Susanna Heller from New York present compelling works about drawing and painting, abstraction and architecture at the Oakville Galleries through June 5. Heller joins Ben Reeves' Drawing Painting exhibition already on display.
“I never learned so much about blue until after 9/11. It was so hard to work on capturing the perfect deep blue sky from the fall of 2001... You’re painting the oppressiveness... You’re painting deep space.” -- Susanna Heller
In 1998, New York-based Susanna Heller had a year-long studio residency inside the World Trade Center on the 91st floor and she created a series of works from that spectacular vantage point. In the days after 9/11, Heller returned to that site to begin a process of drawing and documentation which led to a new series of paintings — this time about absence, fragility and destruction. Oakville Galleries has recently acquired Heller’s Ghost Tower for the permanent collection and this colossal painting will be premiered in this exhibition, together with eight other notable works on loan from very generous collectors.
“Drawing is both a verb and a noun. It is at once an act of research and a report of its findings. It is a trail and an exploration.” -- Ben Reeves
With Drawing Painting, Ben Reeves explores representation and image-making, by doing as this exhibition title suggests — by literally making drawings of paintings. Reeves performs meticulous charcoal and pencil renderings of the physical surface of painted images, showing every detailed brushstroke with a maze of contour lines. In particular, this exhibition highlights depictions of famous works by Pieter Bruegel and Tom Thomson. These layers upon layers of finely detailed drawings raise questions about images and their relationship to reality, opening discussions about translation, art history and the very act of art-making itself.