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The Power Plant launches Fall 2007 with two dazzling solo exhibitions


TORONTO, August 13, 2007 – Following another record-breaking summer, when over 50,000 visitors enjoyed FREE gallery admission thanks to the Hal Jackman Foundation and NOW Magazine, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre is thrilled to announce its Fall 2007 program.

The Power Plant’s Fall 2007 program encompasses solo exhibitions by two celebrated artists, lectures by leading contemporary artists, curators, and art historians, live performances, and film screenings.

The Power Plant launches Fall 2007 with two dazzling exhibitions: Francesco Vezzoli: A True Hollywood Story!, a major exhibition of work made over the past 12 years comprising films, embroideries and poster paintings by the celebrated Italian artist; and Paul P.: Dusks, Lamplights, the first solo show at The Power Plant by the Toronto painter whose work is gaining international recognition. Both exhibitions open with a glamorous red-carpet reception at our annual Fall Party on Friday, 7 September, at 8 PM and run until 4 November, 2007.

Of these two major solo exhibitions, Director of The Power Plant Gregory Burke states, “Linked by their themes of artistic personae, doomed glamour, homages, remakes, and love for sale, both exhibitions promise to be visually ravishing.”

In recent years Francesco Vezzoli has become something of a phenomenon. Known for his enduring interest in celebrity, camp aesthetics and cinematic conventions, Vezzoli’s own fame has rapidly grown in a short space of time to include being regularly featured in style and entertainment magazines such as Vanity Fair and Italian Vogue. His work has been featured at the 49th and 50th Venice Biennales, the 2006 Whitney Biennial, and the 26th Sao Paulo Biennial and he is currently representing Italy in this year’s Venice Biennale, with a work featuring Sharon Stone.

Francesco Vezzoli: A True Hollywood Story! includes works by Vezzoli, from 1995 to the present day, framed within a kitsch entertainment format. The centerpiece of the exhibition is the North American premiere of Marlene Redux: A True Hollywood Story!, commissioned for the François Pinault Collection in 2006. A mock documentary emulating the E! True Hollywood format, the film traces the rise and demise of Vezzoli. Part fact and part fiction, the plot slips between Vezzoli as artist and Vezzoli as a failed Hollywood film director, who seeks refuge in male prostitutes, dark rooms and despair. All other works in the exhibition, including films, embroideries and poster/paintings, many publicly presented for the first time, relate to the Marlene Redux plot. Also included in the exhibition is Maximilian Schell’s 1984 documentary Marlene, 1984—a portrait of the German actor and cabaret singer Marlene Dietrich.

“With an alluring mix of sex, power, Hollywood and pop culture celebrity, fashion and literary credibility, all under the banner of contemporary art, Vezzoli’s work is guaranteed to cause a stir,” says Gregory Burke.

Francesco Vezzoli: A True Hollywood Story! is presented in association with the Toronto International Film Festival's Future Projections. The Power Plant gratefully acknowledges the support of The Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto.

A catalogue will be launched in association with the exhibition featuring essays by Gregory Burke; Italian writer and Director of The Museum of Modern Art, Bologna, Gianfranco Maraniello and American writer and Contributing Editor of Artforum magazine David Rimanelli.

Francesco Vezzoli will discuss his work and screen several films, including the show-stopping Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal’s ‘Caligula’, as part of the International Lecture Series on Wednesday, 5 September, 8 PM at The Studio Theatre at Harbourfront Centre (Members Free, $10 Non-Members).

The second solo show this fall is by internationally acclaimed Canadian painter Paul P., known for his portraits of beautiful young men. Dusks, Lamplights brings together oil paintings, pastels, watercolours, drawings and prints, made over the past three years.

Basing many of his figures on models in soft porn magazines from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, Paul P. evokes a ‘golden age’ of sexuality, at the height of gay liberation and before the AIDS crisis. In Dusks, Lamplights with 19th Century Venice as a recurrent backdrop and the works of Whistler as influence, Paul P. depicts androgynous models swooning, waiting and peering expectantly from windows.

Presenting fugitive, languid subjects as metaphors for the collapse of two epochs—Europe before WWI and North America before AIDS—Paul P. captures the brilliance of their final exhausted moments.

“By uniting soft porn photography with 19th-century painting and drawing,” says exhibition curator Helena Reckitt, The Power Plant’s Senior Curator of Programs, “P. explores how the idioms of female and feminine modeling have crossed over from fine art to commercial culture.”

A separate media release will follow with detailed Public Programs, including Power Talks at the Toronto International Art Fair, 25-27 October, 2007.

For information on exhibitions and Public Programs, the public can call 416-973-4949 or visit

The annual Fall Party and Exhibition Openings are held at The Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, Friday, 7 September, from 8 PM to 11 PM. Admission to the reception is FREE and open to the public.

Regular Gallery Admission: $5 Adults, $3 Students/Seniors, FREE to Members, FREE to all Wednesday evenings 5-8 PM.

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre
231 Queens Quay West. Gallery Hours are Tuesday to Sunday 12 – 6 p.m., Wednesday 12 – 8 p.m. Closed Mondays (Open Holiday Mondays 12 – 6 p.m.).


Media Contacts:

Linda Liontis
Media Relations
Harbourfront Centre

Tony Hewer
Development & Marketing Coordinator
The Power Plant

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