"Instant # 6"
Dennis Ekstedt, "Instant # 6," 2007, oil on canvas.
DENNIS EKSTEDT, Dissolve
Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary
April 14 - May 12, 2007
By Amber Bowerman
Anyone who’s ever flown into a city after dark will see something familiar in Montreal artist Dennis Ekstedt’s Cluster. The oil painting recreates the romantic — and sometimes forlorn — sight of a sprawling illuminated night metropolis. “I’m interested in light, especially artificial light,” says Ekstedt, who studied fine art at Concordia University and Emily Carr. The 2002 eastern Canadian winner of the RBC New Canadian Painting competition grew up in small towns but gravitated to big cities. “Distant views of cities at night have appealed to me ever since I was a child,” he says. “They’re images of the romantic sublime.” Ekstedt sees it as modern landscape. “Even though you don’t see the land in the nighttime cityscape, you can suggest the shape of it,” he says. None are of particular places, but are general representations or motifs of urban “nervous systems.” Ekstedt does use images of cities — like magazine photos — as source material and often adds a glare or reflection to his paintings to suggest the scene is being viewed through a window. “When you suggest something in front of the image you suggest a presence, a viewer,” he says, an effect that adds to the illusion that the scene has been captured on film by someone captivated by the pulse of a city below them.
Represented by: Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary; Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Ottawa; Saatchi Gallery, London, England.