Elliott Louis Gallery Canadian Fine Art

"Winter" - celebrating 10 individual visions
Curated by Lynn Ruscheinsky
to Feb. 27, 2010

WINTER

With the advent of postmodernism in the late 60s, we no longer ask the interminable question: 'what does this art work, mean?" But rather, 'what does this art work, do? Or, again, following Lyotard, 'what does this art work set in motion?' We can think of art in this way as producing a number of aesthetic effects or rather affects. The aesthetic effect, does not come from the object, but from the object being confronted by a beholder that 'gets' the meaning, 'feels' the effect. The winter-themed selection of paintings by gallery artists at the The Elliott Louis Gallery running from February 5 - 27th, curated by Lynn Ruscheinsky do just that. They confront the viewer with a new material of expression giving rise to multiple exchanges between individual and art. These interactions actually offer people diverse possibilities for overcoming alienation from nature and thus from themselves. Instead of presenting an apparent reconciliation with the hardship of winter, these works are involved in a reconfiguration; a re-ordering and re-thinking of our habitual responses to the world. In each way they bring something new to our experience of winter.

Because traditional Canadian landscapes seem so realistic, and others appear to represent time-honored historic truths, it can be difficult for artists taking up the genre to depict situations or relationships pertinent to contemporary conditions. Importantly, the Winter artists have done just that, they have reshaped the artistic conventions and aesthetic codes of the Canadian landscape through innovation and experimentation with materials and technology. While the Canadian landscape genre encompassed numerous modes, from the pastoral to the allegorical, its least assuming theme, the local land, continues to be its' most innovative. Stev'nn Hall, Katie Huisman, Michael Levin, Gavin Lynch, Katherine Surridge, Andrew Tong and Bruce Woycik take up these pictorial traditions transforming them in inventive and imaginative ways.

Stev'nn Hall's atmospheric photo-works, David Edward's photo-based paintings and Bruce Woycik's local views of city and harbour take us on a nostalgic journey along historical Canadian landmarks or familiar sites of recreation asking us to reconcile the virtual world of childhood memory with the actuality of present experience. In much the same way, Gavin Lynch's blurred dream-like vistas of northern British Columbia re-call those fleeting moments of pure intuition in which past, present, and future has no hold.

By contrast, Lynch's If Possible, Backwards and Single Plane Painting expose the artifice of painting. Lynch divides the surface plane of the canvas into a complex aggregate of heterogeneous elements that divides and changes the representational unity of 'real' space demanding the viewer's active participation in the creative process of apprehension.

Katherine Surridge has also fragmented the surface of her winter cityscapes into small bytes of information. What is important here is that Surridge has presented us with a vision of contemporary urban life in which the individual's subjectivity is predominantly formed by the world they live in, and that world is multi-faceted. Surridge's style alludes to new digital technology, and in particular the new machines of communication, that fracture our consciousness into multiple states not predictable of a single subject. Her works asks us to think through the complexity of processes that form subjectivity.

Andrew Tong's work also asks us to consider the mental and social ecologies that produce us as subjects. He exposes, rather than veils under a blanket of snow, the deeper social issues of violence and destruction in our contemporary society. Indeed, he forces us to acknowledge the impact such violence has upon the formation of our psyche claiming we are no longer in a state of ignorant innocence.

In contrast to these artists' approach, Michael Levin's, Helma Sawatsky's and Katie Huisman's photographs confront us with a hyper-reality.

Huisman's digital manipulation of her photographs duplicates the highly artificial system of one-point perspective thereby transforming familiar local architecture into pure geometric forms. This is not the way that our very human stereoscopic vision allows us to see the world. The subtle changes that Huisman has made to her photos creates for us a heightened awareness of the everyday, eliciting an affective response that throws us off into another path, allowing us to break with old habits of seeing and perhaps go beyond what we might consider typical understanding.

It is also important to point out that breaking with habitual ways of seeing requires first and foremost that one becomes aware of one's already existing reactions and responses to the environment. Michael Levin's photographs pushes forward the boundaries of what can be experienced. For example, Levin's Jericho allows us to see far beyond the actual capability of the human body. Using long exposure, foreground and background are perfectly in focus, focusing our attention in ways that almost seem to transcendent subjective experience. As a result, Levin's art might be understood as less involved with making sense of the world and more involved with exploring the possibilities of being in the world.

