Susan Dobson - Retail -
- Prices are changing by the amount of sold copies, edition of 10 in the size 16 x 20 in (ca. 40,6 x 50,8 cm) and edition of 10 in the size 40 x 55 in (107 x 140 cm) 950 € up to 7200 €:
The series titled Retail depicts large franchise retail outlets, commonly known as "box stores," set against vibrant, corporate blue skies and vast deserted parking lots. The structures themselves are digitally filled in with grey, emphasizing each building's outline and establishing a visual relationship with the grey asphalt in the foreground. Grouped with matching horizon lines, they create a visual continuum when the prints are installed in the gallery space.
Recent North American retail architecture is provisional in construction and has a limited life span. Some stores, such as Harvey's, are nothing more than what Robert Venturi refers to as decorated sheds - utilitarian boxes that have no distinct structural form and are distinguishable from one another only by their signage. Others, such as The Beer Store, employ a distinct shape as a form of branding - like subdivision housing, they appear to have been stamped from identical moulds. Curiously, The Home Depot is oddly reminiscent of the Taj Mahal, with its vast expanse of space in front of the building and its long interlocking pathway leading to the front entrance; a shrine to rampant consumerism.
The vibrant blue sky colour may hint at consumer optimism, yet the grey buildings and the expanse of empty asphalt foreshadow the impermanence of retail structures and mass consumption in a time of economic uncertainty and environmental awareness. " Seen within this context, "writes Robin Metcalfe, "Dobson's ghostly big-box stores glisten like a digital mirage, prescient images of a doomed landscape.2"
#1 See Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1977. Part II
# 2 Metcalfe, Robert. Exhibition catalogue for Susan Dobson: Temporary Architectures. St. Mary's University Art Gallery, October 2008
M.F.A., Guelph University, 1997.
Honours Bachelor of Applied Arts, Ryerson University, 1988.
International Baccalaureate, Lester Pearson College of the Pacific, British Columbia, 1984.
SOLO AND SITE SPECIFIC EXHIBITIONS (including upcoming)
2015 Of Time and Buildings at Macdonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph
2014 Of Time and Buildings at George Eastman House
2012 Dislocations, Cambridge Art Gallery, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.
2011 American Temples, in focus Galerie, Cologne, Germany (with L. Troeller + Chang Kim)
2011 Views, Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
2010 Dislocation, The Department, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2010 Endlessly Traversed Landscapes, a site specific billboard installation in conjunction with the Vancouver
2010 Cultural Olympiad. Organized by VANOC and curated by Natalie Doonan.
2009 Retail, The Department, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A CONTACT photography festival feature exhibition.
2008 Temporary Architectures, Saint Mary's University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. In conjunction with the photography festival Photopolis, and with Nocturne: Art at Night.
2008 Rememory, The Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
2006 Open House, Elora Centre for the Arts, Elora, Ontario, Canada.
2005 Open House, National Center for the Arts (Cenart,) Mexico City, Mexico.
2005 Open House, Fotoseptiembre 2005, Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico.
2005 Open House, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, Oregon, USA.
2005 Susan Dobson: Interiors, The Toronto Free Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Contact Photography Festival feature exhibition.
2004/05 Open House, Art Gallery of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
2004 Open House, SRO Photo Gallery, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA.
2004 Open House, Tatar Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2004 No Fixed Address, Gallery 44 Project Room, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2002/03 Sprawl, Centennial Gallery, Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
2001 Natural Law, Tatar Alexander Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2000 Home Invasion, Artspace, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
2000 Home Invasion, The Photographers Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
2000 Vanishing Point, The Floating Gallery Centre for Photography, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
1999 Home Invasion, Struts Gallery, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.
1999 Home Invasion, Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
1997 Vanishing Point, New York State University, Buffalo, New York, USA.