Posts Tagged: "Westland Gallery"

Matthew Trueman’s Dirt: Nature, Technology and other Imagined Comforts

Moira McKee - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller

McKee Trueman JackThere’s a maturity and an outsider’s perspicacity that has rapidly developed in Trueman’s oeuvre

Our relationship with our surroundings grounds us, provides a basis, and is one of the most significant points of recognition we rely upon to operate in our daily lives. To be lost in a landscape once familiar spooks and disorients us. We grow, our perspective changes and a longing is born for what we often remember vividly as the utopian setting of our youth. This conflict with the change in our surroundings speaks to a discomfort when we no longer recognize what our minds once saw. Artist Matthew Trueman‘s upcoming exhibition, titled Dirt, at Westland Gallery addresses the cultural and environmental implications of ‘society’s violent incursion into nature,’ creating a visual dialogue with his detailed woodcuts that depict the fixed boundaries that exist within this tension.

 It might seem paradoxical to say that Trueman’s most recent works have simultaneously become more sophisticated and more rudimentary. The organic details inherent in the lumps of rock and soil in Jack (2015) necessitate an observant eye to depict such natural disorder. The artist then challenges us to make a distinction between replicated details that point to an industrialized human presence such as a tiny row of houses in the distance and a set of uniform tire tracks on the hill. Even the nature of printmaking itself - the possibility to infinitely multiply an image in our contemporary world of digitization carries that same tension as an original work of art that is mass produced. Continue Reading

Gallery Review: A Taste of Things to Come

Moira McKee - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller

“The Preview Show, and the variety of the exhibition, allows a rare opportunity to witness a dialogue occur between works that may never be exhibited together again.”

Richard Andreychuk Midland Woods Photograph printed on cotton rag paper 12x18

Richard Andreychuk Midland Woods Photograph printed on cotton rag paper 12×18

Fleeing the rain and entering the brightly lit space at Westland Gallery in Old South, I was pleased to see a decent turnout and also many things that one would expect from an opening reception: wine, cubes of cheese, the warm hum of conversation offset by requisite show-offy art talk overheard at arm’s length (‘Normally I go to Michael Gibson’s . . . like to buy James Kirkpatrick and Jason McLean . . . you know, modern stuff’). The Preview Show, Westland’s opening reception, features a curated sampling of works selected from every solo and group exhibition during this upcoming year; all of which makes this review a teaser of their teaser.

Matt Trueman is an artist who looks like he plays Ivy League tennis and you’d want to bring home to your folks. Trueman’s commanding woodcut, King of The Hill depicts an enormous snowy incline covered in the tracks of climbers. Tiny silhouetted figures stand at its apex, fragile and still, as though resting static inside a snow globe teetering at the edge of a shelf. Assessing the scene, I really did feel like a ruler gazing over my kingdom; the queen of the ant farm. In its portrayal of what we like to interpret as an innocent childhood desire, there is a foreshadowing of the adult’s more effectively disguised will to dominate, that draws us back to these moments of small conquest. Continue Reading

Impressions and Abstractions

Nida Home Doherty - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller

NIDA Harrison - Diarmit and Grainne's Rock - 16x16“Both artists present their love of drama and the fleeting beauty of nature captured through the play of light on the landscape.”

Late November. Grey days. Early nights. The land seems it have lost its colour.

How welcome the viewing of the abstract landscape paintings of Kim Harrison and Carol Finkbeiner Thomas currently showing at the Westland Gallery in Old South. Together the artists present some 50 paintings creating a room full of light and warm and bright colours. Medium and light cadmium yellow, light rose and violet, shades of cadmium green, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, and patches of white immediately greet the eye.

