The Intense Gaze
November 24, 2004 - January 16, 2005
Wagman’s paintings are of the immediate land, the stuff we walk upon and plough over in the daily comings and goings of country life. Observed with the acute eye of the botanist and yet transformed beyond nature’s intent.
The Intense Gaze is a ten year survey exhibition of the painting of Lorne Wagman, the period in which he has been a resident of Grey County, Ontario, and has reached a high level of maturity and personal direction in his work.
The strongly coloured paintings reflect his intense vision of the landscape and the world around him. Wagman’s intense gaze and his subsequent rendering of a landscape afford us a vision of his obsessive nature in his art-making practice. A passionate concern with nature’s minutia of detail creates a spell of enchanted intoxication that translates into an eloquent patterning of form and texture. His obsession with detail and accuracy goes beyond the usual prescribed observation of landscape and becomes a metaphor for the possibilities of how life could be in a perfectly organized world.
In the paintings, perception of nature loses its hierarchical form of fore, middle and background. Instead a state of hyper reality is created where every individual cell has equal importance. Wagman enacts a democracy of the individual not subservient to the whole, an ideal of gesture and form, and presents stylizing and quantifying as a form of order and control.
Wagman bores into the subject, going beyond the usual surface scan, deeper and deeper into the complexities of nature’s gesture, rendering unique and responsive insight to the Canadian landscape.
- Tony Massett