Warren Murfitt, Derek Root, Steven Shearer
555 Hamilton St
The Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by three Vancouver artists: Warren Murfitt, Derek Root and Steven Shearer. Using a variety of media, these artists have in common a visual reference to forms of abstract art from the 1960s: Hard-Edge, Op and Minimalism. Their approach to this visual language, however, is derived from different sources and none of these artists was fully aware of the other's work before this exhibition.
There are tendencies internationally toward re-examining the language of abstract art from various points of view. The artists in this exhibition are not nostalgically yearning for the work or ideas of the 1960s. They have used the strong visual forms of abstraction to incite an immediate response by the viewer; there is the promise of a purely visual experience, but there is, at the same time, something unsettling. Murfitt's op-ish patterns look abstract but are deceptively familiar; Root's pristine appearing surfaces are layered with nuances and variations that arise from his process of hand-crafting; Shearer's systematic patterns are disrupted by texts that speak of insecurity.
This exhibition carries on concerns about abstract art that have been explored in two previous 1994 Contemporary Art Gallery exhibitions: Mina Totino, Paintings; Helmut Dorner, Under The Surface.