Maria Tratt, "Piedmont," 2012, oil on canvas, 24” x 24”.
MARIA TRATT: New Work
March 22 to April 20, 2013
Smash Gallery of Modern Art, Vancouver, BC
By Beverly Cramp
Although she graduated from Emily Carr University just two years ago, Vancouver-based printmaker and painter Maria Tratt has been making art for two decades. Her expressionistic work has focused on urban landscapes, urban versus rural, and the discord between the resources urbanites use and the natural world, particularly animals. Tratt often uses the cow as a metaphor for the painful breach between people and the industrial use of animals. But her upcoming show at Smash is a more personal journey through childhood memories. Using photographs, she interprets her feelings about people, places and objects from the past. “It’s an investigation into the mutability of memory,” she says. “And how memory is often an assemblage of more than just a single moment.” The show includes prints, mainly monotype and sugar-lift in combination with etching, and oil paintings on canvas or board, often with acrylic under-staining. The new work exposes her love of painters such as Marc Chagall, Edvard Munch, Peter Doig and Tom Thomson. Close inspection reveals Tratt’s tendency to gravitate to what she calls “the smaller moments, the everyday.”