303 Gallery presents “Passport to Painting,” an exhibition of paintings by three artists from Vancouver: Rodney Graham, Shannon Oksanen and Derek Root. Each of these artists interrelates mannerisms that are historically characteristic of painting, such as portraiture, landscape painting, expressionism, and impressionism, and deals with them in a contemporary manner.
Rodney Graham, represented by 303 Gallery, will show new oil paintings that are inspired by the lore of expressionism. These new works relate to the artist’s earlier drawings and works on paper that use such source material as texts, book pages and records. In his earlier works on paper, these materials remained visible and were integrated with the artists mark making. In the new paintings, the source materials have been completely covered by expressionist gestures. However, these materials remain essential to the essence of the painting, lying beneath the surface as evidence of the artist’s inspiration and process.
Shannon Okasanen presents new portrait paintings. Oksanen has traditionally worked from a cinematic source, and in her new work her portraits are painted from snapshots the artist has taken of close friends over the years. Removed from a filmic source, these straight forward portraits imply a narrative of more personal moments. There will, however, be two exceptions in the appearance of portraits of Henry Moore and Peter O’Toole.
Derek Root’s paintings invoke the painterly practice of impressionism. They deal with the effects of light in paint, as well as images of marginal spaces. In this body of work he has painted the semi- industrial landscapes of the Frazer River in Richmond B.C. The artist is drawn to the immediacy and demands of a plein air practice – these paintings are completed in situ in a short period of time. Root’s work stems from the artist finding a need to mediate painting’s current relationship to photography as a source material, yet he counters this relationship by revisiting methods that seem to have been forgotten.