A paladin of New York painting since the 1980s, Ross Bleckner has influenced countless younger artists with his works’ unimpeachable painterly chops, mournful sentimentality and imagery of pictorial space both vast and ethereal. One of these artists—as this handsome exhibition on the two floors of the University of Saskatchewan’s College Art Galleries was designed to demonstrate—Regina-based draftsman Zachari Logan, shares thematic interests with Bleckner, as well as his sense of romantic melancholy. Organized by the Galleries’ curator Leah Taylor with Wayne Baerwaldt, currently an independent curator based in rural Saskatchewan, the show offered examples of several of Bleckner’s aesthetic modes, which range from the abstractly representational to the representationally abstract. A 2018 four-foot-square canvas, Untitled, pictures pale flowers floating in a glimmering silvery green field; blurred out with a dry brush, the image suggests late Monet essayed by early Richter, except that instead of tapping into the nostalgic veracity of old photographs, Bleckner’s painting conjures a fey dream. Yet, a non-representational painting the same size appears the near double of Untitled. The dark ground of Crowd, 2016, features a number of soft-focus splotches that seem to glow from its depths, the points of light approximating the unmoored flowers and vice versa. Keep Reading
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