While Levin offers us more than what is possible with our own eyes, Helma Sawatzky's artistic strategy is to offer us less. Sawatzky carefully removes information from her digital photographs in order to force the viewer to acknowledge not only the presence of the objects that appear before us but also the absences that are implicit to any making of meaning. In the Data Mulch Series Sawatzky has taken that which is discarded, literally the detritus of our lives, and transformed it into an aesthetically beautiful cornucopia recalling the vanitas still life paintings of Dutch Realism. The evocation of winter in the disintegration of rotting vegetation and withering leaves reveal to us the moral consequences of waste and the squandering of time.

Painting for both Bruce Pashak and Carolyn Stockbridge are stages for experimentation and play, for the actualization of different conceptual patterns and the performance of different possibilities.

Signs of ambage is an apt avowal by Bruce Pashak in his work called January for his thoughtful approach involves indirect ways of expressing things. Pashak's postmodern style introduces aesthetic playfulness and subversion into the rationalist discourses of knowledge and subjectivity. While Pashak's philosophic references and literary metaphors might seduce us into believing in accepted truths, the disruption of the visage and marred surface of the canvas belie such attempts at simple answers. Pashak's aesthetic does not ask us to participate in a kind of forgetfulness but rather evokes a consideration of the weight of the world.

Carolyn Stockbridge's abstraction involves the continuous painting over of an already laid out pictorial organization. A method of obliteration then but also, in the 'new' picture that emerges, of revelation. Like winter itself the harbinger of spring.

Lynn Ruscheinsky




David Edwards - Winter Games
David Edwards
Winter Games
40 x 60 Inches  
oil on canvas
$6,000 

diptych - each panel 40" x 30"



David Edwards - Winter Memory - Blue Gloves
David Edwards
Winter Memory - Blue Gloves
36 x 36 Inches  
oil on canvas
$4,500 



David Edwards - Pulp Fiction I
David Edwards
Pulp Fiction I
16 x 16 Inches  
oil on canvas
$1,250 



David Edwards - Pulp Fiction II
David Edwards
Pulp Fiction II
16 x 16 Inches  
oil on canvas
$1,250 

to see more work by David Edwards click here.
to view David Edwards's bio click here.
 


Stev'nn Hall - Distance  (variation 1 of 5)
Stev'nn Hall
Distance (variation 1 of 5)
30 x 50 Inches  
photo based, paint & resin
$3,600 



Stev'nn Hall - Winter Tree ( variation 2 of 5 )
Stev'nn Hall
Winter Tree ( variation 2 of 5 )
42 x 32 Inches  
photo based, paint & resin
$2,700 



Stev'nn Hall - In Between (variation 1 of 5)
Stev'nn Hall
In Between (variation 1 of 5)
20 x 50 Inches  
photo based, paint & resin
$2,400 



Stev'nn Hall - Reinvention (variation 1 of 5)
Stev'nn Hall
Reinvention (variation 1 of 5)
20 x 50 Inches  
photo based, paint & resin
$2,400 

to see more work by Stev'nn Hall click here.
to view Stev'nn Hall's bio click here.
 


Katie Huisman - East 2nd @ Scotia Street
Katie Huisman
East 2nd @ Scotia Street
24 x 36 Inches  
c-print mounted on aluminum
$1,900 

edition of 5



Katie Huisman - Keefer @ Main Street
Katie Huisman
Keefer @ Main Street
20 x 30 Inches  
c-print mounted on aluminum
$1,400 

edition of 5



Katie Huisman - Dalhousie Drive, Winnipeg
Katie Huisman
Dalhousie Drive, Winnipeg
20 x 30 Inches  
c-print mounted on aluminum
$1,400 

edition of 5

to see more work by Katie Huisman click here.
to view Katie Huisman's bio click here.
 


