The Nanaimo Art Gallery, campus location at 900 Fifth Street, is showing major new works by Nixie Barton and Grant Leier. The exhibition entitled TYPEface: New Work by Barton and Leier runs until November 14, 2009. Nixie Barton and Grant Leier are Vancouver Island artists who live and work at Yellow Point. They have both been incorporating text, to some extent, in their work for many years. They are now developing a body of new work that makes use of letters, words, and text as integral components of the paintings. These major new pieces will be presented in this important joint exhibition.
Barton’s recent work has relied heavily on words and phrases, often with the use of sans serif bold block letters, and executed with a lusciousness and rich depth of colour and translucency that transcends the letter forms themselves. The simple phrase and word combinations of her earlier work have a light-hearted, playful quality. Her ‘communication’ becomes meaningful as she combines text with found materials and her painting technique. Barton’s newer works tackle more serious themes where the subject matter is combined with unique formats to become powerful contextual statements.
Grant Leier works in a highly developed decorative style that honours painting. His large bank of imagery includes ‘everything’ as well as text that he incorporates into highly polished, richly surfaced, colourful images. The paintings often become ‘assemblage’ as he explores the inclusion of objects and forms to accompany the illusions he creates on the surface. His newer works have a strong sense of ‘language,’ as he incorporates words with found retro materials and his rich painting style. Leier’s current works address a variety of subjects and themes with a new depth of expression.
Robin Field is the guest curator who has been working with the artists on the development of TYPEface. Canada House Gallery joined with the Nanaimo Art Gallery as a major sponsor which allowed for the publication of a catalogue with full-colour images of the works in the exhibition. For more information contact the gallery at 250-740-6350.