Duration: 15 September 2009 – 30 October 2009
Goldenrod - Peonies
We are pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by gallery artist Deon Venter, following on the solo exhibition entitled Missing – acclaimed as the highlight of the 2008 Toronto International Art Fair by peer galleries.
Goldenrod – Peonies
A suite of 27 small paintings
15 September - 30 October 2009
Opening Reception - 15 October
Venter's new work Goldenrod - Peonies is inspired by two poems of the same title by Mary Oliver, the Pulitzer Prize winning American poet.
In these poems, Oliver observes the fleeting and vicarious period of blossoming in nature, temporal yet spectacular, that ends in dried and withered flowers.
they bend as though it was natural and godly to bend,
they rise in a stiff sweetness,
in the pure peace of giving
one's gold away.
This vibrancy of youthful innocence is captured in Venter’s double portraits of eighteen young girls who vanished on the “Highway of Tears” – the road between Vancouver and Prince George.
In this series, imagery is obscured as much as revealed through scrapings and overlays of thick globules of paint. This is further fragmented by the technique of adding masked taping to the raw linen canvas, then removing it to expose the surface beneath – a method which Venter has made his own.
The unspeakable violence committed against these young victims is not explicit in Venter’s beautiful, sensitive paintings. Yet, as in the poems of Oliver, where the harshness of nature's reality is an underlying threat, the manner in which Venter applies and builds the paint also speaks of a subterranean tension.
With their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are