Back Gallery Project
Sarah Delaney The Causal Effect +
Renée Lee Smith Both Sides, Now
September 7-30, 2017
Thursday, September 7 from 5-8 PM
Back Gallery Project (Vancouver, BC) is pleased to introduce the paintings of Sarah Delaney alongside new sculptural works by Renée Lee Smith. Although working in different media, both of these female artists reference the natural environment of British Columbia and the West Coast while also examining elements of personal experience and memory. Through an interest in gesture and the human form mediated by color and texture, Delaney and Smith create intimate connections to their surroundings and to a greater conversation about time and place.
In The Causal Effect, her first exhibition at Back Gallery Project, Delaney continues her investigation into the temporal qualities of two-dimensional space. By methodically layering and combining various marks and areas of color, Delaney creates a visual conversation that invokes a subtle narrative while also alluding to her meditative process. Although they borrow compositionally from the fervor of action painting, Delaney’s works belie an intricate amalgamation of gestural strokes and forms, colors, and lines that the artist observes in her day-to-day.
“Her choice, placement and form of colour gestures offer a visual equivalent to a spoken exchange, where the development of ideas in succession says something beyond any single phrase or sentence. While colourists such as Rothko showed us the worlds within a single colour, Delaney arranges colour statements beside and atop of each other. She does not clutter them, but encourages their space and interplay, shifting stroke and shape in whimsical but sensitive responses.”
At first glance, the splashes of color evoke a decidedly organic palette. Like pools of forest water, or the glint of myriad autumn leaves, each canvas swirls with the hues of nature that the artist sees every day. On closer examination, however, each colorfield is linked, pierced, and surrounded by delicate markings that form a web of intricate connections throughout. Flitting through this network, the viewer is nearly lost in the dense layers only to step back and witness the minutiae coalesce into a dynamic whole.
Sarah Delaney is a multi-disciplinary artist, working and living in Vancouver, BC. She received her BFA in Visual Art from the University of Victoria, and her Diploma of Interior Design from the Vancouver College of Art and Design.
Renée Lee Smith
Smith’s second show with the gallery, Both Sides, Now, borrows its title from a song by Joni Mitchell. Referencing the urgency of a strong female voice in the arts (and beyond), the new sculptures recall fashion maquettes or religious idols. Sleek in their construction, but imperfect from the casting process, the duality of each work offers a visually intriguing conversation that warrants further investigation.
“Renée Lee Smith’s latest series of sculptures retain many of the expressive characteristics of her painting. Made in paper mache, then cast in bronze, the elongated forms are densely textured and bear resemblance to ancient icons from a lost civilization. The sculptures are an evocation of female form. They recall Giacometti’s existential, alienated humans, while at the same time suggesting a stronger desire to see the body as a vessel of possibility and transcendence.”
Having trained as a painter under her mother, P. Root Smith, and drawing influence from her cousin Derek Root (a member of the Young Romantics), Smith has experimented with several mediums, including encaustic painting and sculpture. After her schooling at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Smith’s practice split from strict fashion illustration to explore the subtlety found in nature. Combining these interests, her new sculptures present a reexamination of the female form through abstract anatomy and textured surfaces.
Back Gallery Project