Landscape #133, Inside Passage (detail) (1994),
acrylic on canvas
This definitive exhibition of senior Canadian artist Norman Yates' acrylic paintings celebrates more than 45 years of work shown in Canada, the United States, England, Germany, France, Belgium and Japan. Yates' significant contribution to the development of the visual arts in Canada has been recognized through Canada Council Senior Arts Awards, a University of Alberta McCalla professorship, and collection by the National Gallery, Canada Council Art Bank and the Alberta Arts Foundation.
Yates' abstract and semi-abstract works reflect his lifelong quest to interpret Canada's natural environment. Counter-analytic in character, his most recent acrylic on canvas and paper paintings emphasize expressivity, dynamism and the charge of light that define motion, gesture, dancing, impulse, passion, rebellion and riot as "motus".
Now a resident of Victoria, BC, Yates' new work has been influenced by the changing light, weather, and surfaces of the dense and rugged West Coast. In his larger canvases, the viewer's eye is impelled through an ebbing and free-flowing movement of colour, energy and brilliant edges. In the smaller pieces on paper, Yates evokes a sense of mystery by balancing line and form with positive and negative space in a more reserved palette.
© Mia Johnson