Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Fall Forecast, Curated by Tatum Dooley: September 11th - October 3rd, 2020


We are pleased to present Fall Forecast, a group show curated by Tatum Dooley (@cdnartforecast), and featuring work by Marissa Y Alexander, Anni Spadafora, Kizi Spielmann Rose and Alex Kisilevich. This exhibition is Dooley's second curatorial project in a series of collaborations with Dianna Witte Gallery. 

Art has prepared me for living with a significant lack of human touch—gone is the weight of a hug, a spontaneous hand grasped for a few moments. While six feet of distance between each other still feels alien, we are used to not touching art. In fact, we embrace the boundary of this interaction as a necessary part of art's preservation. The lack of touch adds something, a closer way of looking. 

I didn’t mean to curate a show that so closely revolves around touch, but looking at the group of artists I feel that’s what subconsciously happened. Simply by looking at the works in fall forecast, we can understand their texture. The patterns of Anni Spadafora's textiles and Kizi Spielmann Rose's paintings are contemporary takes on textile patterns—plaid and weaves made dynamic through glitches, saturated colours, and bio-metric layers. 

Marissa Y Alexander's ceramics likewise are made up of layers that compile to make a deceivingly flat surface—solid and smooth. A three-dimensional ceramic that's camouflaged as a painting. 

In addition to Alex Kisilevich’s photographs, his video work captures impossible movement—fabric dancing without touch or wind. The result is magical, opening up the possibilities of a world without touch, but not without tenderness.

- Tatum Dooley 

Tatum Dooley is a writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Artforum, Bordercrossings, Canadian Art, Garage Magazine, Lapham's Quarterly, The Walrus and more. In addition to writing, Tatum curated her first art exhibition at Dianna Witte Gallery in 2019. She has written curatorial essays for Inter/Access in Toronto and Parisian Laundry in Montreal.

We invite you to join us for an opening reception and curator's talk on Saturday September 19th from 2-3PM and 3-4PM. We kindly ask that visitors book their time slot with us in advance. In order to maintain physical distancing measures we are limiting each time slot and request that you wear a face mask. Our hope is that these intimate receptions will create a more memorable experience for the artist and viewer. If you have any questions, please email us at info@diannawitte.com.

Kizi Spielmann Rose

Alex Kisilevich

Anni Spadafora

Marissa Y Alexander

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Caitlyn Murphy: Five Dresses, July 31st - August 22nd, 2020


Caitlyn Murphy’s exhibition at Dianna Witte Gallery, titled five dresses, takes place at the dry cleaners. The paintings trade in pastel hues—I imagine the winding tracks that snake around the front of the store making their way to the back, where the clothes are washed by the cotton candy foam of a car wash. 

The baby blue wallpaper stamped with daisies provides a rare glimpse into the back room of a dry cleaning business. The pinks of the assigned ticket to each garment echoed in a pink bow that encloses a bag of pillows, a pink dress, a spool of yarn. The faded legal-pad yellow of the receipt stapled to the top of the plastic—which is painted with so much constraint I can almost feel the slide of the material against my body as I walk down the street. I never feel as important as I do carrying a bag full of freshly laundered dry cleaning.

It’s the colour scheme, more than anything, that unites the paintings in five dresses. The consistent palette makes it feel as if each painting was shot on the same reel of film, on the same day, at the same time. The equally spaced out frames in the gallery space lends itself to this sensation. In reality, the premise of the project is a prolonged multi-day performance that involves taking the same five dresses to various dry cleaners in the city and photographing them upon return. A zoomed-in and an intentional snapshot of a phenomenon usually delegated to a chore. The use of gouache as a medium erases any evidence of touch from the brushstrokes, creating flat and cohesive compositions, not unlike the goal of the dry cleaners: to erase touch that had come before. 

The confines of tracking the same dresses as they move through different, rather mundane, and looked over spaces, tracks with the theory of the flâneur. But instead of a person wandering the city wistfully, rejecting a consumer-based society by not participating in commerce, it’s the dresses that roam.

I think of the films of Chantal Akerman, who was heavily influenced by the flâneur in her films. There are entire films by Akerman that take place in one building, (La Chambre, Hotel Monterey, for example) where she lets the camera linger, shifting the known into the unknown, the under-looked to overlooked. Just as Akerman can make me see a hotel in a new light, a motion-picture version of a Hopper painting, Murphy makes me look at the shoebox confines of a dry cleaner in a new way. Why do I, like Murphy’s project, only have five dresses that are worthy of the care of dry cleaners? The bulk of my closet is made up of material that blends together and is overlooked, lasting a season or two before being passed on.

