The work Five Holes and a Circle is the product of Neil and Michael’s weekly meetings. Usually, one artist will start a painting and put it aside for the other to add to as he sees fit. Paintings are discussed and worked on until they present a complete idea. In recent years, writing and language-play have become the artists’ primary interest, as they draw influences freely from anywhere that language and imagery intersect. This particular work was created from a surplus of cut-out drawings. The cut-outs are freely added to the paintings and have been used in many recent large-scale works.
Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber met at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art in 1995. Shortly after, they helped found the Royal Art Lodge collective, along with fellow students Marcel Dzama, Jonathan Pylypchuk, Adrian Williams, and Drue Langlois. After the group disbanded in 2008, Dumontier and Farber continued to meet every Wednesday night to paint together. Their collaborative works have been exhibited in England, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, and France, as well as in the United States, at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Drawing Center in New York. Their works are in many public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Folkwang Museum in Essen, Germany.
Both artists live and work in Winnipeg, where each maintains a full-time solo practice.