Thursday July 7, from 6-9.


Saatchi Online has featured oil painter Andrew Salgado as their artist of the week!  Started in 2006 by the highly influential Saatchi Gallery in London, Saatchi Online provides a social network for established and emerging artists.
     Andrew Salgado's work will be appearing in our Summer Salon 5 show hosted by First Canadian Place from July 18-Aug 31.



Kick off your Pride week in a deadly fashion! Come by on Wednesday June 29th to the gallery for an evening of drinks and music, and of course the beautiful show by G. Elliott Simpson. Time is running out to see the work, so drop by after work, or before hitting the town and say hello + grab a cocktail.

Simpson's work is also being featured in 10x10 Toronto, which is a pilot project organized and curated by James Fowler in part with the White House Studio Project featuring 10 LGBT photographers each shooting portraits of 10 members of the LGBT community. Simpson calls the exhibit "the tangible face of the queer community".

Check out 10x10 Toronto:

Mon, June 27–Thurs, July 7
Opening reception, Thurs, June 30, 7pm
White House Studio Project
277.5 Augusta Ave


Portrait of Pentimento owner John Rait by G. Elliott Simpson



More press for Claudia Ficca and Davide Luciano!  They have appeared in the March 2011 issue of Park Magazine, which is a bilingual Portuguese/English publication available online to view in full at Park Magazine... And it is a pleasure to see some of our favourite artists featured together in the same magazine - Andrew Salgado's work is the cover to the same issue of Park!  View Salgado's beautiful paintings as well as Ficca and Luciano's photographs at our upcoming Summer Salon 5 hosted by First Canadian Place in Toronto.



Husband-and-wife duo Claudia Ficca and Davide Luciano's wildly popular 2010 work on a new view on potholes is still garnering rave reviews over a year later!  Most recently, "Baywatch on Amalfi Drive", shot in Los Angeles, has appeared in Vanity Fair Italia's current issue (june 15, 2011).
     Claudia tells us a little more about the series: “Directly engaging with the street and the city, the highly imaginative series transforms the bad into good, creating a tongue-in-cheek collection of tableaux that are at once contextual and surreal”. Potholes is a photography series we started in 2009. After hitting a huge pothole in our Montréal neighborhood we were inspired to shoot a series of photographs depicting the concave cracks of Montréal as functional tools.. Initially, our goal was to show how ridiculous the Montréal potholes were but as we began to shoot the first part of the series we quickly realized that our own perception of the potholes was changing, we started seeing them as these beautiful and individual crevices. After the Montréal part of the series was completed we had a solo “One Night Only” show in Montréal, the show was a huge success and so was our series. We started getting phone calls from nearly every local and national media. We then entered and won a photography competition at the Soho Photo Gallery in NYC and decided to shoot a NYC pothole while we were there to meet with the Gallery team. We did the same thing in Toronto and Los Angeles and kept getting incredible press coverage everywhere we shot or exhibited our work. The positive feedback has been overwhelmingly heartwarming and has given us the confidence to continue investing in ourselves and in our project by continuing the series to eventually publish a Potholes Around The World Book.
     We are now in pre-production for our next photography series, which we plan to shoot in the upcoming months, this new project is a humorous take on consumerism and how trends affect our behavior in today’s society. It is scheduled to be exhibited at Pentimento May 2012."


After our successful and very social time in Yorkshire we headed down south to the town of Eastbourne and the chalk cliffs.  We spent two days on our own hiking up and down Beechy Head and Birling Gap where we found that we could take vista photos of those amazing scalloped white cliffs, as well as get up close and personal when the tide was out.  Having spent so many times in the last five years watching documentaries about the cliffs, reading books and histories about them it was kind of emotional to actually be there.  I can see what the Romans saw from their boats - a white cusp of eternity, an alabaster form of inviting riches.  They are huge and very, very white.  We talked about the many iconic films and stories we remembered about the cliffs, Graham Greene, Quadrophenia and of course, WWII.  In fact they practiced storming the beaches at Briling Gap.  It was hard to imagine guns and canons going off over such a pristine place.  But there you have England in a nut shell; a land that is part of the most important events in Western history.  It is geology and culture at once.  And the place really fits into our ongoing thesis about landscape.  Needless to say we took a load of pictures.