The dresses, and care Murphy shows to them, coincide with Jane Bennet’s theory of thing-power, which Bennet defines as “the moment of the vitality of things.” In other words, how humans relate to inanimate objects, animating them through attention. Bennet proposes that the sheer number of products, and our desire for them, increases how much we throw out, which in turn decreases the importance that we place on individual things. Bennet, and Murphy, offer an alternative where we place a human-like dignity onto things, giving them agency and reorienting notions of importance towards materiality. The attention Murphy gives the fabric, plastic wrappings, and setting, anthropomorphizes the dresses, making them feel full of life—flâneurs without bodies. 

We invite you to join us for an opening reception to celebrate these new works and meet the artist on Saturday August 8th. We kindly ask that visitors book their time slot with us in advance. In order to maintain physical distancing measures we are limiting each time slot to 3 guests and request that you wear a face mask. Our hope is that these intimate receptions will create a more memorable experience for the artist and viewer. If you have any questions, please email us at info@diannawitte.com.

This project was created with support from the Toronto Arts Council. Caitlyn would also like to thank Rushton Dry Cleaners, Ellis Cleaners and La Rosa Cleaners for working with her.

We look forward to sharing this work you!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Christine Flynn: Ontario Shores, June 26th - July 25th, 2020


We are pleased to present ONTARIO SHORES, a solo exhibition by photo-based artist, Christine Flynn. In her latest series, created exclusively for Dianna Witte Gallery, Christine explores the Canadian landscape through Ontario's shorelines and bodies of water.

We invite you to join us for an opening reception to celebrate these new works and meet the artist. In order to safely allow visitors enough time to see the exhibition we will be hosting two receptions, on June 26th & 27th. We kindly ask that visitors book their time slot with us in advance. In order to maintain physical distancing measures we are limiting each time slot to 8 guests and request that you wear a face mask if possible. Our hope is that these intimate receptions will create a more memorable experience for the artist and viewer. If you have any questions, please email us at info@diannawitte.com.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Spring Update 2020

We are so grateful for your messages of kindness and support over the last few months; we hope that you have been staying safe and finding your way to navigating these trying times. While our physical space has been temporarily closed as we do our best to protect each other, we have been eager to share with you some of the exciting shows that we have planned. Although this is not business as usual, we are currently available by appointment, phone and email. Our website is up-to-date with current works by all of our gallery artists and we are happy to answer any questions or inquiries. We hope it won't be too long before we find a safe and responsible path to seeing you all again.
- Dianna

As this pandemic prevents us from the communal nature of experiencing art in the same physical space, we recognize that art is an uplifting and important part of our lives. We are looking for ways to turn the spaces we live in, into spaces that we love; spaces to calm, spaces to teach and currently spaces to work from.
We are available for remote consultations to assist you in finding ways to live with art. In the meantime, we'd like to invite you to view our art installation/inspiration blog. We've been compiling references of creative hanging solutions for years and it's all available for your viewing pleasure on our tumblr...
We look forward to sharing more details on our upcoming exhibitions as we confirm the schedule upon reopening.
To request exhibition previews as they become available, please email us at
This summer we are pleased to present Casey Roberts' fourth solo exhibition with Dianna Witte Gallery. He will be exhibiting a series of cyanotype drawings accompanied by ceramics and bronze sculptures.

Roberts received his degree from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, IN. In September of 2019 he exhibited a solo show at the Richard E. Peeler Art Center at Depauw University. He has work in numerous collections, including the Indiana State Museum, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, the US Department of State, Eli Lilly, Indiana University and more. Roberts lives and works in Indianapolis, IN. 
In her latest series of photographs created exclusively for Dianna Witte Gallery, Christine Flynn explores the Canadian landscape through Ontario's shorelines and bodies of water.
Since her first solo show at Pulse Contemporary Art Fair in New York, Flynn's work has been widely exhibited in North America and Europe. This will be her fourth solo exhibition with us. 
Five Dresses is an exhibition inspired by dropping off and picking up the same dresses at different dry cleaners throughout the city. Working in gouache on paper, this collection of new paintings catalogues the passing details encountered during these outings: hand-written slips, plastic garment covers, office supplies, assembly lines and clothes hangers. These paintings are aleatory by nature; they exist solely due to chance encounters while wandering the city. The five dresses remain the constant, allowing the viewer a glimpse of a narrative.

