Love and Landscape
November 21st – December 31st, 2020
Steven will be in the gallery Saturday, November 21st 1-3
Harvest Gallery, Wolfville
Steven Rhude was born in Rouyn Noranda, Quebec in 1959. His father was a Royal Canadian Air Force Pilot and traveled extensively throughout Canada before settling his family in Scarborough, Ontario. In Scarborough, Steven was raised, educated and studied civil engineering at Centennial College. After one year he switched to the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto where he studied fine arts and graduated in 1983 with honors in drawing and painting.
It was at OCAD that Steven was introduced to the pantheon of draughtsmen from Ingres to American modernists like de Kooning. Teachers such as Fred Hagen, John Gould and John Newman instilled in Steven the relevance of drawing as a complete form of expression in itself. Steven also attended the college’s off campus program in Florence, Italy for one year which included an intensive study of the Italian and Northern European renaissance. This year of study was made possible by receiving the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation award.
Afterwards, he met Simone Labuschagne and they were married in 1986. Over a period of three years Steven worked at the Art Gallery of Ontario as a technician installing exhibitions, an experience he still recalls with appreciation due to first hand contact with master works of all kinds.
In 1990, Steven began to devote himself to drawing and painting full time. He and his wife moved to Fox Island Main, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. It was there, in relative isolation, that Rhude developed the realistic and colorful style he is known for today. Art critic Elissa Barnard stated that in his work “Rhude has grappled with and further developed his subject matter, maintaining his engaging style but deepening his ideas and calling on the viewer to put more thought into the work and the plight of coastal communities in Atlantic Canada”.
It is from within our recent isolation that the work in “Love and Landscape” took shape. “In these paintings, I am undoubtedly wandering far off from the intrusiveness of the pandemic (there are no paintings of people with masks on, protests, or desolate city streets), simply because art drives us into areas we would otherwise not think to explore when we are restrained or in a lockdown. It lifts us up and takes us away from the dreary here and now burden of today’s restrictions and sanitization, and allows us to look at things afresh. So I thought about painting things I love; like couples on the Wolfville trail at dusk, figures motionless on the dykeland, or the town’s athletic field at night, even a pile of debris near Canning, and the cat waking my wife up in the morning. Strange how all these things seemed worth making a record of now”, explains Rhude.
“Paintings have a way of trapping memory. They become relics of past thoughts, actions and experiences. We can call them time capsules, or even placeholders, so one can remember where we stood, metaphorically speaking, when we experienced something as monotonous as a pandemic.”
In recent years, Rhude has been part of two major provincial shows at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia highlighting contemporary artists: “Capture, 2014”, a Survey of Realism, and in 2016, “Terroir”, a survey of contemporary Nova Scotian Art. His work can be found in numerous private, public and corporate collections around the world. Steven’s work has been reproduced in various publications, including on the cover and inside the 2009 book “from Land and Sea – Nova Scotia’s Contemporary Landscape Artists” and the 2010 coffee table book “A Place Called Away – Stephen Rhude, Living and Painting in Nova Scotia”.
Steven will be at the gallery from 1 pm until 3 pm for a soft opening observing good physical distancing and the wearing of masks. The show runs until December 31st.
For more information please contact:
462 Main St
Wolfville, Nova Scotia