exhibition
Tim Gardner, Above the Blowhole, 2009. NGC Collection. © Tim Gardner
Tim Gardner, Above the Blowhole, 2009. NGC Collection. © Tim Gardner
Tim Gardner, Untitled (Orange Tent, Sombrio), 2008. NGC Collection. © Tim Gardner
Tim Gardner, Untitled (Orange Tent, Sombrio), 2008. NGC Collection. © Tim Gardner
The relative isolation depicted in "Untitled (Orange Tent, Sombrio)" as well as Gardner's sublime treatment of the landscape would seem to evoke the romance of "leaving it all behind." It is, however, a poignant reflection on the long-standing issues of clear-cutting, deforestation, and commercial development on Vancouver Island. Located along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, Sombrio Beach is in fact highly accessible by car and is a popular camping site. The two decaying tree trunks lying in front of the orange shelter are emblematic of a possible fate for the lush surroundings, as though one day all of this could be subjected to much more than a few campers looking for some time out from the city.
Tim Gardner, Untitled (Bryan with Hot Dog), 2008. NGC Collection. © Tim Gardner
Tim Gardner, Untitled (Bryan with Hot Dog), 2008. NGC Collection. © Tim Gardner
The source material for Gardner's paintings can be found in snapshots from his youth taken by his friends. The strength and subversive nature of his work is attributable to the simple act of taking "Kodak moments" from his own personal history and converting them into a medium significantly more timeless, universal, and laden with art historical baggage. He creates distinct tensions between his subjects and their sometimes beautiful, at other times banal, surroundings. "Untitled (Bryan with Hot Dog)" is less about the landscape than it is about our incongruous present-day relationship to it, where a feeling of complete escape can reasonably be achieved even without having to give up any of the comforts of home.

Born in 1973 in Iowa City, Iowa.

Internationally, Canadian artist Tim Gardner is well-known for his precise watercolor paintings and oil pastel drawings. For his early work, he often used his brother’s snapshots of his friends as source material, capturing the sometimes excessive leisure activities of adolescent men from sporting to partying. He incorporates the Canadian landscape into much of his work, often pairing it with a lone figure, drawing a contentious parallel between the wildness of nature and the unpredictability of human behaviour. Gardner has had numerous solo exhibitions internationally, most recently at The National Gallery, London (2007) and SF MOMA, San Francisco (2006).

via contemporaryartgallery.ca