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Brendan Flanagan

Untitled Series (2014)
Untitled (Tell 5), Untitled (Tell 4), Untitled (Tell 10), Untitled (Tell 7), Untitled (Tell 3), Untitled (Tell 8), Untitled (Tell 9), Untitled (Tell 2)

Ground floor, in the passageway leading to the Brock Pavilion.


Brendan Flanagan

acrylic on canvas
24" x 24" each, dimensions of installation vary

Preset Mispronounced
Division Gallery, Toronto
(23 January - 28 February 2015)

These paintings consisting of conventional acrylic paint and canvas base, present mysterious, abstracted forms with a vivd sense of three-dimensionality. The initial designs were created by Flanagan in Photoshop and then further elaborated and executed in paint, fostering notions of landscape, geometry and technology throughout the composition.

Exhibition Information

Division Gallery is proud to present the opening of Preset Mispronounced, Brendan Flanagan’s first solo show with Division. The show runs Friday, January 23, 2015 to Saturday, February 28, 2015, with an opening reception on Friday, January 23, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m..

The work of Preset Mispronounced is traditional in its material nature — acrylic and oil on canvas, wood and plaster sculpture — yet draws and comments on digital technology. Intent on revealing the quirks of the computer programs that have become the ubiquitous mediators of images today, in his paintings, Flanagan plays up and tinkers with the structures that are concealed beneath virtual images. While some grids appear to lie on the surface, others seemingly rise from within the painting’s core, an effect simulating three-dimensional rendering in digital design. The result is a palpable tension between depth and flatness, illusion and abstraction, actual and virtual.

For this new body of work, Flanagan begins with quick gestural drawings created in Photoshop, which he uses as the building blocks for paintings, sculptures and hand-painted carpets. Noting similarities between the digital design process and the mathematically and mechanically-based designs of early Constructivism, Flanagan considers and critiques the latter aesthetic’s diluted form as it appears in commercial design.

“As programmed design begins to create more of our architecture, environment and art, I am interested in the places where the program readjusts and shortcuts and how this can be parlayed and combined with tactile and physical objects,” says Flanagan.

With their wobbly grids, irregular black voids, meandering lines and unearthly colours, Flanagan’s paintings make manifest a vision of an unexpectedly strange terrain lurking beneath the surface of the digital realm.


Based in Montreal, Brendan Flanagan has a BFA from OCADU and an MFA from Concordia University. He also studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recipient of the 2014-15 Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Arts, and a finalist in the RBC Painting Competition, Flanagan has had solo exhibitions at Angell Gallery and Le Gallery in Toronto, and at Thierry Goldberg in New York City. Notable group shows include Shape Shifters at Division Toronto and Fresh Paint at Art Mur, both 2013. Flanagan's work has been featured in Beautiful Decay, Color Magazine, Magenta Magazine, the National Post, the Globe and Mail and Carte Blanche: Vol. 2.

Exhibition information and biography courtesy of Division Gallery

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