Caitlyn Murphy (b.1988) received her BA from McMaster University and a B.Des from OCAD University. She is the recipient of grants provided by the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.  
"For my second show at Dianna Witte Gallery, I wanted to shift focus away from the exterior-lens of my first exhibition and deal with a more intimate subject matter: the body, movement, and sexuality. I have chosen three artists whose practices feel, to me, like performance first, photography second. I'm thinking about the scope of what a photograph can be and the possibilities of what we can capture in a frame."

Tatum Dooley is a writer and curator living in Toronto. She writes widely on trends in art, fashion and technology. Her writing has appeared in Artforum, Bordercrossings, Editorial Magazine, Garage Magazine, the Globe & Mail, Lapham's Quarterly, Hazlitt, and the Walrus. In addition to writing, Tatum curated her first art exhibition at Dianna Witte Gallery in Summer 2019. 
Corri-Lynn Tetz first exhibited with us in Summer Forecast, a group show curated by Tatum Dooley in 2019. We are thrilled to be featuring Tetz again this fall with a solo exhibition at Dianna Witte Gallery.

Corri-Lynn received her BFA from Emily Carr University in 2003 and her MFA from Concordia University in 2015. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including the Project Fellowship from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, the Residency Fellowship from the Brucebo Foundation, the Fine Arts Travel Fellowship from Concordia University, and more. She is the recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts grant.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Jeff Depner: Weights and Measures, March 6th - 29th, 2020


We are pleased to announce Weights and Measures, Jeff Depner's fourth solo exhibition with Dianna Witte Gallery.

In previous years, Jeff Depner’s abstract paintings strictly adhered to a grid. The geometrical shapes—often referred to as architectural—consistently repeated across the canvas, the shift in colour creating visual variety. The clusters of hard-edged shapes and colour created a mathematical rightness. “The colour harmonies are intuitive and used in conjunction with pattern, rhythm, and variation to invoke a sensory experience,” wrote Depner. 

While his paintings still invoke a sensory experience, in his most recent series, adherence to the grid has relaxed slightly. Depner’s palette has also narrowed, compiled of a combination of subtle greys, blues, and browns —adding more impact when a stronger colour is introduced (in other words, an exclamation mark!). The result is a more organic composition that echoes Depner’s maturity as an artist. “I like to vary the way I begin paintings to try and create situations, accidents or problems that I can then try and dig myself out of,” he explained recently.  

Depner’s work can be understood alongside written language. “As a whole, these units combine to create a sort of ‘abstract sign,’ operating separately from speech and writing patterns, with the intention of seizing the viewer on an unconscious or automatic level,” wrote Depner. The semiotics of language—the alphabet and road signs come to mind in relation to Depner’s abstractions—have been established by Depner, and now there’s enough fluency to play with the forms. For the viewer, this results in a shared experience with a coded language—the visual language of abstract art. 

Imagine this shift as the progression of your own handwriting: in grade school, letters were traced neatly on lined paper. As we get older, our handwriting takes on its own form, loose and unique, and yet the message remains the same. A red octagon still means stop, even if slightly skewed and out of focus. The latter allows for the possibility of play and projection, a viewer can move through the painting creating connections and conclusions that are unique to them, while remaining intrinsically connected to the work.  I want to create “something that creates noise within a pattern or rhythm. In addition to colour, I’ve become more and more interested in materiality and creating objects with presence,” Depner explained. Depner has given us the tools to learn how to read his canvases and, in turn, the language of art. 

In addition to Weights and Measures at Dianna Witte Gallery, Depner has upcoming shows at Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York City and Galerie Anke Schmidt in Cologne. He was recently featured in Art-Die Kunstmagazine as well as the upcoming book “Interviews With Vancouver and BC Artists.”

Friday, February 14, 2020

Compositions in Nature: February 7th - March 1st, 2020


Featuring work by: Anne Griffiths, Casey Roberts, Jeffrey Harrison, Ric Santon, Anna Valdez, Fiona Freemark, Leah Rainey, Corri-Lynn Tetz, Gary Clement, Douglas Walker, Tess Michalik & more. 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Winter Salon: January 3rd - February 2nd, 2020


Anne Griffiths

Ric Santon

Jeff Depner

Tess Michalik

Anna Valdez