Pearl Van Geest
Caught in the Act

January 31 - February 23, 2019

Ovation, (detail)  2018/19, oil and cold wax on board, 24" x 24"

Ovation, (detail) 2018/19, oil and cold wax on board, 24" x 24"

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 31, 6:00–9:00pm

Coldstream Fine Art is pleased to present Caught in the Act, by Pearl Van Geest. This series is inspired by the gestural actions of modernist painting and a connection with the drama and pathos of theatre and performance. The “action” is set against deep black areas with shapes that suggest openings through which the action takes place. A stage is referenced through the sweep of curtain-like gestures framing the action, and the curled up canvas in some of the paintings is a kind of stage. The large gestures and drips are meant to give the painting a feeling of openness to continued manipulation and also to interpretation - more process than finality. Van Geest likes to play with visual puns and while very serious on one hand, she includes a sense of humour in these paintings.

Van Geest invites the viewer to respond viscerally to the colour popping out against the black followed by a captivation with more subtle shifts in the temperature of the colours, some of the smaller details and the textural variations in paint application. While felt in the body, the artist would also like the paintings to be sites of free association and musing, where the suggestion of space, openings, windows, doorways and stages spark some kind of vague reminiscing and imagination. Van Geest would like the paintings to seem suspended in action and so the viewer can imagine, feel or think a resolution that is constantly in flux.  

The paintings in this body of work begin with a process of overlaying cold wax mixed with primarily black oil paint on older “finished” work, abandoned ideas and/or failed paintings. Using various tools the thick black wax is removed in sections, with traces left behind. In response to what visual information is revealed by this excavation further painting incidences are added to the surface of the painting. It is a play between concealment and revelation.