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SEPTEMBER 30, 2017 - JANUARY 1, 2018

The story of contemporary painting in Canada is constantly under revision, and for good reason—dynamic and influential art practices, wildly differing opinions, strongly held beliefs, and high expectations, make for a charged atmosphere in art schools, studios, and public and private galleries. Within the community of painters, strong ideas give shape to new modes of painting, new techniques and new dogma that are in turn shared, debated, tested and critiqued in studios across the country.

Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting offers an insight into two distinctly different modes of painting that have come to dominate contemporary painting in this country. The origins of both can be effectively traced back to the 1970s, to a moment when the continued existence of painting was hotly debated. Within that debate two new strategies were devised, one that proposed the possibility of conceptual painting—a highly refined notion of painting that emerged from and returned to the idea—and a second, ambivalent proposition that valued actions and materials over ideas—in short, doing and making were pitted against ideas and concepts.

This exhibition traces the legacy of that debate and documents the work of 31 artists who have been largely responsible for the strong revival that painting now enjoys in this country. With work by artists from Halifax to Victoria and many places in-between, this exhibition offers a convincing survey of the lively debate that makes painting relevant and meaningful today.

Stephanie Aitken | Marvin Luvualu António | Rebecca Brewer | Sarah Cale | Neil Campbell | Tammi Campbell | Arabella Campbell | Allyson Clay | Paterson Ewen | Gerald Ferguson | Eric Fischl | Jessica Groome | Neil Harrison | Colleen Heslin | John Heward | Jeremy Hof | Garry Neill Kennedy | John Kissick | Elizabeth McIntosh | Sandra Meigs | Guido Molinari | Guy Pellerin | Jeanie Riddle | Francine Savard | Michael Snow | Jeffrey Spalding | Ron Terada | Nathalie Thibault | Claude Tousignant | Julie Trudel | Joyce Wieland

Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and co-curated by Bruce Grenville, Senior Curator and David MacWilliam, Emily Carr University of Art + Design professor


Parades et Ripostes

The exhibition Parades et Ripostes brings together several of my recent paintings. This work focuses on relationships between shape, color, material and their support through an economy of radical interventions.


My painting practice is rooted in the search for a correlation between gesture and material, a fine cohabitation between intuition, luck and skills. My paintings are the result of a process where action, free exploration and the search for new ways to work with material prevail. This assembly work takes shape from one gesture to another, each in response to the previous one.


In my paintings, color is directly associated with gesture. This presence of the gesture participates to a preference for uncertainty and for the support of the body in the development of the paintings. In my work, awareness of the gesture and openness to the unexpected are balanced. The work is often the result of unexpected maneuvers.


To counteract my lyrical interventions and further exploit the structural power of color, I perform certain gestures mechanically. The roller allows me to broaden the spectrum of my interventions and to produce new, unpredictable and surprising relationships, unusual associations of colors, shapes and textures. This tool which, by its width, modifies the scale of my gestures allows me to apply in the same momentum sometimes 2 or 3 colors.


Completing the painting with a minimum of interventions, leaving the color of the raw canvas partially perceptible, making the first gesture at a different place on the surface, painting at different speeds and diversifying the tools used are the parameters that were fixed before the start of each painting of this serie. This approach serves as a starting point for a free and fruitful assembly play of paint strokes. Whether in the foreground or hidden, each gesture finds its place and its raison d'être in due course.

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