Stand still amongst the paintings for a moment and you sense the ephemeralness of nature captured here, through abstracted landscape form. The work engages the viewer as you readily discern voluptuous and wispy clouds pierced with sunlight, fields and pathways of light and shadow, the rising mist in the morning, hazy evening sunsets, the distant and near horizons, the coming rain storm — fleeting romantic and rapturous moments of nature’s beauty; atmospheric moments that change instantly, sometimes dramatically, in a second. Continue Reading

The City We Build as a Conscious Form of Art

Vince Cherniak - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller


Derek McLarty, Kingsmills The Front Doors, Oil, 24x36

Derek McLarty, Kingsmills The Front Doors, Oil, 24×36

“Our institutional architecture, even at its worst, inevitably leaves indelible marks in long term memory.”

Unless one is fortunate enough to live in Paris or Rome, a daily traverse in a city might be visually underwhelming: most of the structures and streetscapes that compose the urban experience are not constructed with high architectural aesthetics in mind. The urban world tends to grow along perfunctory, utilitarian and pragmatic needs and budgets. What results is a built environment known as the vernacular: it has more in common with every day speech and dialogue than a high-minded lecture on ideas and ideals. Of course, that doesn’t occlude a deep influence from the urban vernacular on our psyche. “The city is a fact in nature, like a cave, a run of mackerel or an ant heap,” urban theorist Lewis Mumford wrote in The Culture of Cities. “But it is also a conscious work of art, and it holds within its communal framework many simpler and more personal forms of art. Mind takes form in the city; and in turn, urban forms condition mind.” This week, several new exhibitions around town explore those “simpler and more personal” expressions of the urban fabric conditioning our minds.

Urban is a show of new paintings and drawings by London artist Derek McLarty at Westland Gallery that puts a frame on the transitional nature of the urban environment with a focus on the variety of materials — stone, tile, concrete, steel and hardware employed through time and stylistic shifts in taste and design. As with Matt Tarini’s recent Liminal show at McIntosh, McLarty’s gaze often catches the transitional zones of the city: alleyways, subway platforms, under and over-passes, zones designed for passage rather than aesthetic perspective.

As one might expect with such subjects, there’s an egregious, off-putting proliferation of muted tones of gray and beige in this series, though it could be argued McLarty is merely capturing the anti-aesthetics of much of our urban infrastructure and utilitarian building principles. But his eye tends to capture something interesting at play in most of these works, be it a crinkled blind disrupting the orderly linearity of a modernist façade or the contrast between a banal air grate and the dazzle of sunlight screened behind a curtain.  

Elsewhere, McLarty expertly documents the various sheens of the surfaces of materials, the weathering, patina and stains borne through time in the paintings Spadina, Tiled Corner and Wall Drain. His technical prowess brings high realist detail to a café storefront in Daily Brew, andfully captures vintage copper handles in Kingsmill’s: The Front Doors.And yet, paradoxically, it’s some of the simpler forms and representations here — a rendering of the ubiquitous galvanized fence slicing through a snow-laden field (in February Dusk)— that lend true intrigue: it’s not so much a barrier or divide performing just another practical urban function, but an object of beauty in its own right.


Derek McLarty Urban at Westland Gallery until October 3

Artist talk: Sunday September 27 at 1 p.m.

Continue Reading

Realist Spectacle

Nida Home Doherty - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller


Eric Styler: The Spectacle at Sauble Falls, oil on canvas, 16"x20"

Eric Styler: The Spectacle at Sauble Falls, oil on canvas, 16″x20″

“The artist has captured a poignant youthful moment — the thrill-seeking desire of adolescence realized, that split-second act that results in a feeling of sublime intoxication.”

Sometimes in viewing an exhibition of art works, one piece stands out over all the rest, even without knowing anything about the artist or his or her true intention in making the art.

This is the experience I had when viewing the current four-person 1+1 = ONE show at the Westland Gallery in Old South.

The work by each of the four artists is quite diverse both in content and in approach.

Brian Dirks’s series of paintings of acrylic on linen feature a number of vibrant abstracted landscapes in a dazzling interplay of light and colour, with titles connected to local places. The absorbing quality of acrylic paint into the linen creates an arresting and sensual pastel effect.

