New Paintings from Matt Crookshank
Brains, like its namesake organ, is composed of two-parts. The first half will exhibit in Toronto at Le Gallery, and the second half in Calgary at SKEW gallery. These paintings are composed of quick scribbles done with a computer mouse. They are marks that happened in an instant, products of both intuition and intention, which have been translated onto the canvas. Visibly, the Brains series of 9 4’x4’ canvases are all the same painting, repeated 9 times in distinct colours. The process of repetition produces subtle differences from canvas to canvas, but the overall pattern remains; they are essentially linked and yet uniquely separate. By showing half this work in Calgary, and half in Toronto, the entire exhibition is effectively split by 2300km. Geographically Calgary can be read as the right brain, while Toronto occupies the space of the left brain, potentially positing a suggestive and provocative cross-examination into the political differences between these two cities.
The accompanying body of work consists again of 21 paintings of the same mouse mark in different colours. Entitled “21 Heartbreak Disasters”; they are painted mouse gestures combined with poured coloured varnishes, intended to express tearing, ripping, and fast separation. In this respect they reflect the idea of a show torn in two, suddenly divided by thousands of miles, with the technicolour varnish ejections being the manifestation of the violence of the tear.
The enigma of the Brains show is the strange and vital correlation between separation and division, and how two halves of a greater whole can be joined by some kind of indescribable cosmic bridge. In this respect it is a riddle, as well as a reflection, rousing thoughts on how a whole can often only be seen from one side at a time.
Singularly and collectively, Brains is a Canadian painting show.