MAIN SPACE EXHIBITION
APRIL 8 – MAY 1, 1993
RECEPTION: FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 1993 AT 8 PM
LOCATION – STRIDE GALLERY
722, 11 AVE S.W, CALGARY, ALBERTA
The recent body of paintings I have completed proposes a pictorial presentation of the complexity of perception. The works blanket a range of contradictory material and attempt to make visible the transient nature of meaning. I have tried to incorporate a sense of oscillation between the flux and stasis of meaning by literally presenting images, color, and light in a flickering and hence dynamic state of intelligibility.
By playing an aesthetic of romantic melancholy against a sense of the slick and iconir, the work speaks through a kind of babble, reminiscent of Beaudelaire’s “Word Between Words,” which serves to collapse this dialectic. While the paintings appear simply to be traces or records of some thing, as does Royagraph, they are at the same time riddled with a complexity of self-conscious references to painting itself, the slippery element of this dilemma being the core of my own project.
Because our everyday experience is intensely mediated, there is a kind of “repressive desublimation” (Marcuse) in which a sense of interiority is smothered by the stifling effects of socially dominant and media-generated images. Introspection and self-reflexivity are both a casualty and a price for participating in the false security of the “ordered” world of a seamless television landscape and coded lifestyles. In the shadow is this erosion of self and subsequent alienation from identity, painting provides a way to recover a sense of the self through that Kuspit calls “the peculiar potential of painting,” realized through “its simultaneous appeal to intimate touching and detached seeing.”
The paintings I make are about articulating this spacing; about allowing for an airy trellis of meaning in which a somber, nearly elegiacal sense of loss in the work alternately dilates and contracts with a sense of optimismÉa kind of graceful flight with broken, leaden wings.
– Brad Todd, 1992