ANGELL GALLERY is pleased to present GAVIN LYNCH: THE PRELUDE & THE RECLUSE, a two-part suite of recent landscape paintings by this Ottawa-based artist. The exhibition will be view in both the Main Gallery space and the Project Gallery, from February 5 to 27, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Friday, February 5, 7:00 to 9:00 PM.
Landscape painting is a Canadian staple, deeply rooted in this country’s artistic heritage, yet continually evolving through the efforts of exciting contemporary voices such as Gavin Lynch. Known for his modernist, collage-like approach, Lynch’s distinctive style is characterized by striking juxtapositions of hard and soft forms, naturalism and stylization, flatness and depth, luminosity and darkness, abstraction and representation, and mirror images.
The title of The Prelude & The Recluse comes from an unfinished poem by English Romantic poet, William Wordsworth, who, like Lynch, took nature as his subject. In this two-part show Lynch continues his investigation into visual and conceptual dualities, creating different but related bodies of landscape paintings on the subject Killarney Provincial Park, an early sketching location for the Group of Seven. This is new territory for the artist, whose previous landscapes came out of his northern British Columbia roots. In The Prelude, which acts as a mis-en-scene for The Recluse, Lynch presents large-scale formalist landscapes rich in interplay between areas of thick and thin paint, flatness and depth, monochrome and polychrome, and symmetry and asymmetry. Sites depicted are historically significant, but their narratives are held back. Generous use of gold paint in The Prelude’s monochromes endows them with a celebratory quality, as well as a reflectiveness that links them to The Recluse.
Installed in Angell Gallery’s Project Gallery, The Recluse features smaller paintings that treat the landscape of Killarney from its historical perspective, including events and figures that are often overlooked, along with personal travelogue style images. Placed on a plinth and facing a mirror, these narrative landscapes are only visible in the gallery through their reflections. Facing away from the viewer, in dialogue with their own reflections and embodied dualities (reversals, pictorial flipping, repetition), the paintings in The Recluse offer glimpses into the landscape’s stories, yet remain elusive, encouraging viewers to complete these narratives themselves.
Gavin Lynch holds a BFA from Emily Carr University (2009) and a MFA from the University of Ottawa (2012). He has received awards and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the province of Ontario. In 2014 Lynch was a finalist in the RBC Painting Competition, and he has been in exhibitions at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Montreal, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, SAW Gallery in Ottawa, Elissa Cristall Gallery in Vancouver and AXENÉO7 in Gatineau, Quebec. His work has featured in Canadian Art Magazine and is in the collections of Simon Fraser University, TD Canada Trust and the City of Ottawa. Lynch lives and works in Ottawa.