John Hall, "DANCE," 1999, acrylic/canvas, 24" x 36".
JOHN HALL, Ascending Pleasures II
The Prairie Art Gallery, Grande Prairie
Sept 8-Oct 15, 2006
By Dina O'Meara
Photo realist John Hall creates almost blindingly bright still life acrylic portraits of everyday objects. The Kelowna-based artist’s renderings of colourful vessels, toys, food, or memorabilia are like short stories by Carol Shields – sharply detailed, densely textured pictures where the ordinary is made extraordinary.
Hall’s latest exhibition is a retrospective of works created during the past two decades, in Canada and Mexico, where he studied at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel. The show also includes new work. “In my practice I’m recording the appearance of things,” he says of the descriptive accuracy in his paintings. “They have something to do with the cultural cocoon that we’re surrounded by.” At times, Hall recreates natural groupings of objects that catch his eye, like stacked bags of food in a freezer, while other pieces are carefully arranged. Hall’s Six Stones series was started in 2001, inspired by a painting by Chilean realist Claudio Bravo in which simple forms became meaningful through arrangement. Now retired from full professorship at the University of Calgary, Hall continues to paint meaning into ordinary things.
Represented by: The Art Ark Gallery, Kelowna; Wynick/Tuck Gallery, Toronto.