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David Kaarsemaker- THICKETS AND VISTAS

David Kaarsemaker
June 14 - July 3, 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018 5 - 8 pm

Artist Statement

My work addresses the limitations of spatial illusion in painting. I create an experience of depth that doesn't take for granted the transparency of the picture plane, but rather engages in visual dialogue with it.

“Thickets and Vistas” was created in response to my experiences of moving through space while hiking, specifically the contrast between looking down and looking ahead. I combine the abstracted tangle of light and texture of moving water and overgrown grasses with the depth of space-filled vistas. These different perspectives have metaphorical associations with the myths of objectivism and subjectivism and I wanted to investigate personal and societal biases in favor of objectivism by creating a visual space that existed between the near and the far. This visual push and pull is created through a circular painting process: thickly applied under-paintings are the source material for 3d models, which become the source for the depicted spaces within the painting. The under-paintings re-emerge when I sand down the surface between layers of glazing, revealing the ridges of these brush-strokes and creating a tension between the perception of surface and depth.

“Thickets an Vistas” contains references to the world landscape paintings of the 15^thcentury in which overhead views of imaginary landscapes extend behind the picture plane into an ethereal blue of distance. This extension of deep space in painting corresponds with an increasing separation between subject and object in Western thought more generally. 400 years later, Modernism, among other things, reminded us that the surface of painting was not a window, but a physical presence. In this body of work, I set out to create paintings that both draw you in to an image and push you back to a surface while forming a new visual experience in the interplay between the optic and the tactile.


David Kaarsemaker, born in Chicago, was raised in various parts of B.C and Burkina Faso, obtained a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from the University of Ottawa. He was selected as a finalist in the 2017 RBC Painting Competition. His work is held in the collections of the City of St John’s, the City of Ottawa, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Newfoundland Provincial Art Bank, and The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery.


SATURDAY 10-5:30

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293 Dalhousie, Suite 103
Ottawa, ON K1N 7E5


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