Exhibitions : 2013

Gordon Harper
Saturday, September 21, 2013 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013


Backlit Memories


Join us for the artist's reception on

Thursday, September 26, from 7 - 9 pm


Artist in attendance


In Backlit Memories, quiet streets lined with vacant houses prevail. Dramatic interiors and the inclusion of the figure reveal the shadowy inhabitants of Harper’s architectural landscapes for the first time. Paint and light fade away from the deep shadows of night into an indeterminate twilight or dawn.


Informed by the Old Masters’ traditional under-painting technique of transparent earth tones as a painting’s foundation, Harper brings the unique beauty and power of the preliminary tonal layer to the fore. The scale and substance of a finished oil painting here combine with the freshness of a sketch in a single work.


“The constant presence of the mobile phone has turned all of us into spontaneous image makers and sharers, and this new body of work contains a mix of carefully composed landscapes, casual snapshots, along with screen captures of video, and photographs from social media sites. The title of the exhibition refers to the illuminated screen where we view, rather than print, our photographs, and also to the back-lighting which illuminates the paintings, composed in thin layers of translucent colours, lit from behind by a smooth white ground.” – Gordon Harper, 2013


Born and raised in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Gordon Harper has painted and exhibited in Edmonton since 1993. He began his formal studies in the Art and Design Program at Medicine Hat College in 1989, earning a B.F.A. from the University of Calgary in 1993 and a M.F.A. from the University of Alberta in 1997. His work is featured in numerous private collections, and in public collections including the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the City of Medicine Hat. His work has been displayed at public galleries such as the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Alberta Legislature, and at Medicine Hat’s Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre, with a five-year retrospective in 2010.


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