Home: Kingston, Ontario
Title: Orange Grandma
Media: Oil on wood panel / huile sur panneau de bois
Dimensions: 15 x 10 cm
Thematically, my work has typically focused on representing post-Second World War suburban sprawl and though different in subject, my portraits, like ‘Orange Grandma’, continue my artistic aims. Just as my ‘landscape’ paintings depict spaces initially seeming too banal, bland or marginal within the context of the centuries old oil painting tradition, so too do my portraits depict certain types of people (friends, family, neighbours) in a context historically reserved for nobility, royalty or the religiously, economically or politically powerful. While I wouldn’t describe the subjects of my portraits as banal or bland or even ordinary, I like the idea of placing someone of personal importance into a public and historical context.
Stylistically, I have no desire to glorify or idealize my chosen subjects. While historically the portrait may have attempted to heroicize the sitter, I favour the frankness of style more common to the passport or drivers license photograph. Snapshot like in its lack of ornamentation and poetry, its formulation has a certain minimal, studied beauty.
Theoretically, the combination of the disposable snapshot like i.d. photo with the preciousness of the oil painting tradition raises questions like whether labour imparts value and what it means when the end product of a labour intensive craft has the look of a mass-produced object.
2004 MFA Concordia University
2001 BFA and BAH Queen’s University
2010 ‘Oil Paintings By Robert Ayre’, Mulherin/Pollard Gallery, New York
2009 ‘Days Road, Feb. 2008’, Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, Toronto
2008 ‘Roadsides’, Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York
2009 ‘Norman Rogers Winter’, Harbourfront Centre Architecture Gallery
2009 ‘Upscale/Downsize’, Bowling Green State University Art Gallery
2008 Carte Blanche Painting Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
2011 Canada Council for the Arts Emerging Artist Project Grant
2011 Ontario Arts Council Emerging Artist Project Grant
2005 Toronto Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant
Other Relevant Information
In the collections of: AGO, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Cartin Collection.