George Boileau
Jim Reid
October 13 – November 13, 2011
opening reception: Thursday, October 13, from 7-10pm

Correlations are often made between our interest in landscape and the human psyche, the temporal aspects of nature being similar to the emotions of man. The act of representing landscape through art stems from the desire to tap into the elemental. Order & Chaos joins two distinct bodies of work by George Boileau and Jim Reid. These artists are testing the boundaries of landscape both literally and figuratively. Gregory Salzman wrote: “…landscapes are never apprehended all at once but via a compilation, aggregation and assimilation of multiple moments and details…The gaze does not meet with another gaze but is constantly deflected and distributed. This fact underlies landscape’s democratic ethos.” This idea of the act of viewing the landscape is at the crux of Order & Chaos. Through the use of composition, space and materials, these artists are playing with the way we physically view the landscape and in turn, the emotional response they engage.

Jim Reid has spent his career examining the Niagara Escarpment. Both the scene of his childhood and an amazing geological phenomenon in Southern Ontario; the Escarpment has proved to be an endless source of inspiration for Reid. In his previous series “Ferals” Reid painted feral apple trees. These compositions were framed more as portraits than landscapes, each one telling the story of trees gone back to nature. In Reid’s newest series featured in Order & Chaos, the artist has drawn back his gaze to the full forest. The results are paintings that look as though they are infinite. The artist uses the scale of his work to further engage the viewer. With paintings measuring more than ten feet wide, the viewer is engulfed in the work and consumed by the forest. Other works present an intimate viewing allowing a personal experience of the scene. Reid uses layering and patterning of trees to show complexity and ethereal qualities of the landscape. Reid’s process of painting en plein aire with acrylics mimics the physical qualities of the landscapes he represents. The act of his painting then adds to the effect of the constant growth and decay, the eternal cycle of the forest.

In contrast to Jim Reid’s lush and overflowing works are the minimalist sculptures of George Boileau. Boileau has always concerned himself with the double edge advantages and perils of progress. Coming from both an arts and engineering background, Boileau’s work is informed by relationships of form, structure and dynamics. In a past series “Fragments of Preservation” Boileau enclosed both real and simulated natural elements within rigid structures, to show our precarious relationship to nature with advancements in technology and development. In his new body of work Boileau is creating minimal surreal assemblage sculptures. Boileau is playing in iconographic visual elements in juxtaposition to one another. Each piece is presented on a ‘table top’ –a flat ground representing land the sculptural elements atop these surfaces tell ambiguous stories of the relationships or conflicts between nature, technology and man. The artist presents a neutral scenario and allows the viewer to imply the narrative.

Order & Chaos plays with the positioning of the viewer in two distinct views on the same theme. Intermixing these two solo exhibitions allows the viewer to compare and contrast the ever evolving definition of landscape as well as questioning ones own personal relationship with nature.

For information contact Stanzie Tooth at 416-487-8733; info@lonsdalegallery.com
410 Spadina Road, Toronto, Ontario, M5P 2W2,
Gallery Hours: Thursday – Sunday 11-5pm or by appointment.