Reading Painters Eleven after seeing some pieces at RMG in Oshawa

Am loving the beautiful book I treated myself too, nothing like the feel of a new hardcover book in your hands with shiny pages and huge plates of artwork by the Painters Eleven!  Such a rich heritage we have in Canada.  Art With A Heart Inc.’s youth from their Youth Project are going on a field trip to see some of the works of these painters at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in a week.  It is an incredible show.  We sat amongst it at the Artscapes Workshop which we were at recently.  The work is huge and breathtaking in such a great space.  Thank you to the RMG for putting on such great shows with such importance.  I know a number of permanent pieces by this group are in the gallery’s ownership.

The Preface by Nowell in the book has some fabulous quotes and quotes another writer:  Denise Leclerc who is the author of The Crisis of Abstraction in Canada;the 1950′s.

I have to put them somewhere, so I am blogging them here…

In speaking about the Painters Eleven, Denise Leclerc concisely states that the personalities and quirks of each of the artists and “How they lived their lives…was their art.” (Preface xxxv)

“…even a modest understanding of an artist as a person illuminates that artist’s work.” (Preface xxxvi) showing us that the life, character,  and personality of the artist is as important to understand as just seeing their work, and without it, we likely loose a piece of what we would gain by having some insight into the way they looked at life in general.

“Yet abstract art, infinitely more than mere shapes and colours, is an amalgam of energy, power and rhythm, the components that fire this art’s ineffable energy.” (Preface xxxvi)  This was what we were trying to teach the youth this week past, how important it is to see beyond shapes, but to grasp the energy and spirit of a piece, the mood it creates, the response that it draws from your own person.

“…appreciating Abstract Expressionist Art begins with surrender, by allowing a painting to possess you. (I assume this means your senses) Once this occurs, you stop looking for symbols or messages or meanings and experience instead, rhythm, energy, power, grace.” (Preface xxxvi)

Can’t wait to read more and find out about these characters and creative wonders!

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