In this special editorial, TOAF60 artists present art that engages with city, nature and land. While appreciating their approach to capturing cityscapes and natural landscapes, one cannot help but wonder: how do humans make sense of their surroundings and how do we cultivate relationships with them?
Making Textural Landscape
Samantha's work often investigates the parallels between grassland crops to textile patterns. "Lake Country" accentuates the texture through patches of colours and negative space created by the dark lines. While human minds often try to interpret pictures representationally, Samantha manipulates the canvas surface to render a landscape of paint and colour. Like how we can see each thread is woven into the textile, her painting also displays the traces of making. Each movement of pressing, scrapping and spreading is manifested on the canvas.
A Closer Scape
Kate prefers to capture the intimate view of storefronts in a city. "As an artist, I like to represent my own conflicted feelings while celebrating the beauty that is not found in a shiny skyscraper, but rather humble family businesses – not often beautiful, but always essential." While a perfect perspective is not necessary, Kate manifests every ordinary storefront with a unique essence. Strolling across Kate's collection of works, you can sense a homelike cityscape we are once familiar with.
Landscape as a Language
Combining night photography with spray paint, Pascal develops perspectives about industrial and urban landscapes while highlighting the aesthetic of the architectures. Landscapes can shape our identity. Pascal uses his lens to bring out the narratives of the neighbourhood or building in his work. Contrasting an old, 'vandalized' factory building with shiny modern towers side by side, Pascal asks about dualities regarding heritage and urban issues. "The recognition of my work allows it to play an active role in the urban landscape."
Panorama in Peace
Portraying abstract panoramas of nature, Nathalie's oil paintings exude a quiet and calm atmosphere. She uses a palette knife and thinned oil and occasionally adds India Ink to create vaporous, enigmatic, abstract vistas. In this piece, the colour and shading are carefully orchestrated to represent a landscape suggestively with a hint of orange. Is it by the shore of a boundless sea? Or is it on the summit of the continuous sierras? At once representational and abstract, Nathalie's landscape brings the viewer to a state of peace and self-exploration.
The Enchantment of Technique
Georges Robert (Trebor), "Colorist Study #8 Enchanted Forest – Étude colorist #8 Forest enchantée," Liquified Oil Paints and Acrylics , 2018, 72 x 56 x 4 cm
Born in Ottawa, Georges is a self-taught artist. His landscape art demonstrates his distinctive painting technique: combining oil and acrylic paints, adding mixed mediums and manipulating light and perspective to enrich artwork. His 'colourist art' views land as contoured, vibrantly coloured. Some might relate his work with stained glass, but Georges adds subtle texture and opacity in them, offering a special sense of weight and gravity to the scene. Like this work, Georges does not look for realism but how his approach can captivate a place.
These works are available at #TOAF60!
Get to know our 400+ participating artists, enjoy virtual events from July 2-11, and browse our curated collections! TOAF is proud to celebrate the legacy of Canada's longest-running contemporary art fair in a digital format on our 60th anniversary.