June 14– July 28, 2013
& Artist Talk: Friday, June 21st at 7pm
The (new and recent) works in “Modern Oak” continue a larger body of work that plays directly on the landscape idiom, and attempts to redefine human culture within the context of nature. Generally, these works examine or explore the ways in which the history and conventions of the Landscape tradition in Canada have shaped our perceptions of the natural world.
This new body of work began in 2005 with the installation piece - “Brush (the land paints a picture of itself)” - where I set up a canvas on the Niagara Escarpment, near my home in Hamilton and struggled to paint a landscape, using a 12-foot cedar tree as my paintbrush. “Brush” humourously subverts the epic/heroic notions that are so central to the ‘plein-air’ tradition – placing nature back in a more central position in the artistic process – and reducing the stature of the artist at the same time. By doing this, the work can be understood as an invocation of a more critical reevaluation of the nature/culture dichotomy.
The works in “Modern Oak” represent my own response (with contemporary themes, concerns, materials and approaches) to the same Canadian landscape that has historically inspired innumerable artists. They are intended to be a (timely) investigation of the relationship Canadian culture has with its own Art history and to the land that continues to define it.
Simon Frank is a Hamilton based multidisciplinary artist and recipient of the 2013 Hamilton Arts Award for Visual Arts. Be sure to also enjoy Frank’s other Grimsby installation, Naturivia, a collaborative installation by Frank and Tor Lukasic-Foss installed in fall 2012 along the 40 Mile Creek Trail.