The Slab Paintings 1987-1988

(rectangular acrylic canvases)

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These canvases are so titled because the selected compositions were for the most part cut across the width of the painted length of canvas and hung vertically, like the face of a slab of marble. This was smaller group of works of mainly rectangular proportions. In these works the straight unpainted edges were created by the paint boundaries of the troughs the paintings were formed in. I stained and coloured these edges to complement the main body of the work.

In 'Sentry Red' (left) a piece of canvas collage breaks over the edge and shows the more assertive collaging present in some of the works. 'Greytown' was titled for Edmonton. I had in mind the prevalent tonal palette of many Edmonton abstract painters at that time.

This was the first group of rectangular paintings I had produced since the Hazel Hett Gallery shows in 1980 and 1981. Although many of these works were successful and commercially salable they were however short-lived and few in number. I was composing using the compositional axis of the vertical, horizontal, diagonal, and curve within the rectangle to gain variation and expression. The discoveries made in the 'Rocaille Suite' paper works which followed in 1988, lead me, by 1989, to allow the shape of my paintings to be as open-ended and guided by the paint formations themselves. More irregular shaping was evolved by 1991 in the 'Colour and Dimension' works.  

Edited May 22, 2011