ALREADY SIGNED UP?
BUILD YOUR WEBSITE

 

Notice Board

SUBMIT View

Current notices

There are no notices at this time.

Today's notices

  • Call for Art – 12th Annual “Seascapes” Online Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
    View notice

  • 8th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 8th Annual Leaves & Petals art competition..
    View notice

  • Art Show:

    Location: Truro, NS

    Visual Voice Fine Art presents 'SUMMER' June 20- July 16, 2022. Open Monday, Wednesday,..
    View notice

  • Art instructors needed in Calgary

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Calling for Calgary based artists. Become our hosting artists to gain exposure, income..
    View notice

  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
    View notice

  • Old & New: A Solo Exhibit by Robert Crosby

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The paintings of Robert Crosby will be on display in the Joyner Gallery..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Asian Roots Trio”, a..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Meditation”, a solo show..
    View notice

  • Gallery Ring ARTISTS OF THE MONTH Contest

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring announces the ARTISTS OF THE MONTH contest. A RUBY, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD..
    View notice

  • “Summer” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2022

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Summer of the soul, summer thunder, summer wine, summer fling, summer..
    View notice

  • John Lennard - Exhibition opening June 17, 2022

    Location: Haliburton, ON

    John Lennard is known for his vivid landscape paintings. A serene summer sunset,..
    View notice

  • Exhibition: Common Ground

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this exhibition, Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Robin Gleason and Mark Johnsen explore the layers..
    View notice

  • New Edition – online art exhibition

    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Applications are now open for our online exhibition “New Edition”- an investigation into..
    View notice

  • Beacon Original Art Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic, glass, jewelry and textile artists are encouraged to APPLY..
    View notice

  • Landscape Reflections: Solo Exhibit by Marilyn Cochrane

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The Niagara-on-the-Lake artist, Marilyn Cochrane, celebrates the natural world in a more encompassing..
    View notice

  • Repair Landmark

    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Hello, Looking for a skilled artisan able to repair our farming community's landmark. ..
    View notice

  • Call for artworks: Canada-China-Australia exchange

    Location: ,

    Led by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Sino-Canada Alliance..
    View notice

  • STILL WITH US: Floyd Kuptana at Gallery Arcturus

    Location: Toronto, ON

    STILL WITH US: Celebrating the artist Floyd Kuptana, 1964 -2021. Works in stone, paint,..
    View notice

  • Looking for hosting artists, Calgary based

    Location: Calgary, AB

    If you are a Calgary-based artist who is interested to gain exposure to..
    View notice

  • Commonwealth Artists' Prize

    Location: ,

    In Brief We are calling for entries from artists who are: 1) A..
    View notice

  • Check Jooble for Art related Jobs

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Looking for a job in the ARTS in Canada? We have thousands of..
    View notice

