The Artist: Julie Beugin
The Lowdown: Climb the stairs and find three recent and hallucinatory oil paintings by Beugin hanging in the entrance/waiting room of a downtown clothing store. Inspired by the artist's ongoing investigation of architectural space and her love of literature, these bizarre works condense three of her favourite chapters from Franz Kafka's 1927 novel Amerika.
Coordinates: The show runs until July 1 in the New Gallery at USED (831 Granville Street).
Process oriented: Beugin often works with literature to produce imaginary spaces that parallel those created by the original author. She's most intrigued by texts that focus on describing the objects and architectural spaces navigated by their characters. Amerika is an especially rich resource for collaboration, given the fragmentary style of the writing and Kafka's inevitable misrepresentations of a country he never visited. Beugin's paintings are equally provocative: some areas of the canvas are loosely modelled and achieve a surreal effect in relation to more carefully considered spaces and objects that form a fugitive idea of subjectivity. Aiding this slippage is the artist's thoughtful composition: the largest painting incorporates several perspectives within the same frame before trailing off into darkness at the top-right corner.
What it all means: "I'm interested in the idea of painting as a window and the window as an in-between space, between the private and the public," says Beugin in an interview at USED. "The idea that you can be inside and outside at the same time is a nice thought."