Humanimal

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These works use forms found in abandoned bear zoo exhibits, built in the late 1950’s, as a point of departure for abstraction.

Humans obscure containment with references to nature – a form of mimesis. We hide containment from ourselves in the guise of “home for other”. We protect ourselves. These works capture the poetics of space through their oneiric repetition and copying, their desire to hide and protect, and to camoflauge. But what is hidden here?” The repetition of knowable forms creates a sense of familiarity, creating spaces that are rhythmically occupied, more or less balanced, expressive of a unity and pattern intended to echo “nature” and “landscape”. Colours are intended to please and invite, borrowing from a more graphic national landscape tradition. Gentle, peaceful and inviting in overall effect with mysterious intrusions. Unique in perspective, viewers must engage in order to “read’, establish perspective, create coherence. The paintings look like they could be rotated and still be readable and yet the white portions, as if fallen snow, a natural element, create a logic, inferring gravity and some kind of “natural order”.

Can facsimiles of nature be occupied in meaningful ways? Are these paintings another meaningless iteration of nature from which things cannot escape and into which nothing can enter? Is this another type of animal exhibit? Who or what is on the outside? Who or what is on the inside?

 

Artist: 
Dan Nuttall
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