Sage Barnes | Out of Office, Toronto

Tag x Barnes

June 15 – 28, 2022

Taglialatella Gallery – Toronto is excited to present a solo show of work from Kansas-City artist, Sage Barnes. Out of Office will be on view from June 15 – 28, 2022.

The latest body of work from young Kansas-City native, Sage Barnes, is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on professional life. On duty and off duty worlds collide as suited-up figures engage in the unexpected. Short of spontaneously combusting, the businessmen and women of Barnes’ work embody the exasperation of being trapped in a nine-to-five. What may initially appear as light-hearted subject matter is actually an astute navigation of the slippery terrain between comedy and tragedy. He deftly handles the nuance of frustration with satirical undertones. Each pieces presents a narrative that the viewer can easily insert themselves within, empathizing with the hostile man who sits at a boardroom table with a water gun in hand or the escape artist in a tailored suit speeding off on the back on a jet ski. Typical of Barnes’ oeuvre, all of his figures are faceless, furthering the viewers ability to supplant themselves within his compositions.

The artist documents much of his studio practice in the form of videos, some shared on social media. These videos reveal his revery for exploration of both medium and methodology. He pushes the boundaries of mark making, thinking outside the box and colouring outside the lines. From water balloons to blow torches, no tool is off limits, and the resulting effect is a tangible fearlessness for conquering the surface of his canvas. For Out of Office, Barnes accompanies strong canvas pieces with exciting moments of installation. The reimagining of mundane office staples like a water cooler or a filing cabinet bring the theme to life and create and immersive environment that is as novel as it is familiar.