RECENT PAINTINGS was an exhibition of acrylics and gouaches by Barry Coombs in the North Gallery of Propeller Gallery in Toronto, Ontario. The exhibition took place from June 28 – July 2, 2017.
Coombs paintings combine a playful yet controlled spontaneity with a disciplined precision of execution. Everyday, prosaic subjects are reconsidered in a planar, geometric approach and reduced to fundamentals, giving a monumental quality to these still lifes and urbanscapes. His rigorous and deliberate approach to colour animates and enhances his subjects. There is an alchemy to his use of colour and form that is almost mathematical. Space recedes convincingly despite the flatness of the shapes.
Many Modernist traditions are apparent in his work, Cubism in particular. It recalls the aesthetic of the 1920’s German expressionist film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, as well as the jazz-influenced paintings of the American artist, Stuart Davis.