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 Back  Vignettes | Alberta | Nov/Dec/Jan 2010-2011

By Robin Laurence

HAROLD KLUNDER: NEW WORKS TrépanierBaer, Calgary, closes November 13 Among the recent paintings by this senior artist is a yellow circle on which is transposed a highly expressionistic self-portrait, like a mysterious continent adrift in a swirling sea of colour. For more than four decades, Klunder has pushed and pulled his gestural abstraction into some long, sombre semblance of figuration – and vice versa: he often embeds seemingly abstract works with psychologically complex heads that are both self and not-self. His energetic and heavily impasted art rejoices in colour, gesture and the history of painted form.

GUIDO MOLINARI: MASTER WORKS Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary, closes November 17 “There is no such thing as a colour,” Guido Molinari once asserted. “There are only colour harmonies.” This major exhibition by the late, great painter and educator surveys works from the 1950s and 60s. The founder-director of the avant-garde Galerie l'Actuelle in Montreal, Molinari began by experimenting with gestural abstraction and then went on to create more orderly arrangements of geometric black-on-white forms in the mid-1950s. During the 1960s, he created a significant body of vertical stripe paintings, which are featured here. The latter decades of his distinguished and eclectic career were directed toward the extended series known as Quantificateurs.

HENRI MATISSE: A CELEBRATION OF LIGHT AND LINE Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, closes February 13 Along with paintings, sculpture and drawings from the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art, this career-spanning exhibition focuses on Henri Matisse’s masterful prints, including etchings, lithographs, linocuts and woodcuts. The artist’s distinctively sinuous and sensuous line, his fondness for female figures, still lifes and interiors, and his penchant for serial imagery are all revealed, as we are reminded that Matisse remains not only a brilliant painter but also a great graphic artist.

SILENT AS GLUE Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, November 20-January 9 This three-person show, curated by artist Micah Lexier, borrows its title from the Bill Callahan song, “Night”. Lexier brings together the playful and unexpected sculptures of Lynda Gammon, Matt Harle and Elspeth Pratt, whose deep awareness of art history informs a contemporry exploration of means and materials. “I have known and admired each of these artists for a long time,” Lexier writes in the exhibition catalogue, “and have always felt that there was a powerful connection between how they brought objects into the world."
– Silent as Glue (AB), the artist is Elspeth Pratt

BRIAN ENO – 77 MILLION PAINTINGS Glenbow Museum, Calgary, January 4-March 20 Longtime fans of Brian Eno’s music will be delighted to know that he is also adept in multimedia, digital and “generative art" created using computer software algorithms. His immersive installation, 77 Million Paintings, creates what Eno calls “visual music” – a constantly evolving and endlessly recombinant play of sound, light, colour and image across a gallery full of flat screen TVs and monitors.


Harold Klunder,
The Speed of Sound (Self-Portrait) (2007-2010), oil on linen


Guido Molinari,
1958.01 (Multi-Blanc) (1958), aniline dye


Henri Matisse,
Marie-Jose in a Yellow Dress (III) (1950), color lift-ground aquatint © 2009 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Courtesy American Federation of Arts


Elspeth Pratt,
Confinement (2009), mixed media


Brian Eno,
77 Million Paintings (2009) © Lumen (London) Limited

 Wed, Nov 30, 2011