Plants and Planets
September 18 - November 5, 2006
The Durham Art Gallery is opening its fall season with a survey of Adriene Veninger's early photobased work and her recent drawings and paintings. Natural themes recur throughout Veninger's work suggesting that the origins of aethetics are to be found in nature. Her sepia toned photographs of flowers, trees and pods reference reality through the clarity of the images. The viewer will gain aesthetic pleasure by finding beauty and sensuality in the abstract representation of these commonest things distanced from the environment from which they came.
Coinciding with her move from Toronto to the Blue Mountains area, Veninger has turned to painting and drawing to express her ideas. From the painting series called Invocation to the recent Moon and Earth series you can visually trace the gradual shift from a formal sensuality to a more impressionist sensibility in the depiction of the landscape as an optical sensation.
As Veninger states: “The Earth paintings present a perspective that is at once a landscape and a cross section into the interior. Having visual access simultaneously to the surface and interior results in a suspension of reality and feelings of disorientation. The paintings make all things, on and in the Earth, on par, bestowing them with equal significance. It's not surprising to find, with this perspective, that the horizon can no longer be counted upon to represent the dividing line in the picture plane, these paintings present the horizon as a fluid, rather than fixed, line of separation.”
The Moon paintings are rendered intensely monochromatic in cool chalky grays presenting the surface in the way our visual experience of this distant object would suggest. “They reproduce in a comparatively realistic manner the object we can actually see, but depict only parts instead of the whole, as if to suggest the actual size to be such as to be uncontainable on the canvas' surface.” Moon and Earth gravitationally interact with each other and some scientists even suggest viewing Earth and the Moon as a double planet. Find out for yourself how Adriene Veninger's paintings illuminate the mystic lunar globe and its companion, the Earth, and be captivated by her photographic feel for plants as examples of pure form of equal grace and simplicity.