Steve Mennie, John A.K.A. Herald (1999),
acrylic on canvas
Photo-realist painter Steve Mennie has been a consistent exhibitor in British Columbia since the early 1980s. Whether the subjects of his penetrating studies are parking lots, coal cars or Adirondack porch furniture, Mennie's signature style frequently embraces difficult viewpoints and perspectives.
Mennie uses either oils or acrylics on canvas to capture sharp planes of light and dark. He manages to simultaneously imbue foliage, pavement and architecture with solidity and transparency. In this new series, the "Spawn" paintings have singular beauty. The micro views are meticulously rendered. Tide marks in the sand and beach pebbles beg to be touched for their textures. In fact, the paintings in this show have gained in presence as they have become less objective.
In part this results from his shift from a wide-angle view to a micro inspection. As the eye moves closer, the content takes on a more abstract guise which reveals Mennie's love of the substance of paint itself.
© Mia Johnson