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Tristan Unrau, Two Figures in a Wood, 2016, oil on canvas, 33 x 25.5"

installation views

Tristan Unrau

29 October - 9 December 2017


There are more paintings in this room among the crocodile and the nun, all different styles and sizes. The paintings find their precedents somewhere along a history of painting, they seem to want to suggest to us that painting isn’t just about painting anymore, that painting is a way of thinking, that to paint is a kind of telling and you can do all sort of things with that. If we realize that style can’t contain painting we have to be willing to let painting be expressive of an act of thinking about painting but not exactly self-consciously. These paintings both reflect and deflect an organizing principle, they accumulate around studied relations and let those relations grow out of hand, like the garden yet to be pruned. 

- Tristan Unrau, passage from Record of Creative Work (2017)


Unit 17 is pleased to present the first solo exhibition at the gallery by Tristan Unrau, unveiling its newest exhibition space at 2954 West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano (Vancouver). 

This exhibition takes from new and recent work made by Unrau over the last two years, primarily in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast. 


The focal point of the exhibition, a roughly seven by thirteen foot painting, reveals a lush rolling topography, captured during high summer months. The Grapes Seemed Fatter (2017) positions the gallery within its three blazing suns and infinitely tangled perspectives; fragmented, a memory of these psycho-geographical landscapes. 


Other painting, drawing and sculpture sit in relation to this work, nodding to experimental films such as Alexander Kluge’s Yesterday Girl (1966) or blissful moments of embrace during tense cultural shifts. Sculpture as maquette or architectural model litter the gallery, borrowing in part from what’s found on the gallery walls while exposing a broad meandering of image and subsequent contexts. 


Tristan Unrau (b.1989) holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and an MFA candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles. Unrau was a finalist for the 2015 and 2017 Royal Bank of Canada Painting Competition. He lives and works in Los Angeles. 

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