The exhibition Pentimento features Carl White who, over the past 20 years has created a broad series of work revealing his abilities with oil, encaustic, watercolour and print. In Pentimento, the artist illustrates his superb draftsmanship and narrative in the tradition of monumental classical painting with a fresh contemporary twist. Paradoxical relationships within the work transport the viewer to past civilizations and back again. Mythology and history resonate with Renaissance through Neoclassic sensibilities and are juxtaposed and imprinted by current artistic practice. Metaphoric and symbolic references coexist with modern day orientations. Richly understated and poignantly represented, Whites extensive knowledge of art history is emulated in form, style and pigmentation. Infused with a palette similar in limitation to Rembrandt but particular to Whites creative approach, tonal variations of Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Ochre, Raw Sienna, Citrine Yellow plus Burnt and Raw Umber are energetically splashed, swept and swirled in synergy with blending, markings and dramatic compositional chiaroscuro. Poetic nuances, poignant words and geographic references are strategically placed infusing the work with further painterly depth and understated innuendo. As White explains: In the way that a poet would seek to understand language with the goal of approaching the sublime, I have tried to understand painting with similar purpose. His passion and extensive relationship with art balances between realism and abstraction, imparting a textural richness found in art history.
Born in Liverpool, England in 1969, Carl Whites early awareness of history and passion for art was fueled by books and nourished by frequent outings to British museums and art institutions. After immigrating and settling in Calgary, White studied Design and Communications at the Alberta College of Art + Design (1989-1992) where his response to assignments were tailored by painting. While there, White learned about the broad fundamentals of the creative process which later became integral to his artistic development. His walk before you run philosophy has resulted in a tool box containing a lifetime of study, training, practice, reflection, refinement, success and error; skills and qualities required by him for a fluent, informed and adept approach to his trade.
His paintings and drawings have been featured in many solo and group exhibitions across Canada and are included in numerous private collections nationally and internationally. His public commissions include the National Press building in Washington, D.C., the Marriott Hotel in North Bethesda, Maryland and the Hyatt Regency Resort in Cambridge, Maryland. In Canada his work is included in the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and EnCana. He lives and works in Calgary where he is exceedingly active in the community.
New works, fresh off the easel are displayed alongside paintings and drawings dating from 1994. The Art Gallery of Calgary
extends appreciation to the lenders of the earlier work and to Jarvis Hall Fine Arts for exhibition assistance.