Acme, supporting artists since 1972

Acme Project Space


The Acme Project Space ran from June 2009 to December 2015. It provided an opportunity for those artists who are part of our Residency & Awards Programme and our International Residencies Programme with a public space within which to develop projects, show new work and engage in a critical dialogue with a wider audience.


Craig Leonard

‘Finesse’ 7.2.2013 - 10.2.2013

Finesse, 2013, installation view
Finesse, 2013, installation view
Compact, 2013 (Coade stone, 'black basalt', mdc)
Compact, 2013, detail (Coade stone)
Biscari Palace, 2013 (yellow light, skylight)
Metathesis, Parataxis, Napoleonic, Neoplatonic, 2013 (Xerographic prints, custom acrylic box)


7 February to 10 February
1pm to 6pm
Private View: Thursday 7 February, 6pm to 9pm
Exhibition walk-through with Craig Leonard: Saturday  9 February, 3pm to 4pm

A solo exhibition by Craig Leonard, featuring new sculptural works developed over a 6-month residency through Acme Studios International Residences Programme and with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Leonard develops the proto-romanticist idea of “finesse” by means of objects formed through variations of compression: stratification, collapse, superimposition and co-incidence.

“The esprit de finesse is the ability to distinguish and deal with concrete things, with living beings, as against the geometrician’s ability to manipulate abstractions and definitions of the nonexistent,” wrote Blaise Pascal in Pensées. “The geometrician’s universe is articulate, colorless, and clear-cut, limited by axioms and definitions; where finesse sees the colour, continuity, and indefiniteness of things. It is expansion with limits known and unknown...”

To talk of “expansion” one must also consider “compression”. Leonard sees the spatio-temporal compression of “concrete objects” as forming not the universally symbolic but, instead, the arbitrarily metaphorical. Compressed things—Napoleon’s rise and fall, cork as a modeling material, la lumière mystérieuse, an 18th century “stone” recipe, classical architectural details, and the manuscript of a novel—are made to oscillate, in their inter-dependence, between states of autonomy and reliance through finesse and a degree of anarchic force, partially brutish, ignorant and idealistic in its execution.

Craig Leonard lives and works in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Recent solo exhibitions include No Beginning, No End, WWTWO, Montreal (2012) and Amusicology, Mercer Union, Toronto (2009). Recent group exhibitions include Oh, Canada, MASS MoCA, North Adams (2012); Fragments of Unspoken Thoughts, Jakopic Gallery, Ljubljana (2012); Strangers in a strange land, LMAK Projects, New York (2012); The Workers Install a Work, Khyber ICA, Halifax (2011); and Tout Contre Nature, WHARF, Hérouville Saint-Clair (2011).

This event forms part of the Canada Council for the Arts London Studio Residency, managed by Acme Studios International Residences Programme.


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