Lot # 050
Spring 2012 - 1st Session Live auction

Gordon Appelbe Smith
BCSFA CGP CPE OC RCA 1919 - Canadian

Barkley Sound II
acrylic on canvas
signed and on verso signed, titled and dated 1989
50 1/4 x 67 in  127.6 x 170.2cm

Provenance:
Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver
Private Collection, Toronto

Literature:
Ian M. Thom and Andrew Hunter, Gordon Smith, The Act of Painting, Vancouver Art Gallery, 1997, page 49

There was a period in the late 1980s when Gordon Smith took a number of trips into the British Columbia wilderness, and these resulted in a series of works of abstraction based on the deep forest and shoreline. In 1987, he traveled to Barkley Sound, south of Ucluelet and north of Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Drawing on his visual observations there, Smith takes us into a deep, mysterious space in which mosses, rocks, surging water and flashes of orange cedar wood merge together in a roiling, gestural mass. There is no horizon, and we are submersed in the physicality of both abstracted coastal elements and of paint itself. Brilliant flashes of colour emerge from deep brooding backgrounds, and Smith’s painterly, expressionist abilities are at their height. Ian Thom writes of these 1980s works, “The painting comes to completion through an intuitive process, through the expression in paint of the spirit of the rain forest and the artist.” In Barkley Sound II, Smith struck a fine balance between his expression of the essence of the West Coast and his modernist awareness of the properties of paint itself.

All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

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