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One Last Time – An exhibition of works by Tavi Weisz is a first for Ottawa’s Karsh-Masson Gallery


December 13th 2013


Kevin Burns

After years of uncertainty, Ottawa’s city managed Karsh-Masson Gallery has a new home inside City Hall. To mark this new beginning in its new permanent surroundings, the gallery has assembled a collection of new works by the Romanian born, Hungarian trained, and Ottawa based visual artist, Tavi Weisz.

Mayor Watson unveils Tavi's workAssisted by Ottawa mayor Jim Watson, Weisz pulled back the curtain at the official opening on Thursday December 12th 2013. They then invited the crowd to enter the new gallery and take a closer look at the paintings that comprise One Last Time.

The gallery walls are a subdued pink, a colour chosen by Weisz, as he explained in a brief interview inside the crowded gallery, “to draw out all those pink tones on these canvases.”

The works are large. They reference totalitarianism and a troubled European past. And they depict an often naked human frailty.

Tavi Weisz at the unveiling Weisz has given these large striking paintings enigmatic titles: “Damn you, damn you, why did you have to do this?” and “No data available for your location at this time. Please listen to all I have to say,” for example.

When asked about how he chooses a title for a painting Weisz explains: “I never think of the title. I’m working, sometimes for days, and then I’m thinking ‘What should I call this?’ It could be hours, it could be days and I’m searching for words and phrases. If I catch something I like I’ll use that certain phrase. Sometimes it could really match. But most of the time they don’t match. It’s just that I like the meaning of the specific word or phrase. So I keep it.”

Above and Beyond

Above and Beyond - Courtesy of Karsh-Masson Gallery


Weisz had a similar challenge in coming up with a title for what is the first solo exhibition of his work. He chose the paradoxical: One Last Time. “I was wondering what I should name this show and I was reading in the National Geographic and this phrase just caught my eye. That could mean something else, but it’s always subconscious.”


When Daylight Drained from the Sky - Courtesy of Karsh-Masson Gallery


The curator of One Last Time is Stefan St-Laurent. In his essay in the show’s catalogue he explains that this exhibition is not the end of anything. “This will not, of course, be Weisz’ last jab at representing the unspeakable, all too impenetrable past. But in a sense, his work is not so much about moving on as it is about mitigating the past to move forward. Remembering can, as demonstrated in the work of Tavi Weisz, be just as cathartic as forgetting.”


Damn You...

Damn you, damn you, why did you have to do this? - Courtesy of Karsh-Masson Gallery


One Last Time continues at the Karsh-Masson Gallery until January 12, 2014. The gallery is located in Ottawa City Hall, 110, Laurier Avenue West.


No Data Available

No data available for your location at this time. Please listen to all I have to say -
Courtesy of Karsh-Masson Gallery


For more on Tavi Weisz click here.


Ottawa art critic and journalist Paul Gessell’s article on the exhibition can be found here.






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