Alex McLeod History of the World

Works in the exhibition

Galerie Division, Montreal, is pleased to announce its inaugural solo exhibition of Toronto-based artist Alex McLeod.

Alex McLeod is a pioneer of virtual spaces.  An avid gamer, he spends considerable time collecting minerals, building space stations, launching rocket ships and exploring the outer universe.  In turn, these pursuits inform his image-making, expanding his visual vocabulary and extending the reach of his work to include an infinite digital realm.

For this exhibition, rather than flaunt the seamless verisimilitude of CG design, McLeod has developed an imperfect, stylized technique, almost painterly in its expressiveness.  In Artist Studio, an example of the artist at his most self-reflexive, he has created a fanciful simulacrum of his workspace, where crude polygons abound.  By embracing a low polygon count (the equivalent of a low pixel count in 2D work), McLeod purposely betrays the artifice of his image, eschewing the 3D equivalent of photorealism in search of more personal images.  In the imagined studio, on a virtual desk, sits a gravity defying see-saw - a reminder that here in the province of the artist’s imagination, reality operates unburdened by the laws of physics.

Also lurking in McLeod’s eccentric studio is a nod to some of the more prosaic instances of world-building in popular culture.  He cites the dream homes depicted in IKEA catalogues - their real-seeming kitchens and bedrooms built from scratch using 3D software - as examples of the blurred line between real and artificial realms.  Increasingly, the spaces we inhabit become copies of copies, our reality a facsimile of a digital file.  Division recently asked the artist for a studio shot to publish in Artforum magazine.  McLeod delivered a picture of his piece called Iceberg hanging in a studio.  The image was a mock-up of an as-of-yet-unprinted work, which was itself a simulation.  In his previous Artforum appearance, even McLeod’s studio was staged.

Immersing himself in gaming and technology in his spare time, occupying and creating digital spaces when he works, McLeod is the quintessential ambassador to the reality of our increasingly virtual world. 

Alex McLeod lives and works in Toronto. An OCAD graduate, McLeod studied drawing then switched to computer-generated digital imagery. His works have been presented widely in Canada and in the United States, as well as in France, Spain, Sweden, New-Zealand and Brazil. In 2009, he received a visual art grant from the Council of Art of Toronto. Alex McLeod's works are featured in many private and public collections, notably TD Bank, the Royal Bank of Canada, The Whitney Museum of American Art, MOCCA, Bank of Montreal, and MMPI Canada.

To watch the videos, click on the following links:

Mountain Sculpture https://vimeo.com/215771278/5cc79648a3

Goldhold https://vimeo.com/215771352/08db253c97

Goldmountain https://vimeo.com/215771672/298835bd8f

Teeter https://vimeo.com/215771397/f60f8c3c87

Bluegrass https://vimeo.com/215771834/12caea9fe8

Systems https://vimeo.com/215771442/6acef2184f

Canyon https://vimeo.com/215771543/bebe0525c9

Connectivity https://vimeo.com/215771618/84b20cc684

Gemroller https://vimeo.com/215771906/2e22ef8989

Masheduptube https://vimeo.com/215772059/1a78f7977c

Deformer https://vimeo.com/215772277/07b79ad8fd

Turbulent Attractor https://vimeo.com/215771771/21f4abda00

Convergent Evolution https://vimeo.com/215822364/aec28b4645

SOS http://vimeo.com/214589177/01184799e4

Blue Valley https://vimeo.com/213846506

Ghostball https://vimeo.com/211662286

Sisyphus https://vimeo.com/166801059

For more information on the artist