Rebecca Anweiler, Animal Lover (detail) 2003-2004, oil on canvas

Rebecca Anweiler, Animal Lover (detail) 2003-2004, oil on canvas

Models of Desire

Rebecca Anweiler, Sabrina Oveson

A Space Main Gallery

February 24 – March 25, 2006

Opening February 24, 2006, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

Curatorial February 24, 2006, 7:00 pm–3:45 pm

Curated by: Siobhán Smith

Models of Desire explores various tensions and expressions of female desire, beauty, sexuality, and fantasy. For artists Rebecca Anweiler and Sabrina Ovesen, desire is always complicated and powerful. The works in this exhibition express the ambiguity and playfulness of human desire, pushing beyond restrictions of gender and the body. The exhibition’s title refers to the psychoanalytical models of desire often used to explain and understand human sexuality, and draws attention to the ideals and models shaping our own understandings of desire.

Rebecca Anweiler’s work is concerned with representations of gender and female sexuality as seen through, and produced by, cultural and scientific institutions. In this recent series of paintings, Anweiler has juxtaposed scenes from Hollywood cinema, lesbian porn, and photo-realistic depictions of the animal kingdom to challenge assumptions about desire and call into question what constitutes “normal” and “natural.” Sabrina Ovesen has created a series of photographs of porcelain figurines of women and girls.

Combining the conventions of portrait and fashion photography with kitsch, Ovesen’s giclée prints are both idyllic and disquieting. It is the simultaneous quotation and destruction of feminine clichés that constitutes the artistic and political strategies of both Anweiler’s and Ovesen’s work. From a questioning of idealized female proportion, to an exploration of the nature of love and sexuality, the works in this exhibition disrupt traditional models of desire presented to us through popular and material culture.

Sabrina Ovesen, Untitled, 2004, gicleé print

Sabrina Ovesen, Untitled, 2004, gicleé print


Rebecca Anweiler completed her MFA at Concordia University in Montréal, and is an honours graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design. Her artwork has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and her paintings are in many private collections, as well as the public collections of the City of Toronto, the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston, Ontario. Anweiler received grants from both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Art Council in support of the production of her current body of work.

Sabrina Ovesen is a Vancouver based artist and a graduate from Ryerson University in Toronto. After completing school she lived briefly in Prince George, B.C. and held her first solo-show, Self-Portraits, at the Prince George Art Gallery in 1999. Ovesen has exhibited widely throughout B.C. and in Toronto.

Siobhán Smith is a recent graduate of the Masters in Art History and Curatorial Studies programme at York University, Toronto. In 2004, she was awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada Graduate Scholarship. Currently, Smith is the Public Programs / Publicity Coordinator for the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver.