News Archive

For Immediate release January 15, 2009

Gerald Ferguson
New Paintings - Landscapes
January 17 - February 14, 2009

Opening: Saturday, January 17
Artist Present, 3 - 5pm

Two Trees, 2008, enamel on canvas, 48" x 55"

Ferguson ’s last exhibition of paintings marked the end of the substantial Frottage body of work that spanned a 15 year period. This new work marks the beginning of a new chapter in Ferguson’s career.

Ferguson became temporarily one-armed in the fall of 2007 after sustaining an injury in a car accident. He knew he had to do something in the studio even if it was one handed. Turning around an unfortunate situation, Ferguson produced a highly successful body of work, this time referring to landscape painting.

He started by doing spare drawings in felt pen, followed by small paintings in the range of 20” x 20”, then moved up the scale to 48” x 48” and 48” x 55”. He states:

“Trained as a conventional painter I remember how much fun it was doing landscape demonstrations when I taught Intro Painting. But making conventional landscapes with the body of work I have done over the last forty years was out of the question”…

“As part of an anti Romantic polemic, I used hardware store materials such as stencils, spray cans, rollers and commercial black paint – all on unprimed canvas. For the past 15 years I have been doing frottage paintings passing a roller with black paint over a canvas with all manner of common materials, such as garden hose, clothes line and drain covers under the canvas and recording their image on the surface. The question was could I do a landscape in this context even if it was one handed with a roller? I knew I wanted subject matter that was reminiscent of this part of the world with rocks, craggy coast lines, water, stunted trees and bushes. Using my familiar unprimed canvas, a roller and black paint I began.”…

“With various adjustments and making different size rollers, I began to find a way of working. No nonsense landscapes are what I was looking for. It was cold and I certainly was not going outside and make drawings. Instead I chose to be synthetic, referring to reproductions of paintings and drawings of Nova Scotia or similar environs.”

Ferguson’s full description’s is posted here.

"Gerald Ferguson has been working diligently and brilliantly, for the last 40 years, making paintings that lie - in their method, if not in their effect - at some carefully controlled distance from anything you'd normally think of as betraying personal expressiveness. Though he would probably dispute it, the Halifax-based veteran artist is a born painter, right down to his fingertips." (Gary Michael Dault, The Globe and Mail, Detritus of the gods, January 26, 2008)