What’s Happening at Harvest Gallery

Steven Rhude

“Painting as an Art”

Saturday, May 20th 2-4 pm

Harvest Gallery, 462 Main St., Wolfville, NS (902) 542-7093

Contact: Lynda Macdonald lyndamac”harvestgallery.ca

 STEVEN RHUDE: “Painting as an Art” opens SATURDAY, May 20th at Harvest Gallery in Wolfville.   “Years ago as an art student, and then a young graduate in Toronto, Rhude writes, every gallery seemed to hold potential and attract me.  A youthful hunger for exhibitions that could show what was current, or what may be occurring in drawing, painting, print, sculpture, magnetized my interest.  Back then it was possible to visit a dozen or so galleries in a day that would display work, and allow me to keep in close touch with contemporary artists and all that encompassed what we once called an “art scene”.  Today [… ] much has changed.”


“Convincing myself that something wonderful is waiting to be seen is becoming difficult now that the digital revolution has created an explosive cocktail of virtual galleries and visual imagery.  Channeled through myriad websites and social media, painting has become a post art activity, by and large a culture in which visual language is framed by appeals to emotion disconnected from the nature of experience, and by the repeated assertion of the “like” button to which skill and insight are summarily ignored.  Indeed, we no longer go to art – art comes to us.  So much so that even the materials that painters use have become unknown quantities to most people, and equally so, a painting, once a tactile object, has become known more virtually, on a flat screen, than an object of materiality to be experienced in the flesh, or in the round.”


“With the invention of photography in the west, Steven posits, painting’s day in the sun more or less came to an end. Photography unequivocally altered our view of contemporary life and allowed every man to view and translate his world without relying on a skills based tradition like painting as a medium for outside interpretation. Subsequently, painting as an art form moved further away from the mainstream experience, adapting to its new role in modernity by eventually abstracting itself, and thereby further distancing itself from the common man.”


“… Even so, painting has stubbornly survived photography’s reign. It has charted its way through multiple “isms”, persisting to this day still with the potential to appeal to the individual. Furthermore, it’s easy to forget that in such a rapidly paced and noisy world, painting is still a valued Art for cultural reflection, and that above all it requires a substantial amount of intuition, thought, and silence by those concerned with its making.”


The works in this show document some recent thematic subjects in Steven Rhude’s painting practice.  Of particular interest is the genre called “homage to the artist”.  Ironically relying on art books and today’s digital source material he reflects on Master Works that have remained tactile in his memory over the years, contextualizing them using the figurative properties of the regional fishing buoy.  “I did eleven homage works in total for this exhibition, yet still have several others in mind for the future. All so far, are related to the modernist movement beginning with Manet and continuing on through to Picasso, Matisse etc. I made no attempt to “reproduce” or achieve a faithful representation of the inspired homage, but instead just worked to get some kind of resemblance without obsessing about fidelity” … serving to further emphasize the ‘virtual’ distance between him and the original’s location.


The show runs until June 19th at Wolfville’s Harvest Gallery.  Images and imformation can be found online at www.harvestgallery.ca


Harvest Gallery
462 Main St
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
B4P 1E2