"Chipman Alberta #8 Showpiece"
Dieter Schlatter, "Chipman Alberta #8 Showpiece," acrylic, canvas, photo transfer, 36" x 72".
Canada House Gallery, Banff
May 10-26, 2008
By Rob Alexander
Like many young boys steeped in the mythology of the West, Swiss-born Dieter Schlatter wanted to be a cowboy. While he may not be riding the range, the self-taught painter instead developed the ethos of a cowboy poet, recording the juxtaposition of past and present and how it affects this western landscape. “I’m interested in history and how the landscape works into that and technology and nature, how we experience nature through technology,” says Schlatter.
It would be easy to look at Schlatter’s many-layered, mixed-media paintings and say he is recording a lost world, given his use of historic maps and documents alongside black-and-white photographs of bison, the railway and cowboys, but B.C.-based Schlatter — also a filmmaker, chef and writer — does not see it that way. Instead, using his photographs and a striking palette of black, what he refers to as “violent” red and a rust coloured sienna, he is documenting the western landscape, without judgement or nostalgia. “I’m just saying how it is,” he says. “When I make paintings of bison grazing around oil pump jacks, that’s just how it is.”
Represented by: Canada House Gallery, Banff