News Archive

For immediate release: May 6, 2011

Martin Pearce
New Paintings and Drawings
North Gallery and Project Room
May 7 – 28, 2011

Opening Reception: May 7, Artist Present 2-5pm

Forgetting Remembering
, 2010, oil and grease pencil on canvas, 76” X 54”

We are pleased to announce that the Wynick/Tuck Gallery is now representing the work of Martin Pearce. His first solo exhibition at the gallery, of new paintings and drawings, opens May 7, 2-5pm. The artist will be in attendance.

Pearce has exhibited widely in Canada and abroad at public and private galleries and has work included in many collections including; The MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph, Ontario; University of Toronto Art Centre; Sun Life Assurance of Canada, Montreal and Toronto; Osler Hoskin & Harcourt Collection, Toronto.

Pearce says of his new paintings and drawings;

“Drawing has always been where work starts for me, and where it is closest to thinking.

---The precursors to these large paintings were two small drawings, made from photographs of houses under construction. The drawings were of the beams and rafters forming the structure of the roof. There was a repeating pattern of presence and absence of light in the drawings, (and in the photographs). I began drawing these out onto large canvases. Because I had used an oil and wax ground, I had to switch from a regular pencil to a grease pencil, or china marker. In the drawings form is made visible by the accumulation of marks, not by things having “an edge”. That’s what I wanted in the paintings ---that figure could be realised slowly from many marks, and it could be erased – just as it could in drawing.

The marks in the paintings soon didn’t correspond to the pattern of marks in roof beams. This work is not concerned with representation, but rather, as I’ve said, with a consideration of a process. How does that manifest itself? What’s the meaning of that in the context of the paintings?

The drawing marks in the paintings essentially correspond to loose grids. The drawings are erased, (inevitably leaving traces), and the grids are re-imposed. Colour is mostly behind the white or off-white oil/wax ground. I am interested in experimenting with colour in this work, but need to put down the predominately white ground before drawing each time so that the marks are visible.

As Emma Dexter put in her essay in Vitamin D, “[drawing] is a locus for signs by which we map the physical world, but it is itself the pre-eminent sign of being. Therefore, drawing is not a window on the world, but a device for understanding our place within the universe”. That feels right to me. These paintings are not images of the world as my drawings are, but a kind of record of the experience of making.

Pearce’s paintings will be included in two public gallery exhibitions in the near future:

The Point Is curated by Liz Wylie is an exhibition of five painters organized for the Kelowna Art Gallery. It will open August 20 and continues through October 30, 2011. A catalogue for the exhibition will be published.

Four of the paintings from the Wynick/Tuck Gallery show will be included the Kelowna Art Gallery exhibition. The following is a quote from Wylie’s essay for the catalogue;

“Pearce’s recent paintings began with the alternating light-and-dark pattern formed by the beams and the sky in images of houses under construction. This seemed a basic and simple enough starting point: the binary relationship established between dark and light, one of the building blocks of vision. Moving these into the structure of a grid, in 2010 Pearce began the body of work from which the paintings in this show have been selected. He muscles in some areas of colour into the paintings from time to time, but only in a restrained and quiet manner. When described in this way, it is hard to imagine that these paintings would engender intense emotional or gripping experiences, but, in fact, Pearce is able to wrest quite a wallop of impact from his modest and reduced means. He is able to achieve the finest and richest surfaces, and at the same time, implies a subtle, fluctuating spatial depth as well. Each work has its own unique emotional tenor and tone. In some works the initial drawing of the grids is still quite apparent, in others it has been completely subsumed by the processes that have been worked upon the painting. We might be reminded of Leonardo da Vinci’s advice to look at the random stains on a wall for compositional inspiration. It is surprising what can be wrought from what seem like minimal means. And, again, in Pearce’s case, the paintings exist in a zone in which abstraction and representation strangely co-exist. Ultimately, one must simply let oneself go in front of these works, and enter into them, as into worlds, tracking, as our eye explores, the measure and pitch of our inner responses.”

Independent curator and writer Robert Enright will be selecting two large paintings to be included in the KWAG Biennial, Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, June15 to September 5, 2011.