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The Power Plant launches Fall 2008 with a major new commission from Scott Lyall, a collaborative project with Harrell Fletcher and the Canadian debut of Manon de Boer


TORONTO, Monday, August 25, 2008 — Following an incredible summer to remember, when thousands of visitors took in the critically acclaimed group exhibition ‘Not Quite How I Remember It,’ The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre proudly announces its Fall 2008 exhibitions and public programs.

Improvisation, open-endedness and possibility are the hallmarks of The Power Plant’s Fall 2008 programs. In his largest solo exhibition to date, Toronto artist Scott Lyall creates an ambitious installation. Titled ‘The Color Ball,’ the centrepiece of the exhibition is a new installation realized under our annual Commissioning Program in partnership with the Toronto-based Partners in Art, a group of supporters of the visual arts. Sharing Lyall’s interests in process and ad libbing, Harrell Fletcher and twelve Toronto-based collaborators devise an exhibition from scratch over the course of ten days in ‘Title in Progress.’ Meanwhile, Dutch artist Manon de Boer makes her Canadian debut at The Power Plant with films that explore transitional states and identities. Promise and potential also characterize the Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition, the country’s largest competition for emerging artists, with paintings by the fifteen semi-finalists on view at The Power Plant.

The Power Plant's Fall program runs from September 20 to November 23, 2008. Harrell Fletcher, ‘Title in Progress’ runs September 20 to November 2, 2008. The RBC Canadian Painting Competition runs November 11 to 23, 2008. All fall exhibitions open with a free public reception on Friday, September 19, 2008 from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

On the heels of his participation in SITE Santa Fe’s Seventh International Biennial, Scott Lyall presents ‘The Color Ball,’an exhibition named after a fictitious gala party reminiscent of the gallery’s annual Power Ball. Inhabiting 3655 square feet of gallery space, ‘The Color Ball’ references works from a range of Lyall’s previous exhibitions and has as its centerpiece a newly commissioned installation. The result is an exhibition that falls somewhere between a survey of past work and an entirely new assemblage.

“‘The Color Ball’ will not only provide a survey of Lyall’s work from the past decade, but an opportunity for the artist to create a significant new project,” states Gregory Burke, Director of The Power Plant and curator of ‘The Color Ball.’ “It is an important part of The Power Plant’s mandate to foster the creation of important artworks by internationally renowned artists. We are thrilled that this year’s Commissioning Program will support Scott Lyall, a Canadian artist of such international calibre.”

‘The Color Ball’ is the third project in The Power Plant’s Commissioning Program. Initiated in 2006, previous commissions include Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s interactive light work, Pulse Front, 2007, and Simon Starling’s mollusk-infested rendition of a Henry Moore sculpture, Infestation Piece (Musselled Moore), 2008.

Scott Lyall (born in Toronto, Ontario, 1964) lives in Toronto and received his MFA in 1993 from CalArts. Previous exhibitions include collaborations with artist Rachel Harrison at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver (2006) and with Blake Rayne at Art Basel 2008.

The exhibition is curated by Director Gregory Burke, following Burke’s selection of Lyall for SITE Santa Fe’s Seventh International Biennial. A new 96-page catalogue, The Color Ball, will be published in November 2008.

The Power Plant gratefully acknowledges the generosity of Commissioning Partner Partners in Art, supported by their generous sponsors UBS, BMO Financial Group, Aastra Telecom, TD Securities, and C.A. Delaney Capital Management Ltd. ‘The Color Ball’ is proudly sponsored by Exclusive Presenting Sponsor RBC.

“Partners in Art has been inspirational in their support of the Commissioning Program at The Power Plant,” states Burke. “Both our visitors and the artistic landscapes of Toronto and Canada will benefit hugely from their energy and commitment. We are also delighted to work once again with RBC who have been instrumental in supporting our fall exhibitions and the RBC Canadian Painting Competition.”