Bruce Pashak - Moksha (triptych)
Bruce Pashak
Moksha (triptych)
20 x 60 Inches  
oil & acrylic on canvas



Bruce Pashak - January
Bruce Pashak
January
62.5 x 61.75 Inches  
oil & acrylic on prepared canvas
Sold 



Bruce Pashak - Weight of the World
Bruce Pashak
Weight of the World
37.5 x 42.5 Inches  
oil & acrylic on prepared canvas
$4,700 

to see more work by Bruce Pashak click here.
to view Bruce Pashak's bio click here.
 


Helma Sawatzky - Suspended Series - Untitled 1 (edition of 5)
Helma Sawatzky
Suspended Series - Untitled 1 (edition of 5)
18 x 18 Inches  
lightjet print
$1,100 



Helma Sawatzky - Suspended Series - Untitled 2 (edition of 5)
Helma Sawatzky
Suspended Series - Untitled 2 (edition of 5)
18 x 18 Inches  
lightjet print
$1,100 



Helma Sawatzky - Suspended Series - Untitled 3 (edition of 5)
Helma Sawatzky
Suspended Series - Untitled 3 (edition of 5)
18 x 18 Inches  
lightjet print
$1,100 



Helma Sawatzky - Suspended Series - Untitled 4 (edition of 5)
Helma Sawatzky
Suspended Series - Untitled 4 (edition of 5)
18 x 18 Inches  
lightjet print
$1,100 



Helma Sawatzky - Suspended Series - Untitled 5 (edition of 5)
Helma Sawatzky
Suspended Series - Untitled 5 (edition of 5)
18 x 18 Inches  
lightjet print
$1,100 



Helma Sawatzky - Data Mulch Series - Untitled 3 (edition of 5)
Helma Sawatzky
Data Mulch Series - Untitled 3 (edition of 5)
48 x 24 Inches  
lightjet print
$2,600 



Helma Sawatzky - Data Mulch Series - Untitled 2 (edition of 5)
Helma Sawatzky
Data Mulch Series - Untitled 2 (edition of 5)
48 x 24 Inches  
lightjet print
$2,600 

to see more work by Helma Sawatzky click here.
to view Helma Sawatzky's bio click here.
 


Carolyn Stockbridge - Opium Eater
Carolyn Stockbridge
Opium Eater
54 x 48 Inches  
oil on canvas
$4,600 

to see more work by Carolyn Stockbridge click here.
to view Carolyn Stockbridge's bio click here.
 


Katherine Surridge - Earth Report 6
Katherine Surridge
Earth Report 6
60 x 60 Inches  
oil on canvas
$9,000 



Katherine Surridge - Earth Report 1
Katherine Surridge
Earth Report 1
42 x 42 Inches  
oil on canvas
$4,400 



Katherine Surridge - Earth Report 2
Katherine Surridge
Earth Report 2
42 x 42 Inches  
oil on canvas
$4,400 



Katherine Surridge - Earth Report 9
Katherine Surridge
Earth Report 9
72 x 132 Inches  
oil on canvas
$23,700 

to see more work by Katherine Surridge click here.
to view Katherine Surridge's bio click here.
 


Andrew Tong - Ignition Series No. 4
Andrew Tong
Ignition Series No. 4
48 x 48 Inches  
oil on canvas
$6,000 



Andrew Tong - Ignition Series No. 3
Andrew Tong
Ignition Series No. 3
24 x 36 Inches  
oil on canvas
$2,950 



Andrew Tong - Ignition Series No. 2
Andrew Tong
Ignition Series No. 2
36 x 36 Inches  
oil on canvas
$4,100 



Andrew Tong - Ignition Series No. 1
Andrew Tong
Ignition Series No. 1
36 x 36 Inches  
oil on canvas
$4,100 

to see more work by Andrew Tong click here.
to view Andrew Tong's bio click here.
 


Bruce Woycik - Gastown
Bruce Woycik
Gastown
24 x 36 Inches  
oil on canvas
$3,200 



Bruce Woycik - Dead Man's Island
Bruce Woycik
Dead Man's Island
36 x 48 Inches  
oil on canvas
$6,450 

to see more work by Bruce Woycik click here.
to view Bruce Woycik's bio click here.
 

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