Gary Evans

Courts and Corrals

October 13 - November 11, 2017


Blue and Red

Blue and Red, 2017
printed paper collage
40 x 32 inches

"The collages are driven by a sense of drawing through editing and cutting. The availability of printed colour, it’s quality and ubiquity, lend the collages a different sensibility. However, the formal sensations I hope to evoke are similar to those in the paintings. What manifests itself is thankfully less controlled as the context of one shape against or over another creates novelty and spatial anomalies. That is for me the engaging process decided through the arranging that happens before the gluing.

"When I initially started this process I would carefully excise shapes from pictures with a knife leaving the page in the magazine. I was struck by how the remaining combinations revealed an underlying image far superior in a way to the constructed image I was making in white space. I realized at that point our expectations of collage are often predicated on it making random and unsettling or uncanny juxtapositions. In this way I actually feel that these collages are better described as a process of montage, with the specifics of form and the sense of photographic space and texture being composed in a very purposeful manner. The vibrancy that [I hope] they achieve comes from the juxtaposition of flatness, in both the white space and the magazine surface, against the form found in both the volume depicted in imagery and the identity of the shape and outline.

"It is the mystery of perceived movement that these montage works suggest which I find compelling; the sense of presence in the fabrics and shapes that speak of structure, like some great apparatus that has held them in place has suddenly disappeared and we see the impressions and tensions left behind."

- Gary Evans


Gary Evans was born in Weston Super Mare, England and resides in Alliston, Ontario. He has been exhibiting at PPCA since 1995. Evans is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and is an instructor at the School of Design And Visual Art, Georgian College, Barrie, Ontario.

Evans' paintings challenge traditional notions of perception and experience of the Canadian landscape. Of his more than 20 solo exhibitions highlights include , Seeing Things: The Paintings of Gary Evans, a survey exhibition curated by Stuart Reid, which toured Canada between 2000-2002, a survey of paintings, Station, at The Art Gallery Of Windsor in 2008, and a 15-year survey exhibition, Farther Afield, curated by Renée van der Avoird and Stuart Reid in 2016 at the McLaren Centre, Barrie, ON,


Here is a review of Ghost Host (2015), which introduced Evans's collages and explored their relationship with his paintings:

Into the Woods and Beyond with Gary Evans, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, July 17 to August 15, 2015

by Richard Rhodes

Gary Evans has been painting up a storm since the late 1980s. A longtime denizen of Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Evans has presented himself in show after show as an inventive colourist possessed by an equally inventive take on landscape painting. That take often results in scenes of confounding density, which, with observer patience, settle into rich, combinative sequences of descriptive paint that pay homage to landscape in terms of not just spatial experience, but also in terms of accrued personal memory and passing real time.

Twisting noodles of brushed paint firm up a scenic space around this perceptual volatility. The brushstrokes duck and weave between those experiential planes as manifestations of pure viscous paint, gesture, local colour and shifting points of perspective. If Harold Klunder and Ben Reeves have competition in the realm of impacted pictorial surface, it is Evans.

His new show at Paul Petro delivers a trio of oil paintings from 2014 - At the mouth of the woods, Sound Hole and Daydream that show Evans at his intensive best. At the mouth of the woods brings a sense of spinning peripheral vision to a forest scene that deepens and deepens as you look. Skeins of paint, delicately brushed in terms of blended pigments, leave gaps that open onto colour spaces beyond. The bottom layer has a pushback warmth that reads like reachable sunlight. It is hard not to think of the whole enterprise—from image to title—as a working metaphor for Evan’s complicated procedural painting practice. Every painting entails a sense of arrival, of moving through paint towards something beyond it.

What a surprise, then, to see the paintings surrounded by numerous new collage works made this year. The suggestive depths of the paintings disappear in favour of graphic flatness as Evans cuts out colour samples, clothing items and clothed body fragments from fashion magazines and pastes them into new clusters that engage in a playful dialogue with the surrounded and surrounding white space. Each has its own suggestive title that opens up the interpretive field of the collage. They are not unrelated to Geoffrey Farmer’s sculptural transmutations of picture content, where image space is delivered as if it bears implicit volume and real-world materiality. The more one looks, the more one thinks that Evans is chasing the brushstrokes he left behind and the directional energy they lent to reading the surfaces of the paintings. Each collage becomes a compound of textural and directional energies of the clipped fashion photos. The title of the show, Ghost Host, aims at those gathered reverberations. It tells us that Evans has found new fields to harvest.

Richard Rhodes, 4 August 2015, www.canadianart.ca