Atrophic Existence is a group exhibition curated by Simon Cole which features an exciting line-up of emerging contemporary artists from across North America whose work harmoniously intertwines around the subject of urban decay. In an attempt to explore this theme, all artists of Atrophic Existence delve into concepts and imagery that invite us to question and contemplate human (dis)connection with nature.

Kevin Cyr is a Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based artist whose intricate paintings depict graffiti’d and decaying vehicles. Cyr’s ongoing project creates an intimate relationship between his works and the viewer, as the car is a universal symbol in contemporary culture.

Toronto-based painter and installation artist Joshua Barndt builds allegorical installations out of the waste of our consumer culture. In his newest work “The World Is A Mountain And Everything Gets Buried,” Barndt implicates himself directly. Every last one of his personal belongings has been transported into the gallery and is incorporated in to his installation.

Los Angeles-based artist Jeff Gillette’s paintings illustrate what he calls “Slumscapes.” He paints apocalyptic scenes influenced by his travels throughout South Asia and the filth, degradation, and poverty that many people call reality.

San Fransisco-based painter Mike Shankman provokes us to question man’s impact on nature with his paintings by portraying colorful yet desolate man-made structures that are passively “overwhelmed by nature.” These structures and landscapes act as a reflection of issues in modern society, and their absence of human activity invites the viewer to conjure what may be missing.

Alex Lukas also expresses the idea of urban decay with his depiction of foggy, dismal city and landscapes. Using both painting and silkscreen, the work of this Philadelphia artist eludes to both disaster and renewal. With traces of bright colors, Lukas’s work provides viewers with optimism to the seemingly dismal theme of urban decay.

The show will be on view from December 11th to January 10th, 2011 at Show & Tell Gallery in Toronto.

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