Review: Daniel Hutchinson at the Angell Gallery.

March 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hutchinson, "Untitled" (Angell)

The Angell Gallery is displaying the work of Daniel Hutchinson in his first Toronto based solo exhibition, Half-Light Over the Baltic Sea. Hutchinson’s near monochrome oil paintings were derived from his recent residency on the island of Gotland, Sweden. The works evoke seascapes with a sun just below the horizon; the ever shifting light and cool temperature of the approaching night.

Hutchinson, "Disappearance at Sea" (Angell)

The show consists of a series of medium to large paintings of various shapes including squares, circles, rectangles and ovals. The majority of the works featured are painted on panels. Beneath the swirling halting lines, which create a sense of depth to the work, the panel shows through creating rosy halftones in the painting. However, the most remarkable works present in the show are “Disappearance at Sea” and “Rollers,” which are painted on drafting film. This unique choice of base creates a more weightless painting, than those created on panels, and brings a silvery tone to the waves.
While most two-dimensional representations of the sea are static, the paintings in this exhibit have a dynamic sense of volatility. Hutchinson’s use of high-gloss paint and fluid brushstrokes give a spectacular impression of movement. Largely thanks to the extremely successful lighting of the gallery, the paintings are ever-changing. The highly reflective surfaces enable the viewer to encounter a new image each time they alter their position in respect to the work.

Hutchinson, "A Great Wave" (Angell)

Rendered in a variety of dark, cool hues, Hutchinson’s paintings verge on abstraction. Some of the most interesting works are those with the greatest simplicity, like “Great Wave.” This deep turquoise painting gives the impression of a single cresting wave, which contrasts his more intricate scenes like “A Storm on the Baltic Sea.”

Overall, Half-Light Over the Baltic Sea is a very cohesive show with a rational progression to the works. Though they all have very similar technique, style, material and tone, Hutchinson creates new and original marks in each one which distinguish each painting as unique from the last.

Half-Light Over the Baltic Sea runs until March 24.

– Sophia Farmer

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