Barbara Amos, "Hot Times," 2004, oil on panel, 18" x 54".
ALBERTA: City Transitions, Sept 19-Oct 5, 2004, Artspace, Calgary
By Jennifer MacLeod
Barbara Amos is a city dweller. Her studio in Calgary’s Grain Exchange Building provides a fitting vantage point from which to observe the patterns, movements and textures of city life. Her fall show, City Transitions, includes panels depicting bold grids and lines – the concrete pillars, window ledges and blinds that frame our urban views – contrasted with deep, energy-filled spaces where calligraphic marks and scratches flirt with the hard-edged realistic elements. Starting with photographs and sketches of urban structures, Amos reduces these images to their essential elements, then rearranges the fragments, cropping, turning, layering… enjoying the emergence of a new whole from the manipulation of perceptual pieces. The process parallels our modern existence, she suggests: “We’re cutting up and rearranging things at a great pace… drawing from history without necessarily being sensitive to history.” The artist is known for her “cut-ups”; a 2001 large 45-piece work entitled Cutting Up The Town, depicting glimpses of reflected office towers, shows this fall in Burlington, Ontario. In September, a 16-panel mural by Amos is unveiled at Cardel Place, a new recreational facility in Calgary.
Represented by: Artspace, Calgary, AB. Artist’s studio open by appnt, 403-560-4067.