Neal Tait
The Dressmaker Who Lived on the Outskirts
24 April - 8 June 2008
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Press Release

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is very pleased to present Neal Tait's The Dressmaker Who Lived on the Outskirts, an exhibition of new paintings and drawings that comprise the artist's first solo show with the gallery.


Diverse in palette and composition, the paintings and drawings that make up the exhibition all result from a process that the artist describes as beginning quite openly; figures and characters come and go, and possible scenes begin to describe themselves through a dialogue. Each work presents its own set of problems and possible solutions, and different types of stories evolve through this engagement.

The title of Tait's exhibition, The Dressmaker who Lived on the Outskirts, a clever turn of phrase that suggests the beginning of a tongue twister, or the description of a character from a nursery rhyme, not only sets a humorous tone for the show, but also relates to the artist's formal concerns. Tait fashions together disparate images the way a dressmaker might sew scraps of fabric into a garment, creating a world from an accumulation of imagery that does not preference any particular element, instead allowing the quieter peripheral voices in the work to speak. The artist describes the elements that he brings together as “things that were once one thing and like many other things can be pieced together to form a vetement onto which moving forms are described.” The resulting works serve as glimpses into a parallel existence, one that seems most closely related to the rhetorical logic of fairy tales or the absurdist humor of Surrealism, reminding the viewer of the fleeting oddness of a remembered dream.