Threading Through

Zachari Logan, Mélanie Rocan

October 11 - November 9, 2019
Opening Reception Friday October 11, 7-10pm

Fantasy Flower No. 2
Narrow Path

Fantasy Flower No. 2

Zachari Logan
Fantasy Flower No. 2, 2019
acrylic on wood panel
20 x 16 inches

Paul Petro Contemporary Art is pleased to present paintings, drawings and sculpture by Zachari Logan and Mélanie Rocan.

Originally conceived as two concurrent solo exhibitions we came to the conclusion that the contents of their respective bodies of work intersected in so many ways that a proposed intertwining of the two exhibitions throughout the spaces could allow for a more intimate exploration of the resulting chemistry.

And while the title of the exhibition Threading Through aptly describes the way Logan and Rocan's works are distributed in the exhibitions spaces, and how their ideas run through the work, the title also corresponds with the audience of viewers and their ways of navigating and experiencing the exhibition(s).

"As a painter I am strongly influenced by my surroundings and images that accumulate as I work. In the early stages of the work, initial images spark the process of painting. During the making of the work there is a constant shifting between building and re-building within the framework of memory, allowing for new territory to be explored. Using suggestion to build the image allows me to reinvent, to magnify, dissolve, or make it disappear while I am painting. I often let the painting linger between movement and stillness, and this is captured in the final product. I am also mindful of contradictions, which I find interesting — the dualities that are in constant flux, the oppositions and harmonies within the human condition. There exists a dichotomy between the inner emotional condition and the psychological unease with the environment depicted in the paintings.

"My recent series of small works on canvas make reference to my experience as a painter. As I am looking back at my journey in art and have come to a full circle. I don't make the same judgments I used to in my practice. I would rather allow more room for the paintings to guide me, rather than over-controlling the outcome. Embracing experimentations, surprises, testing and pushing the boundaries rather then creating limits. I want to be in a state of searching rather than envisioning the end product.

"Paint, the medium itself, and my experience with painting informs the work as well. I have often created works that speak of the state of painting and the “death” of it, my relationship with painting, and how it has in some way consumed me and is so part of my life. An art practice imitates life. You live and learn and realize when you think you have figured something out you don’t know anything at all. I feel like every painting goes through stages, raw, underdone or overcooked. There are dangers of overworking the work Then you have to resuscitate, bring it back to where it once was or knowing when to walk away rather then turning up the heat, just leaving it be.

"I don’t silence my painting as much anymore. I allow it to speak to me and to tell me want it needs. Working on over twenty small works at a time establishes a space to be able to let go and continue to the next work. Looking is the most important part of this process. Spending time without making any moves, just looking and having an interaction with the work, and letting it communicate to you what changes you should make."

-- Mélanie Rocan, September 2019


"In both my Pool Series and Eunuch Tapestries Series I build up dense patterns of both flora and fauna from predominantly photographic sources. The images collected from places both exotic and local to me present meditations on the internal space of the mind, populated by the experience of vast distances. Conversely, with the Fantasy Flower Series, I rely solely on my memory for the forms of flora (and figure) that evolve into these specimens, no photographic sourcing. I have no preconceived idea of what the flowers will look like when I begin, they bloom so to speak out of recollection of form in paint and colour; accessed in the moment from my store of forms of previous research. These are all bits of the self, portals if you will."

-- Zachari Logan, September 2019


ZACHARI LOGAN (b. 1980, Saskatoon, SK) received his MFA from the University of Saskatchewan (2008). Through large-scale drawing, ceramics and installation practices, Zachari Logan evolves a visual language that explores the intersections between masculinity, identity, memory and place. In previous work related to his current practice, Logan investigated his own body as an exclusive site of exploration. In recent work, Logan’s body remains a catalyst, but no longer the sole focus. Employing a strategy of visual quotation, mined from place and experience, Logan re-wilds his body as a queer embodiment of nature. This narrative shift engages ideas of beauty, empirical explorations of landscape and overlapping art-historic motifs.

Logan has shown extensively in North America and Europe. Collections include the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Remai Modern (Saskatoon), McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinberg, ON), Mackenzie Art Gallery (Regina, SK), Leslie Lohman Museum (New York, NY), and the Schulich School of Business, York University (Toronto, ON) amongst others. Corporate art collections including TD Canada Trust and Cadillac Fairview.

MÉLANIE ROCAN (b. 1980, La Broquerie, MB) is a Franco-Manitoban artist based in Winnipeg. She has a BFA from the University of Manitoba (2003) and an MFA from the University of Concordia in Montreal (2008). Rocan says, "During the making of the work there is a constant shifting between building and re-building within the framework of memory, allowing for new territory to be explored. I often let the painting linger between movement and stillness, and this is captured in the final product. I am also mindful of contradictions, which I find interesting — the dualities that are in constant flux, the oppositions and harmonies within the human condition. There exists a dichotomy between the inner emotional condition and the psychological unease with the environment depicted in the paintings."

Rocan is a three-time semi-finalist in the RBC Painting Competition. In 2012 – 2013 her work was the subject of a survey exhibition, Souvenir involuntaire, organized by the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. This exhibition toured to the Kenderdine Art Gallery at the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, SK) and Plug-In ICA (Winnipeg, MB). The bilingual catalogue includes an essay by Josée Drouin-Brisebois. Rocan is the recipient of awards and grants from the Canada Council, Manitoba and Winnipeg Arts Council. Collections include the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston, ON), Winnipeg Art Gallery, Doris McCarthy Gallery (Toronto), TD Bank (Toronto), RBC (Toronto) and the Manitoba Arts Council. Rocan teaches at the University of Manitoba.