Group of Seven – Robert Bateman – Todd White
Art is subjective. A communication from one person to another, but so much of what is said depends on the listening. The piece of art has a message, it’s obvious the artist had something to communicate, but the interpretation of the viewer completes the conversation. An idea, a thought presented to you, and then you get to have your say. Sometimes it’s as simple as you like it or you don’t. It’s easy to know when you don’t, you simply walk on by, but when you find a work of art you like… it can stop you in your tracks. It speaks to you.
New Group of Seven Reproductions – Nearly Identical to the Originals
When the newest reproductions of the Group of Seven came through the door the other day, I did a double take. A few select copies of Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, J.E.H. MacDonald, and Tom Thompson went through a duplication process I’d never seen before. Actual molds were made of the original paintings surfaces capturing the peaks and valleys of brush strokes themselves. Aside from hand embellished reproductions I’d never seen anything that captured the original painting so faithfully. It’s probably illegal to touch a Lawren Harris, however, at this price point you could. The Tom Thompson’s look like they came off his travel easel in Algonquin Park last week. It’s like standing over A.Y. Jackson’s shoulder, I felt like I saw what he was capturing. The magic J.E.H. MacDonald captured in his landscapes is right there to see. The essence and spirit that have made the Group of Seven world renowned has been truly and faithfully represented. These recreations are as close to the originals as you’re ever liable to get.
Robert Bateman – Window Into Ontario
We framed up a Museum Edition canvas of Robert Bateman’s “Window into Ontario” the other week. We started getting snow here at the shop the other day and I welcomed it, because this piece primed me for the beauty. I’ve never been to the place Bateman based this work on and yet we all have. It might be the 36” X 72” size of the piece that catches the grandeur and scale of winters panorama. Though the lighting and masterful depiction and placement of the subject is the reason we printed them in a large and small format. The late afternoon sun over the fresh snow and the split rail cedar fence is a timeless moment. I’ve always been partial to Bateman’s abstract and primary composition structures. Stand close and there are the fine details of the branches and Blue Jay, the texture of the maple trees bark and the grooves in the cedar fence, but stand back and the primary colour and shapes of the piece suggest broad stroke minimalist abstracts. Bateman utilizes collective memory and seasonal archetypes to spin this wonderous narrative of nature’s splendor that reaches past idle thought and sparks heart and memory to come alive.
New Todd White Giclees
Now Todd White’s art strays away from the purity of a fresh driven snow, but many were driven to check out his shows in Toronto and the U.K. this past year. You can see all of Todd’s adventures here, The U.K. shows coincided with White’s fall release of his The Devil You Know collection. Cocktail hour, women, and vice. All very tongue in cheek. Charles Laughton’s line in 1960’s Spartacus playing the Roman Senator Gracchus comes to mind. “Since when are women a vice?” White plays well with entendre and subtext. I managed to get to talk to Todd this summer before his Show at Liss Gallery in Toronto and he gave me a sneak peak of titles he’s been stewing on. His process and work usually stems from the titles first, which is extraordinary to me. Turns of phrase, idioms, and sayings evoke people, memories and scenes. A prolific gladiator of art, Todd White’s “Spirit State” may be one of his most personal pieces, communicating the dignified and respectable ferocity life demands to succeed and to make it to the next level.
Todd White – Same Hell Different Devils
Art – It’s in you to give
Of all the species in our vast and diverse world, humanity may be the most privileged to able to communicate to each other in so many ways. Our connection to each other is so foundational that we as a species continue to look for new ways to communicate. From cave drawings to writing on each others Facebook walls, sharing who we are in the attempt to be understood drives us all. How elegant and powerful art then becomes. Countless hours to produce an image that can communicate volumes in an instant, then reveal more as we sit with it and see what else is there in the details and nuance. The expression of movement in a frozen moment. Whether a landscape from a hundred years ago or a glance at the bar tonight, it’s all we need to fill in the details of our shared experience, to share in the conversation, to understand each other and connect.
Group of Seven – Robert Bateman – Todd White