MKG127 presents BLAST by An Te Liu

This exhibition by An Te Liu, artist and associate professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto, takes place at MKG127, and runs from Saturday, April 23 until Saturday, May 21, 2011.

Blast was the journal of the early 20th-century Vorticist movement in England. Edited by Wyndham Lewis, Blast was known for the concrete poetry of its typographical style. In An Te Liu’s hands, “concrete poetry” takes on new meaning. The artist animates real things. In mid-air, a vortex-like sculptural arrangement suspends common household devices (from air purifiers and fans, to a George Foreman grill and a Nintendo DX) in an imperfect spiral that fills the gallery space. With Blast, Liu locates an axis in the whirlwind, creating a monumental artwork out of the tension between chaos and control.

Blast follows on from Liu’s 2008 work, Cloud, a hanging assemblage of 136 air-purifying appliances. Featured at the 11th Venice Biennial of Architecture and installed in 2010 in Toronto at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Cloud is a recent acquisition of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Liu’s 2009 work, Title Deed, used multiple coats of green paint to transform a vacant suburban house into a life-sized Monopoly piece. In Title Deed, 1950s dreams of an equal society bottom out in the empty shell of the subprime mortgage crisis. Commissioned by the Leona Drive Project, Title Deed went viral and was written about by Britain’s Daily Mail and MSN News. Demolished in 2010, the artist is now presenting the project as a limited edition print.

In addition to SFMOMA, An Te Liu’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 2008, he was the Canada Council’s Artist in Residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, and published the catalogue An Te Liu: Matter.

An Te Liu is Associate Professor in the Master of Architecture Program at the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. He holds an Honours BA in Art History and Renaissance Studies from the University of Toronto and a Master of Architecture degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles.

The exhibition continues until May 21, 2011. MKG127 is located at 127 Ossington Avenue in Toronto. For more information, please visit