For Immediate release January 15, 2009
New Paintings - Landscapes
January 17 - February
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 .
"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)