Remai Modern hosts first major hometown exhibition by Zachari Logan
Zachari Logan’s new body of work, Ghost Meadows, debuted at the Remai Modern in late summer which features meticulously detailed drawings and hand-built ceramics that draw on the natural world. The exhibition marks the Saskatoon-born artist’s first major solo exhibition in his hometown.
Logan first gained attention with his life-size self-portraits exploring masculinity and beauty, followed by dense tapestries of native Saskatchewan plants and self-portraits in a state of metamorphosis with various plants and animals. His new work is lyrical and poetic, evoking the body only through gesture and implied movement.
In Ghost Meadows, Logan continues his dialogue with art historical and literary references, and his ongoing engagement with queer ecologies and aesthetics. The exhibition includes large-scale drawings. During opening weekend, Logan will create a large drawing directly on the wall, live in the gallery space. Visit Remai Modern on Saturday and Sunday to see the artistic process as it unfolds.
We sat down with Logan to learn more about his artistic work.
Can you share a bit of background about Ghost Meadows and your inspiration for this exhibit?
It was largely developed over the last 18 months, a great deal through the heights of the pandemic. Thinking about time, breath, isolation and the ways in which we all are affected by our surroundings, also how we embody it and affect it. As creatures, we are but one of the billions of living beings on earth, yet there is a pervasive belief that we hold some sort of supremacy- or control over it. That is a false sense of self-importance that is deeply destructive and ultimately untrue. I was fortunate through the entire span of all the lockdown periods to have had full access to my studio, and the work that I began to formulate became much more poetic and lyrical; tied to a sense of letting go of any sense of the predestined. In many ways the idea of things being fully ordered and controllable is antithetical to the world we inhabit, much of the time we think we have total control over what goes on, but when one actually absorbs their experiences they realize they are simply responding to what they’ve encountered, what has ‘happened’ to them. Entirely about my body, as it always is the catalyst for my drawing, ceramics and installation practices- this show feels raw and almost diaristic in a way that is new. Specific plant-life is central to my pictorial vocabulary, but they end up stand-ins for emotion, and embodiment, and bodily gesture.
What is your favourite piece from it and why?
That is an impossible question to answer, because this body of work was developed so closely together, and nothing could be left out of this show and still have a sense of completeness. Sandra Fraser is a brilliant curator and responded beautifully in the space as we were installing. Everything fills a psychological purpose and relates in a flow. It is, in a sense- a single ‘piece’.
What has it been like showcasing your work in your hometown?
So lovely. I grew up learning about and viewing art at the Mendel, it was my favourite place. I also worked there as a student doing prep and docent work, so I feel a deep connection to the Remai. It is a beautiful space, that generously allows for the contemplation of both monumental and intimate work. Even though I have had two-person exhibitions, and have been included in group shows in my hometown over the years, I’ve not previously had a solo exhibition- so it was wonderful to do so at the Remai. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
Make sure you have ample time and space to think and make. This is your currency.
What’s next for Zachari Logan? Any upcoming exhibitions or collections we should keep our eye out for?
I have several concurrent exhibitions at the moment, Come Eat My Pleasant Fruits has just recently opened in Houston, Texas at Bill Arning Exhibitions, as well I am currently in Toronto installing my exhibition, The Weight of the World is Light As A Leaf at Paul Petro Contemporary Art. Beyond the Stone Angel: Artists Respond to the Deaths of Their Parents is currently on view at the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina, and if you are in Ottawa my drawing Eunuch Tapestry No. 5 is currently on view at the National Gallery of Canada in the collection galleries. I have two major exhibitions upcoming next year in US institutions that I will soon have listed on my website. (zachariloganart.com). I also released my first book of poetry, A Natural History of Unnatural Things, this past September through Radiant Press.