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Joseph Plaskett: Celebration

Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver
Sept 6, 2001 - Sept 19, 2001


Anenome, Amaryllis, (White), (2001),
oil on canvas

Now in his 80s, Canadian artist Joe Plaskett continues to draw and paint brilliantly. In the Spring of 2001, he received the Order of Canada for his excellence in the field of visual art. While embarking on a new series of still life paintings last year, Plaskett suddenly found himself focusing on the objects themselves, to the exclusion of foreground or background. This exhibit traces his creative journey as he explored the necessity of backgrounds, tables and other grounds.

As the work progressed, vases of flowers, bowls of fruit and pieces of china began shifting towards the edges of their frames, in some cases leaving behind painterly expanses of neither-ground-nor-object. His most recent paintings have an all-over patterning of repeated objects - leaves, black coffee cups and saucers, wine glasses - which are almost suspended in a whimsical sense of vertical space.

By making duplications of the oil paintings in pastels, and by copying pastel drawings as oil paintings, Plaskett adds another engaging note to the work.

© Mia Johnson