The exhibition “A Natural Curiosity” presents my latest works for 2017. I began again working in printmaking media in early 2016 at Atelier Circulaire in Montréal, mainly in the monotype process. After a while I felt a need to somehow edit or reassemble the monotype prints that I was not satisfied with and so began to patch them up. I began by using the styrofoam fish and meat trays that grocery stores use for packaging. I liked that they were readily available and easily workable to cut out and pattern with a knife or fork or with just about anything. I inked up and pressed. The printmaking process soon invaded the paint studio, oil and acrylic paint replaced printing ink. Watercolour paper and wood panels replaced print paper.
I soon developed a method of piecing together images with combinations of the styrofoam plates organized in different ways on a sequence of prints. It was a way forward where I could improvise and at the same time maintain familiar images and textures.
The rhythmic and repeated pressing of styrofoam cutout shapes and textures, layering and using imperfect geometric shapes to mask over or superimpose on in a checkerboard fashion became its own imagery. To complete the rhythm metaphor I use depictions of guitar and drum images. I wanted to live in that shifting space bordering figuration and abstraction. My works are abstract in the sense that repetition of form and colour can evoke sound and emotion, and figurative in the sense that iconic shapes can evoke time and place.
During the month of March, I will be exhibiting the following works at the Earls Court Gallery , 215 Ottawa St N, in Hamilton Ontario. They are part of a group exhibition featuring Rick Cook, Rachel Ovadia, Sandor Monos and myself. This gallery is a new connection for me and both, the owner Bob Daniels and his curator Kelly Dreenan have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome. Bob has created a wonderful white space in a part of the city that has been left dilapidated for decades. His efforts are helping to regenerate the streetscape in the area.
“Boilermaker” is painted in oil on canvas and is a mid-sized work at 30″ x 40″. It was painted earlier this year (2014)
The subject is geometric and abstract and the title suggests an industrial connection, which I really like as its like my personal history. However I oddly found the title on a list of cocktail drinks. I also feel that in the work there is reference to fabric design and medieval tapestry design.
The composition is dominated by a strong vertical central panel painted in various reds, greys and black. There is a fabric texture worked through the divisions of red colour. The central panel is flanked on either side by a mosaic like patterning of smaller blocks in grey, black and white. The blocks are painted in contrasting tones which interact optically and support a dynamic rhythm over the whole piece.