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Fire and Cairns II
Arnold Shives, Fire and Cairns II (2002), watercolour monotype [Ballard Lederer Gallery, Vancouver BC, through Jun 12]

Arnold Shives: “Young and Green”

Ballard Lederer Gallery
Vancouver, BC, through Jun 12

Fans and collectors of the work of Canadian artist Arnold Shives will be pleased at the opportunity to see a new series of Shives' paintings, as well as a collection of 12 original prints published in the format of an artist's book.

Best known for his skill as a master printmaker, Shives typically has fixed on landscapes around British Columbia, where he was born in 1943. Howe Sound, Manning Park, the Kettle River area and Upper Lynn Creek near his home in North Vancouver are among the regions whose shapes and wilderness he has captured. His style is recognizable by his simple abstractions of landscape forms or dense forest interiors in thinly-applied watercolours or washes of oil paint. Pale and almost naive in nature, with a tentative application of line and detail, his work conveys a strong sense of spiritualism.

Although his paintings have been as small as 11 by 15 inches, the new series includes some larger-scale oil paintings with imagery related to mountains and waterfalls, as well as work in other media. The show's focus is on Shives' ongoing ecological concerns as well as his reflections on fatherhood and the changing times in which we live.

Shives received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute during the 1960s and an MA in painting from Stanford University with the support of a Carnegie Fellowship from New York. Since returning home to Canada, he has been the recipient of numerous awards. As a senior artist, he is well-represented in Canadian public collections and in more than sixty corporate collections.

© Mia Johnson


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