"Static Image Painting/4th Variation/Red/Three Flowers"
Martin Bennett, "Static Image Painting/4th Variation/Red/Three Flowers," 2004, oil on canvas, 24" x 18".
June 7-July1, 2006
By Dina O'Meara
The shadow of Prophet Isaiah’s right foot, depicted in a fresco by Raphael, fascinates Martin Bennett. The 36-year-old painter sees the shadow creating both a balance and an imbalance, features reflected in his own work. Bennett achieves a dreamy juxtaposition of ordinary objects with the unusual, layering photograph-like images with abstract forms. Bennett’s new show, The Hot and Cold of Magritte, is a tip of his bowler to the Belgian surrealist and magic realist. “The parameters of these paintings is to achieve realism through abstraction, or vice versa, while maintaining both the literal and figurative interpretations of the paintings,” he says. Bennett spent several months in Rome in preparation for his Calgary show, walking for hours and taking photographs for future works. “In Rome I am able to find subject matter that offers the formal and natural arrangements that contribute to the pictorial and conceptual construction of my paintings,” he says. Bennett also includes images from London, Brussels, an island on Lake Ontario, and his home town of Medicine Hat in his art. “I would like to make paintings that are both direct and open-ended, where for each conclusion the opposite is also true,” he says.
Represented by: TrépanierBaer, Calgary; Clint Roenisch, Toronto.