Concurrently this fall, The Power Plant presents Harrell Fletcher’s collaborative exhibition ‘Title in Progress.’ Interested in the premise of making art with other people, especially those who don’t consider themselves artists, Fletcher has invited six emerging artists from Toronto (who in turn invited six people who don't see themselves as artists) to together devise an exhibition from scratch. Over ten days, participants will take field trips throughout the city to stimulate art projects that apply a DIY aesthetic of improvisation to everyday sites, people and stories. Featuring Toronto-based participants Thomas Brant, Sean Frey, Hannah Jickling, Alison SM Kobayashi, Helen Reed, Kerri Reid, Swintak, Maiko Tanaka, and others to be announced. Project Consultant: Darren O’Donnell.

Harrell Fletcher (born in Santa Maria, California, 1967) has initiated socially engaged, interdisciplinary artworks for over fifteen years, with children, farmers, seniors, old friends and practically anyone he meets. Fletcher established the participatory websiteLearning to Love You Morewith Miranda July, and, more recently, Some People. He is founding Professor of Art and Social Practice at Portland State University, Oregon, and received the 2005 Alpert Award in Visual Arts.

Curated by Senior Curator of Programs, Helena Reckitt, ‘Title in Progress’ will be on view at the gallery from September 20 to November 2, 2008.

Transitional identities and the ongoing process of remembering are the focus in two films by Dutch artist Manon de Boer. For her Canadian debut at The Power Plant, she presents film portraits of two women recalling their formative years in Paris in the 1970s. Sylvia Kristel – Paris, 2003, depicts the star of the famed soft-core Emmanuelle films reminiscing about her past. Resonating Surfaces, 2005, meanwhile, creates a picture of both Paris and Săo Paulo through the memories of Suely Rolnik: a psychoanalyst, translator and former lover of Gilles Deleuze. Manon de Boer is curated by Senior Curator of Programs, Helena Reckitt and presented with the support of Cultural Agency Partners the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of The Netherlands and the Mondriaan Foundation.

Finally, from November 11th to 23rd, 2008, The Power Plant proudly hosts the 10th Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Established in 1999, the Competition is a tribute to Canada's artistic talent. By providing Canadian visual artists early in their careers with a forum to display their work nationally, the competition nurtures artistic talent and opens doors to future opportunities. The winning paintings for 2008 will become part of RBC's Canadian art collection, while the twelve semi-finalists' paintings will enter the Canadiana Fund's Crown Collection. The RBC Canadian Painting Competition tours nationally to museums and galleries in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, London, St. John's, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver. For more information please visit

In tandem with these exhibitions is a stimulating program of lectures, tours, films, forums, and special events. The Forum General Harmony Will Reign Supreme kicks off the programming schedule when participating artists from ‘Title in Progress’ join Julia Bryan-Wilson, professor of contemporary art at the University of California, Irvine to discuss socially engaged art practices and collective learning (Saturday, 20 September, 6 p.m.). Meanwhile, The Sun Shines for You Today presents a series of tapes by Harrell Fletcher interspersed with videos by other international artists who work with everyday people, such as Johanna Billing and Tadasu Takamine (Thursday, 16 October, 7 p.m.).

Two events respond to Scott Lyall’s newly commissioned work. In our International Lecture Series, Vancouver artist Geoffrey Farmer discusses his own evocative installations in relation to Lyall’s work (Tuesday 23 September, 7 p.m.), and in Live, New York-based artist Ei Arakawa treats Scott Lyall’s exhibition as an arena for performance (Saturday, 22 November, 4 p.m.).

Also this fall, The Power Plant presents the third annual Power Talks series in tandem with the Toronto International Art Fair. Join influential art world figures as they discuss their current projects, preoccupations and ideas. Featuring Thomas Sokolowski, Director of the Andy Warhol Museum (Friday, 3 October, 6 p.m.), Fumio Nanjo, Artistic Director of the Second Singapore Biennale and Director of the Mori Art Museum (Saturday, 4 October, 4 p.m.) and Iwona Blazwick, Director of London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery (Sunday, 5 October, 4 p.m.).

For more information on exhibitions and all 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, 19 September, from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. 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

Joe Goulart
Head of Development and Marketing
The Power Plant
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