April 18 – 29 |UP CLOSE | far away: Anastessia Bettas, Lisa Johnson and Jane Theodore
Opening Reception: Thursday April 19th, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Anastessia Bettas, Lisa Johnson and Jane Theodore share an abstracted inquiry into landscape through varying perspectives and media.
Bettas examines the topography of remote landscapes juxtaposed with urban sprawl and the loss of open space. She captures the energy and tension between these areas using grids to evoke maps, satellite images and the charting of imaginary territories. The grid patterns in her paintings recall micro and macro observations of forms found in architecture – internal structures and facades – and patterns found in aerial views from rural landscapes to urban development. By using an aerial perspective in her work, she removes herself from the ground level and observes the imagery from an elevated view which becomes a form of escapism from urban life.
Johnson’s work enquires into space and movement within the context of landscape painting. Her landscape abstractions evolve through an improvisational process, allowing fragments of experience, memories and emotions to emerge from the subconscious. Drawing inspiration from en plein air studies, her oil paintings weave geographic, corporeal, and abstract sensibilities through layers of atmospheric grounds and gestural mark-making. For Johnson, the act of painting is a poetic expression of the relationship between the artist and her beloved Canadian landscape
Theodore’s work is a spontaneous exploration of gesture, form and colour. The physical act of creating is an integral part of her process – the gestures, the addition and subtraction of colour, form and line. Compositions are revealed as layers are added and subtracted, forms appear and disappear, and the surface is scratched or scraped, exposing what lies beneath. Working on paper, panel and canvas, the paintings’ foundation is high-intensity colour, and invites an intuitive and visceral reaction.