Gary Spearin: Name Paintings

By Gil McElroy March 1, 2004

} Gary Spearin: Name Paintings by Gil McElroy September 11 - November 9, 2003 The Robert McLaughlin Gallery Oshawa, Ontario, Canada The childhood game of laying on the ground and looking for the shapes of familiar things (animals, people, etc.) in cloud formations comes in adult sizes. We are, after all, the species best able to hear the signal amidst the noise, to discern pattern in what might otherwise seem random and incoherent. In the visual arts, our approach toward abstraction perhaps best exemplifies the craving we have to find (or even create) something representational where it is not. Maybe it’s a genetic thing. Gary Spearin, Big Name, 2003,oil on canvas, 180 x 150 cm. Whether or not we’re hardwired to see this way, Gary Spearin has made the representational urge central to the abstract paintings of his Name Paintings. The exhibition title refers to Spearin’s conceit of resisting the idea of titling abstract paintings “untitled” —what he calls “the post-1950 convention” — and instead using the word “name” within the title of every work. The result is paintings called Big Name, Name?, Left Unnamed, etc. Beyond a titular denial of what has come to be a convention of abstraction, Spearin’s very markmaking is a rejection of the spontaneous and gestural kind of painterly activity that have become hallmarks of abstraction courtesy the historical pre-eminence given Action Painting. Spearin’s work is, instead, intentional and deliberate — qualities we associate, like it or not, with representation. Gary Spearin, Being Your Name, 2003,oil on canvas, 75 x 75 cm. All this by way of saying that we come to Spearin’s paintings with representational expectations. How do you spell that name? (2002) is one of the larger pieces in this exhibition, a work primarily composed of a large painterly mass of intertwined red lines that is no amalgam of abstract swipes and daubs, but rather a composite of carefully and individually delineated markings. Spearin laboriously painted each one, creating something representationally akin to, say, a disordered pile of yarn, a mass of worms (like the “red wigglers” of WKRP in Cincinnati notoriety), or perhaps even something more personally biological, like the lengthy mass of our lower intestines squashed into a compact area. This large and intentional gathering of shapes is disrupted by, and juxtaposed with, an area of truly abstraction intentions. Here, Spearin vertically smears and combs a section of canvas, blurring the colors of his palette into fuzzy bands of reds, pinks and whites of non-representational intentions. This tug of war between abstraction and representation is enhanced by other smeared and combed areas that are worked in behind Spearin’s red wigglers — an effect that optically adds loads of depth to the canvas. In Image Name (2002), Spearin has reduced the number of red wigglers to three small and lonely strands that extend into the central part of the canvas from three edges. The work is otherwise engulfed by the abstraction of a large combed and smeared area, its blurry bands of paint blending from black at its fringes to narrow filaments of yellow in the middle that make for plaintive echoes of the lively intertwining red shapes of other works. Gary Spearin, Image Name, 2002,oil on canvas, 180x 125 cm. With Being Your Name (2003), Spearin digs further into the possibilities of the representational/abstract dichotomy. Here, set in isolation from one another, six small red wigglers lay scattered across the canvas, each situated within painterly whorls of light colors that are set against a background of vertical lines of candystripe reds, blues and pinks that ascend and descend the canvas in long continuous loops. Gary Spearin’s arguments with abstraction boil down to the deceptively difficult question, “what’s in a name?” The give-and-take dynamic between abstract and representational in his paintings affords some fresh lines of aesthetic enquiry, and if names are named in the process, so much the better. This review originally appeared in Art Papers Magazine, January/February 2004. ___________________________________________ Gil McElroy is a critic, independent curator, artist, and poet currently living in Colborne, Ontario. His latest books are Gravity & Grace: Selected Writing on Contemporary Canadian Art (Gaspereau Press), and a book of poetry, Dream Pool Essays (Talonbooks). View Gil's curriculum vitae.

Notice Board

SUBMIT View

Current notices

There are no notices at this time.

Today's notices

  • Call for Art – 12th Annual “Seascapes” Online Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
    View notice

  • 8th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 8th Annual Leaves & Petals art competition..
    View notice

  • Art Show:

    Location: Truro, NS

    Visual Voice Fine Art presents 'SUMMER' June 20- July 16, 2022. Open Monday, Wednesday,..
    View notice

  • Art instructors needed in Calgary

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Calling for Calgary based artists. Become our hosting artists to gain exposure, income..
    View notice

  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
    View notice

  • Old & New: A Solo Exhibit by Robert Crosby

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The paintings of Robert Crosby will be on display in the Joyner Gallery..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Asian Roots Trio”, a..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Meditation”, a solo show..
    View notice

  • Gallery Ring ARTISTS OF THE MONTH Contest

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring announces the ARTISTS OF THE MONTH contest. A RUBY, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD..
    View notice

  • “Summer” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2022

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Summer of the soul, summer thunder, summer wine, summer fling, summer..
    View notice

  • John Lennard - Exhibition opening June 17, 2022

    Location: Haliburton, ON

    John Lennard is known for his vivid landscape paintings. A serene summer sunset,..
    View notice

  • Exhibition: Common Ground

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this exhibition, Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Robin Gleason and Mark Johnsen explore the layers..
    View notice

  • New Edition – online art exhibition

    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Applications are now open for our online exhibition “New Edition”- an investigation into..
    View notice

  • Beacon Original Art Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic, glass, jewelry and textile artists are encouraged to APPLY..
    View notice

  • Landscape Reflections: Solo Exhibit by Marilyn Cochrane

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The Niagara-on-the-Lake artist, Marilyn Cochrane, celebrates the natural world in a more encompassing..
    View notice

  • Repair Landmark

    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Hello, Looking for a skilled artisan able to repair our farming community's landmark. ..
    View notice

  • Call for artworks: Canada-China-Australia exchange

    Location: ,

    Led by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Sino-Canada Alliance..
    View notice

  • STILL WITH US: Floyd Kuptana at Gallery Arcturus

    Location: Toronto, ON

    STILL WITH US: Celebrating the artist Floyd Kuptana, 1964 -2021. Works in stone, paint,..
    View notice

  • Looking for hosting artists, Calgary based

    Location: Calgary, AB

    If you are a Calgary-based artist who is interested to gain exposure to..
    View notice

  • Commonwealth Artists' Prize

    Location: ,

    In Brief We are calling for entries from artists who are: 1) A..
    View notice

  • Check Jooble for Art related Jobs

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Looking for a job in the ARTS in Canada? We have thousands of..
    View notice

ALREADY SIGNED UP?
BUILD YOUR WEBSITE