News : 2018

"Vue Weekly: Erin Loree’s ‘Forth and Back’ Exhibit Touches on the Process of Painting"
Stephen Boissonneault

An Electric Understanding of Colour

Erin Loree’s ‘Forth and Back’ Exhibit Touches on the Process of Painting


“The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through.” That quote from abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock can certainly describe painter Erin Loree’s process. Much like Pollock, Loree thinks of her paintings as living entities, searching to find their own way and meaning. Usually, when she paints, the canvas is left with a spontaneous, vibrant result created by her intuition and experimentation.


Sometimes the result is a glimpse into a surreal landscape, the background of Loree’s marriage between saturated and muted colour. Other times, the painting lives in its own universe of enigmatic, coated colour and shapes.


For her current show, Forth and Back, Loree deliberately added a constraint on herself—she created pairs of paintings, but for every second one, she attempted to replicate the first.


“I started thinking about the relationships between paintings and what they can say about each other, and how they reinforce each other and fill in each other’s blanks,” Loree says while pacing through the Peter Robertson Gallery. “My initial plan was to copy it [the first painting] to the best of my ability, so it forced me to analyze my process and look at my use of material and colour in a way that I had never done before.”


It was a way for Loree to challenge the habitual ways of making art and to force her to set a structure. Though uncomfortable at the beginning, Loree persevered and learned how to recreate those “painterly aspects” that just happen on a canvas.


“The idea of the show isn’t about the two pairs,” Loree says. “It’s really about the process of painting. It came from not replicating the painting exactly but letting the painting become what it needed to become. So some pairs are quite similar and some suggest a shifting of time or a transformation.”


An excellent example is the pair “Secrets of Night,” where a pearly moon waxes above a fuschia mountainside. The first painting leads on into the second, with the moon now full and the mountainside slowly shifting.


“So you get a sense that something has happened in between,” Loree adds.


Still, unless you do your research prior to viewing the exhibit (looking at the image list), you’re left wondering which painting was actually created first. And that’s the point. Loree has deliberately switched up the order of each set.


“I don’t want their personal beliefs to sort of colour their reading of the work,” she says. “Like, what do they place more value on? Intuition or planning? If they know one came second, it might change how they view it.”

Loree’s understanding of colour and material is updated with every one of her shows. For a past show, Shadow of a Hole, she only painted using monochromatic colour to see if she could conjure up an emotional response without the use of vibrant colours.

“So it became about the material that communicates meaning and not the colour,” she says.


Perhaps this is why in the pair “Fantasia,” the colours seem to have a hidden conversation between one another. The backdrop kind of looks like a rhythmic mythological storm as a hand reaches down to pick up an illuminated orb. At least, that’s one description. There could be several and it’s due to the way Loree paints large canvas pieces.


“I will lay down a colour and respond to that colour,” she says. “It’s like putting a puzzle together, piece by piece. I don’t want it to be too predictable; it’s just my understanding of colour.”


Until Oct. 20th, 2018
Forth and Back by Erin Loree
Peter Robertson Gallery


Click here to view the article in Vue Weekly online