Monday, 6 July 2009

Tim Gardner

Untitled (Family Portrait 2),
pastel on paper, 63'' x 51'', 2004-05
I’ve found a great poignancy in the family portraits of Tim Gardner, whose work I accidentally discovered whilst stumbling upon a catalogue of his work in the National Gallery gift shop some months ago. There seems to be a frightening sense of fragility to these otherwise seemingly innocuous images that I find very moving. As the New Yorker asked of the psychological undercurrents evident in these pastels (yes, they are pastels..): ‘How do any of us survive?’

Untitled (Family Portrait),
pastel on paper, 63'' x 51'', 2004-05

I really enjoy Tim’s work, which are mainly incredibly well-rendered watercolours and pastels based on his photographs of family and friends. Most of them are based in the middle-class suburbs or vast landscape of North America, where he was raised. Many of them have a quiet, unsettling quality in a sort of Rick Moody/Ice Storm kind of way, probably something to do with their settings but also to do with the subtleties of tension and awkwardness that they convey. Here are a few examples of other paintings of Tim’s I thought were great ( I particularly love the group Ice Hockey Team photo),with a couple of links to some other sites on his work:
Untitled (Waterloo Siskins),
watercolour on paper, 27.5 x 32.5cms, 2003

Two Men On A Bus, Moving Through The Landscape,
watercolour on paper, 62.9 x 52.9cms, 2006
Figure Watching The Moon,
watercolour on paper, 44.5 x 66cms, 2006

Canwest Mall, Evening
watercolour on paper, 28 x 38.1cm, 2006

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