Art for thought

Kitchener artist Robert Linsley has spent the last ten years exploring the elusive boundaries of abstract art, defining abstract as “the negation of meaning.”

Linsley’s most recent collection of paintings tests the very nature of artistic validity.
They force the viewer to question the meaning of creative expression. His collection of paintings entitled Geomorphic Fantasy is currently on display at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery.

The exhibit features a number of what Linsley calls “poured Island” paintings. His process included a variety of methods, none of which required the use of a paintbrush.
The majority of his work was created by pouring acrylic paints onto large canvases in various ways to form vaguely continental shapes, giving credence to the name of the collection.

After pouring the paint, Linsley then distributed it around the canvas by lifting it up and tilting it about until satisfied.

It is a colourful exhibit, nearly reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s flowers series in terms of the bright colours and contrast. The exhibit also displays a collection of modest watercolours. In comparison, they are much smaller than the featured paintings but employ the same techniques.

Geometric Fantasy has received mixed reactions from the KW Art Gallery’s patrons, many of whom record their comments and opinions in writing after attending the featured exhibits.

While families with children seemed to enjoy the enticing colours and shapes, the paintings have been met with some confusion from some of the gallery’s patrons.

However, Linsley has no shortage of admirers. Geomorphic Fantasy has been displayed in art galleries as far away as Rome and Berlin, as well as in New York and Toronto.

Also featured at the KWAG this month are artists Michelle Allard and Colwyn Griffith.Allard’s exhibit Materialscape features an enormous sculpture constructed entirely of cardboard boxes and office paper. It covers a vast show room and resembles a miniature of a towering city.

Colwyn Griffith’s Something About Time features photographs of abandoned fast food businesses throughout Canada. The pictures are vivid and clear, possessing all the character of the rundown scenes they have captured.

The KW Art Gallery is located on Queen Street in Downtown Kitchener. It shares a building with Kitchener’s Centre in the Square and offers free admission for those hoping to enjoy the too-often forgotten joys of visual art.