After Eastbourne we spent a day in London again, this time at the Tate Modern.  After checking our bags at the train station we strolled down to St. Pauls Cathedral which is in a financial area so lots of suits and stilettos abound.  The church is considered Wren's masterpiece and it is amazing. I had never been there before.  The grounds were packed with people on lunch eating and sunning themselves.  Gary brilliantly pleaded 'poor starving artist' and we got in for free, thank god, it was 16 pounds!!  More than Westminster Abbey.  It is really nice in there and Gary walked me down the middle so I could pretend to feel what Diana felt - although quite frankly I could give a toss about what Diana felt.  But it was kinda' funny all the same.  The crypts are very interesting and British Naval legend Nelson is the star.  I kept thinking how my brother Andy was turning green with envy - Nelson's crypt wasted on me!!

We then walked to the Tate through the clever and lovely urban planned walk way over the Millennium Bridge.  Great, great bridge and lots of vistas of London.  The Tate is what you would expect, huge and full of great stuff.  They were installing in the famous turbine hall but I wasn't disappointed since I am not a fan of airport hanger galleries.  The collection in the gallery is great and they have a Rothko room you could die in, literally.  Dim lighting, his haunting work played out elegantly around you - it is pretty close to actually stepping into the concept of mortality.  Senses overload on so many levels!!!  They also have some really wonderful Joseph Beuys pieces - so it was a trip worth taking.

At the end of the day we traveled to the east coast and the lovely town of Maldon.  On the train we passed the Olympic site full of a thousand cranes and gigantic so and so things.  Maldon, as it so happens is famous for a pre-medieval battle with Vikings. Again my brother Andy must have been gritting his teeth knowing that that fact was wasted on me.  I like Vikings as much as the next guy but I didn't spend the first twenty five years of life obsessed with them like he did.  Gary's family were lovely and took us to the coast where I got to see how those weary Londoners spent their weekends, on boats and in pubs by the sea.  It was very idyllic actually.  Our last item of note was a church that dated back to 652AD, the oldest of its kind in the country.  In fact it was built from left over Roman stones; a very interesting, solemn, peaceful and a truly sublime way to end our trip.

We did get stuck in Detroit and had a nightmare getting home but that is all forgotten by the amazing time we had away.  And now onto work and disseminating all that we learned.  We have been asked back for an exhibition and look forward to returning to our chalk and coal….



Troy Brooks has been working away in his log cabin on a secretive new series and has started a blog to keep us updated!  Keep an eye out for new work at our Summer Salon show hosted by the First Canadian Place Event Space, and his Solo show this fall.

"Last night at 3:30 A.M. I woke up to the low whooping sound of bird wings close to my head. I leaned over to turn on the light, but I had unplugged the lamp to make room for the fan so I could sleep in the sweltering heat. I felt my way to the door in the pitch black with this unidentified animal darting around. I turned the light on and there, flapping lazily around the tiny room in low sweeps was a fat and fuzzy bat. I woke up pretty fast, tripping over myself to open the door. I kept my head down and tried to get out with a piece of clothing. Who needs coffee when you can wake up in a bat cave. I was flapping my arms waving a pillow over my head hoping it wouldn't fly into my face or touch me in any way. Not my manliest moment. 
 I made it out to the couch in the front room and kept 2 wide eyes trained on the bedroom door. A little while later she flew into the hallway and who knows where she is now. I finally realize what the huge net leaning beside the refrigerator is for. Maybe she just wants to be in one of the paintings. She looks like a Norma..." read more



Just a reminder - you have less than one month to submit your Canadian Women-themed images for our HOMEGIRLS competition!  Check out the HOMEGIRLS tab for more info.



Toronto arts manager and local arts-enthusiast Sue Edworthy bravely ventured to the East end to check out Pentimento and wrote a blog post on her experience.  She hints at the exciting adventures to be had in the neighbourhood of Leslieville, and suggests that you, too, explore more of what our city has to offer.

"Recently a couple things in the East have piqued my interest, so I thought I’d tell you about one that I’m going to today – the Pentimento Fine Art Gallery..." read more

She also came back to view G. Elliott Simpson's show and write a blog post explaining her experience with the work and a bit of the meaning behind the show.

"About the exhibit – my God it was fantastic. Like a good art patron I read the statement about the work – it  discussed the idea that although we claim we are becoming an even more open society, we are becoming even further enmeshed in the concepts of groups and tribes. Where do you belong?" read more


BlogTO returned to Pentimento for opening night and wrote a review on the BROTHERHOOD show.  Visit the link to view more photos!

