GAVIN LYNCH, MFA '12, For Janus, Solo Exhibition, Angell Gallery

ANGELL GALLERY is pleased to present GAVIN LYNCH: FOR JANUS, a solo exhibition of new works by a fresh, exciting voice in Canadian landscape painting. The exhibition will be featured in the west gallery from February 20 to March 21, 2015. An opening reception will be held on FridayFebruary 20, 6:00 to 9:00 PM. This is Lynch’s first solo exhibition at Angell since joining the gallery’s roster in the fall of 2014.

Ottawa-based artist Gavin Lynch is quickly becoming a key player in the new vision of landscape painting that is invigorating this archetypal Canadian genre. Like other contemporary painters engaged in this revitalization process — Kim Dorland, Steve Driscoll and Stanzie Tooth, for example — Lynch combines experiences of the great outdoors, in his case growing up in northern British Columbia, with a studio practice that privileges interpretation over verisimilitude. Employing a collage approach to the picture plane, Lynch resists pictorial and painterly continuity in favor of unexpected and often conflicting combinations of elements, some derived from memory, others from the artist’s imagination. Sharply delineated forms are juxtaposed with fluid areas, while highly stylized rocks and trees are painted in naturalistic colours. Wavering between material flatness and pictorial depth, luminosity and darkness, and abstraction and representation, these paintings exude an energizing tension that invites extended looking.

In the current body of work, Lynch invokes Janus, a Roman god with two symmetrical faces who sees both past and present, and who is associated with safe passages through space, new beginnings and endings. “Janus is a most suitable metaphor for the act of painting, a medium and process simultaneously concerned with both its past and future,” says Lynch. In this series pairs of near-mirror image landscapes reflect the past —— a trip through the Rocky Mountains — and the present, when these memories are reconfigured in the studio. Using the framework of symmetry, Lynch engages the viewer in an enticing perceptual act of comparison, an intriguing negotiation between similarity and difference, through time and space.

Gavin Lynch holds a BFA from Emily Carr University (2009) and a MFA from the University of Ottawa (2012). He is the recipient of awards and grants from various organizations, including the Canada Council for the Arts (2014), the Ontario Arts Council (2013) and the province of Ontario (2011). In 2014 Lynch was a finalist in the RBC Painting Competition, which was exhibited at the Musée des Beaux Arts.  His work has been exhibited across Canada, featured in Canadian Art magazine and is in various collections, including Simon Fraser University, TD Canada Trust and the City of Ottawa Permanent Collection. Lynch lives and works in Ottawa.