In Monica Tap’s first appearance at MKG127, she exhibits two new paintings, just back from a solo exhibition at the String Room Gallery in Aurora, New York. These paintings originate from low-res cell phone video captured on road trips.
Tap explores the forensics of time made possible by digital video. Slow frame rate, fast motion, high contrast, and low light push the camera past normal limits and challenge the construct of a realistic image. There is no better place than the edge of failure to expose how something really works. Tap is interested in what is revealed when systems—of technology, of perception—break down and, consequently, open up to other realms.
In a recent review on ArtFagCity, writer Sally McKay observed; “Tap’s paintings bring vision itself into awareness. Engaging directly with the materiality of digital aesthetics, she offers viewers the chance to experience physical properties of video compression as translated into richly painted, spatial planes. As landscapes, the paintings are thoroughly satisfying, engaging viewers cognitively with the visual conditions of their world.”
Monica Tap is an artist whose many activities involve exploring questions of time and representation in painting. Her practice opens up a space between landscape and abstraction, and navigates the terrain between painting and digital video. Her canvases, which are conceptual and systematic investigations into the codes of pictorial illusionism and perception, have been exhibited in Canada, England and the USA. She is the recipient of many grants and awards, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for her project, “Translation as a Strategy of Renewal in Painting.” Tap's work is represented in private, corporate and public collections in Canada and the U.S. Originally from Alberta, she completed both her BFA and MFA degrees at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She lives in Toronto and is an Associate Professor at the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph. She is currently working in Berlin on her sabbatical research.