"[G. Elliott Simpson] presents a series of photographs that's both mythical and macabre — mythical in the sense that the male form is depicted in near superhero-like proportions, and macabre insofar as there's a definite sense of unease communicated by the dark, generally faceless subjects..." read more

The show is on display until July 3.



Thank you all for coming out to G. Elliott Simpson's opening to BROTHERHOOD last Thursday! It was a very successful opening and a great turnout. The show is up until July 3.


Call to Artists: HOMEGIRLS

We are now accepting submissions for our August group show/competition HOMEGIRLS.  Check out the HOMEGIRLS page in the blog menu for details!

Michelle Chicoski's 2010 winning image of Liona Boyd



G. Elliott Simpson's work appears on the cover of edition #425 of Fab Magazine, which also contains an interview on the artist, his past and his process.  Check it out here!  And don't forget to attend Simpson's opening tomorrow night (June 2) from 7-10!

     "In the world of photographer G Elliott Simpson, the male figure is moulded into a dark and almost devilish presence. A slick sheen or an ashen veneer coats muscled flesh. Each model’s face and body is lost and identity is transformed and obscured.
     It’s no surprise that Simpson’s work explores the darker side of human nature. In his youth, he faked his own death at school to freak out his teachers and read books about the occult. Post-university, Simpson worked as a graphic designer and dabbled in photography — until a life-changing “accident” in 2003..." continue reading


We are very excited to have news of painters Gary Bludell and Victoria Ward's travels through England gathering inspiration and information for their new body of work.  Blundell and Ward's work is available to view here.

"Blog for Pentimento
May 29, 2011
Sent June 1st, via Tate Modern wifi
Chalk and Coal
     As I write we are barreling along through the northern countryside of England toward London.  We have just spent two weeks at an arts residence in Wakefield researching places of interest and landscapes that will help us create work based on our chalk and coal thesis; that England, like many places, has evolved culturally from geologic formations and vice versa.   We came here a few thousand dollars short even though we raised a good sum from many private and public sources, but England is still pricey and our 20 pound a day budget is very hard to keep to.
     We have spent our time here being chauffeured around to many interesting places and landscapes by a fantastic group of well educated, art loving intellectuals and artists who were in  some way connected with the coal mines.  The recovered land around Wakefield is quickly hiding a three hundred year coal mining tradition which was prematurely closed overnight by none other than Margaret Thatcher in the mid eighties.  In the past twenty years the West Yorkshire area and its residents have had to completely redefine who they are and what they should do.  Almost everyone  we met was deeply affected by the closers because that is all their families did for generations.  This is a noble community full of feisty intelligence, rebellious and entrepreneurial spirit and yet there is a definite sadness – and yet there is great art!  Henry Moore was born in the area and he is a great hero here since he was working class and his dad a miner.  We visited his school, home and various local works scattered around.  There was also a powerful retrospective on in Leeds which featured his fantastic Underground and mining drawings.
     While we were here the Hepworth Wakefield (Barbara Hepworth was famed local sculptor who is best known for working out of Cornwall) Gallery opened.  This was considered extraordinary since England is suffering terribly from the recession and is experiencing austerity cuts that would make us in Canada squirm.  It had a troubled time getting open since the people here seemed ambivalent.  But we were lucky enough to attend a wonderful opening night party and go a few days later.  Small but lovely, we think ‘The Hepworth’ has real potential.
     The landscape around Wakefield is gorgeous with famous Yorkshire red brick buildings, medieval architecture (apparently Cromwell attacked the Pontefract Castle), and dales and moors.  We loved it.  And the disappearing coal mines also made for that unusual sense of ‘the land that time forgot’.  Evocative and inspiring, we are going home with loads of information for artwork.
     But we would have to say the best aspect of our trip so far has been the people.  The great night we had in London with pal Lancton in Notting Hill and our Yorkshire hosts, Brian, Bob, Anne & Cameron, Lisa, Harry, Lorna, David the people at the National Coal Mining museum and all the other wonderful people around Wakefield who make it a very special place.   It is an amazing community full of resilience and dignity (with the exception of young local girls who spent most nights imitating The Jersey Shore outside our residence window?!?!).  And, they have invited us back for an exhibition and possible national tour!! 
     The trip so far has gone beyond our expectations and we are only now heading to the chalk cliffs to complete our research.  We are looking forward to the channel, the cliffs and long meandering hiking… and apparently the best fish and chips in England."