Force fields

I have been reading a book about Peter Doig, an artist I greatly admire.  The book is about his 2008 Show at the Tate Britain, and features many of his disquieting landscapes.  In the book, I spotted a painting that I had seen in person at the National Gallery in Ottawa.  This painting, Grand Rivere, is a dark and jungly landscape that suggests a mysterious narrative. It’s huge and gorgeous and slightly disconcerting, and held the whole wall of the museum room.  On the opposite wall was a large scale painting by another artist that I admire, Landon Mackenzie. This painting was also dark, a blue darkness with glowing highlights. 

I must have looked like a crazed puppy at a tennis court, as I scrambled across from one painting to the other, admiring the details in turn.  The paintings shared a darkness and a mystery, but situating them across from one another was brilliant as it created an artistic synergy in the room, a vertiable force field.  The paintings were superficially similar, but the differences were intriguing:

jungle vs. urban
paint rubbed away vs. addition of mixed media
nature vs. man-made
 

I love to read about art, but not as much as I enjoy exhibitions. Seeing paintings in person is always worthwhile, but seeing paintings in juxtaposition adds an unexpected dimension.

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2 thoughts on “Force fields

  1. Ahhh yes…. your gallery buddy for that trip remembers spending an inordinate amount of time between those two incredible paintings! But it was definately worth it! The photos don't do them justice.

  2. I agree, for one thing the paintings are huge and they also have a great depth of colour in reality.Hey, thanks for sticking around the gallery with me, I believe I bribed you with lunch or tea and pastries afterwards.

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