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Wilf Perreault: "From Dusk Till Dawn"

Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver
Nov 3, 2000 - Nov 25, 2000


Misty Night (2000),
acrylic on canvas

The source for all of Perreault's images, past and present, are photographs that he has taken of the back lanes of Regina, a place where he has lived for much of his life (although there are included in this exhibition several street scenes located in Vancouver). They are accustomed places to him and perhaps to us as well: frequently snow-covered or rain-puddled or dappled with light filtering through the leaves of the trees that line these alleyways, they depict a generally unremarkable and un-noted aspect of typical Canadian urban life. In this new body of work, From Dusk Till Dawn, some very dramatic and significant leaps beyond Perreault's signature style and approach have been made. Here, dark blues and the deepest of purples replace the crystalline clarity of intense daylight. Nonetheless, light fills these images, whether it is the soft glow of the moon or the the hot, almost neon oranges of warm domestic light being cast from window to snow, from within to without. Painting darkness instead of light of course presents its own challenges, and Perreault has been particularly persuasive in this quest. These mysterious images of familiar places are ultimately not just explorations of nocturnal light but more nocturnes - dreamy, pensive mediations on the quiet ways we go about our lives, on the temporality and transitoriness of our actions.

© Mia Johnson