Derrick Piens

Shot of Art: It is what it is

It's always a bit difficult to describe and review art that verges on the non-representational, and even more so when the work in question is sculpture. What, after all, constitutes good sculpture if the point isn't to faithfully recreate some real-life object? Lacking criteria, one tends to turn toward the emotional registers that a given piece might evoke. Though there's nothing wrong with this strategy, I've always been of the mind that the best abstract sculptures are those that stimulate the imagination.

When I look at Derrick Piens work, for instance, I don't see blobs of plaster and plywood. Walking around Peak Gallery, I catch glimpses of human anatomy — a bone cluster here, a heart valve there — or perhaps even the very building blocks of life. These sculptures may not easily reveal their nature, but the degree to which they provoke wonder is their greatest delight.

PHOTOS

Derrick PiensDerrick PiensDerrick PiensDerrick PiensDerrick PiensDerrick PiensDerrick Piens

It Is What It Is runs until November 13th.

Photos by Jesse Milns


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Arts

6-year-old artist draws crowds in Toronto with ice sculptures created with mom and brother

Toronto author rising up global bestseller lists wrote debut thriller in local cafe

This artist makes miniatures of iconic Toronto businesses

75-year-old man in Toronto creates wood-burned portraits of family and pets

This is the Toronto artist making mesmerizing sand art videos

Meet the family behind one of Toronto's most iconic art supply stores

People are loving this 20-year-old Toronto woman's beautiful notes and penmanship

How quarantine turned this Toronto actor into a viral sensation