Saturday, 28 November 2015

What's Green on the Outside and Red on the Inside?

Watermelon, o/p, 24" x 24", Steven Rhude

 Painting for sale through the artist.

"Watermelon is a word that tells you what is wrong with the climate change debate.
For some libertarians, it is the insult that expresses what greenies and climate scientists are really up to. Behind all the acronyms and the jargon, they say, is a conspiracy to promote a nakedly political aim – anti-big business; anti-free market; pro-tax increases. In short, green on the outside but red on the inside."

- James Randerson

There is a power to still life painting that will always prevail - that is the way metaphor can energize a discourse with something a simple and apparently as innocent as a watermelon. I find it fascinating that certain colours have been applied to political issues (think flags). "Greens, reds, blues, pinks", the list will expand as our social views congeal.

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Circles of Rembrandt, Wolfville

Circles of Rembrandt, Wolfville, o/p, 24" x 50", Steven Rhude

 Painting for sale through the artist.

Inspired by the mysterious circles used by Rembrandt in his famous self portrait, the sun and moon in a Wolfville setting strikes me as a sensible place to start. When an artist co-opts the use of the circle, not only as an aesthetic, but a symbol in western art ranging from the social order to the heavens, Vasari's famous proverb comes to mind.

"...Pope Benedict IX of Treviso sent one of his courtiers into Tuscany to see what sort of man was Giotto, and of what kind his works, having designed to have some pictures made in S. Pietro. This courtier, coming in order to see Giotto and to hear what other masters there were in Florence excellent in painting and in mosaic, talked to many masters in Siena. Then, having received drawings from them, he came to Florence, and having gone into the shop of Giotto, who was working, declared to him the mind of the Pope and in what way it was proposed to make use of his labour, and at last asked him for some little drawing, to the end that he might send it to His Holiness.

 Giotto, who was most courteous, took a paper, and on that, with a brush dipped in red, holding his arm fast against his side in order to make a compass, with a turn of the hand he made a circle, so true in proportion and circumference that to behold it was a marvel. This done, he smiled and said to the courtier: "Here is your drawing." He, thinking he was being derided, said: "Am I to have no other drawing but this?" "'Tis enough and to spare," answered Giotto. "Send it, together with the others, and you will see if it will be recognized."

The envoy, seeing that he could get nothing else, left him, very ill-satisfied and doubting that he had been fooled. All the same, sending to the Pope the other drawings and the names of those who had made them, he also sent that of Giotto, relating the method that he had followed in making his circle without moving his arm and without compasses. Wherefore the Pope and many courtiers that were versed in the arts recognized by this how much Giotto surpassed in excellence all the other painters of his time. This matter having afterwards spread abroad, there was born from it the proverb that is still wont to be said to men of gross wits: "Tu sei più tondo che l' O di Giotto!"[Pg 79] ("Thou art rounder than Giotto's circle").

This proverb can be called beautiful not only from the occasion that gave it birth, but also for its significance, which consists in the double meaning; tondo being used, in Tuscany, both for the perfect shape of a circle and for slowness and grossness of understanding." [1] Vasari

[1]  Title: Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects Volume 1, Cimabue to Agnolo Gaddi Author: Giorgio Vasari Translator: Gaston du C. de Vere Release Date: May 5, 2008 [EBook #25326]

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS.

AGNS Installation View, Yarmouth NS

Installation photo of AGNS Yarmouth show "Capture".

Works from left to right:

 "Olympia with her Buoys", Steven Rhude,
 "Parade", Susan Garvey,
"Self Portrait", Richard Davis

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Friday, 13 November 2015

August Cod

August Cod, 51.5" x 39", oil on canvas, Steven Rhude


Recent commission.

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Realism at Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Susan Gibson, Parade
Susan Garvey, Parade

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia - Yarmouth  

Capture 2014: Nova Scotia Realism

Curated by: Tom Smart and Peter Dykhuis
In the diverse history of Nova Scotian art, there is a consistent tradition of artists working in the Realist mode. From ship portraitists, landscape painters, and still life and trompe-l’oeil artists, to Magic Realists and those who work from photographic and digital sources, this pluralistic tradition is a vital part of Nova Scotian cultural identity.
Initiated by Professional Living Artists of Nova Scotia and developed in partnership with the Dalhousie Art Gallery, Capture 2014 is curated by Tom Smart (in consultation with Peter Dykhuis, Director/Curator of the Dalhousie Art Gallery). Generous funding for curatorial research from the Robert Pope Foundation, with additional project support from the Craig Foundation, made it possible.
The works are organized into categories and genres based on the concept of “capturing” experience, place or ideas through modes of Realism.
Realism’s long, sometimes uneasy, relationship with contemporary artmaking practices has often seen its proponents at odds with current mainstream or academic modes and genres. Capture 2014: Nova Scotia Realism seeks to dispel common assumptions about the nature of Realist art by presenting recent work by artists who are pushing its boundaries. Above all, the exhibition questions received notions of the status and place of Realism in the contexts of current art practices and contemporary society.

Organized by the Dalhousie Art Gallery in association with Professional Living Artists of Nova Scotia (PLANS).

Curatorial research funded by the Robert Pope Foundation with project support from the Craig Foundation. 
Tour assistance provided by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

Alan Bateman
Douglas Boutilier
Malcolm Callaway
Anthony Clementi
Richard Davis
Tom Forrestall
Peter di Gesu
Susan Gibson
Christopher Gorey
Peter Gough
Adam Gunn
Paul Hannon
Ed Huner
Derrick Dale Johnson
Joy Snihur Wyatt Laking
Gord MacDonald
Roy Mandell
Katie Melanson
Yanina Movchan
Shelley Mitchell
Onni Nordman
Jayé Ouellette
Susan Paterson
Mary Reardon
Steven Rhude
Anna Syperek
Tom Ward
Ambera Wellmann