This is in contrast to the heavy painterly technique of Bijan Ghalehpardaz who has applied multiple layers of dark and bright acrylic to the canvas and then vigorously etched into the surface using forceful slanted lines. The result is a series of dark and sullen landscapes carved out of the thickly layered acrylic. Continue Reading

Look At This: Slip & London Street Scenes @ Westland Gallery

Vince Cherniak - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller

VINCE Jenna Faye Powell Sinkers and WatchersSlip, a joint exhibit of recent works by Jill Price and Jenna Faye Powell continues at Westland Gallery until May 30. Both artists explore the up and down trials of contemporary life in visual metaphors of hills, crevasses and sink holes that appear in our physical and psychological landscapes. Price says in a statement that the hills depicted in her mixed-media sketches and paintings “symbolically visualize my journey as a maker and all the barriers, pitfalls, plateaus, challenges and little successes I encounter each day as an artist. The illustrated broken ladders, empty elevator shafts, ropes too short and stairs that go nowhere, symbolize the artistic explorations, efforts, employment and education that have seemed to fall short when reaching for higher heights within my field.”

Powell’s drawings of fantastical pits and crevasses that may lurk beneath our feet sits in nice complement here. Her visualized vortexes and quagmires are highly reminiscent of novelist Haruki Murakami’s obsession with the hidden well that may swallow us at any moment. Watch where you step. Continue Reading

Artists do Their Own Curating at The Westland

Vince Cherniak - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller

“We look forward to more of Jardine’s comic takes on landscape genre painting: could zombies be coming next?”

Vince CherniakWestland Gallery turns over curating duties to an array of local talent in their Artist’s Choice Exhibition, on display until March 28. Fifteen artists bring a variety of subjects in various media, from landscapes to cityscapes, with the odd alien spacecraft intrusion! The only request was that they choose one large and one smaller piece for submission. Continue Reading

Get Out Your Gallery-Hopping Shoes – The Season is Upon Us

Vince Cherniak - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller


Area galleries are now coming out of summer slumber, and we’ve got a plethora of exhibitions in London and area. Put on some comfortable shoes for some gallery hopping to a few of the noteworthy shows this month.

Greg Curnoe was fond of dropping text into most of his work, an influence from the comics and captioned books from his childhood. Now, Michael Gibson Gallery brings together many of his text-only watercolour and ink-stamped pieces, some on display for the first time, in Greg Curnoe “Text” 1961 – 1992, until September 27. Continue Reading

Painting Blackfriars Celebrates One of London’s Sweetest Neighbourhoods

Vince Cherniak - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller
COMMUNITY GARDENS by Amelia Husnik (oil on canvas)

Community Gardens by Amelia Husnik

If there is a heart to the city of London, its sweet spot, where would you put the dart on the map?

Dundas and Richmond? Well, these days, only if ya wanna score something. The Forks of the Thames? Despite the city’s efforts to glorify this confluence of our river’s tributaries with a clichéd water fountain . . . meh. And forget about what those media whores are saying and touting about Wortley Village as the best neighbourhood in the nation.

There is a special place in many hearts (including the dude who edits this mag and has lived there for more than half his life) for the neighbourhood that contains the oldest baseball field on the continent, and a fantastic historic bridge. This is a part of town drowned out in the great flood of 1937, but many of its heritage homes are still standing. It’s had several monikers over the years — Bridgetown, London West, Petersville (for Samuel Peters, an early developer, renowned for his Grosvenor Lodge residence on Western Road), Kensington — but the vox populi knows it today as Blackfriars. Bereft of commercial activity (but for one of the best bistros in town) it boasts plenty of century-plus old homes with fantastic gardens and towering trees. This is one golden, forgotten corner of the city, just a ten minute hoof over the river from downtown. Continue Reading