Like many of Gardner's recent works, Backside show an isolated figure engulfed by a natural setting. The empty, eternal quality of the landscape could be compared to Romantic paintings by artists like Caspar David Friederich, though the surfer caught mid-wave is unique to the age of photography.
Through a series of unsettling juxtapositions, Tim Gardner creates compelling works that show the tension between photography and painting. Gardner works in watercolor or pastel – delicate, traditional materials – though he depicts contemporary scenes and often paints from snapshots. Like many of his recent works, Backside show an isolated figure engulfed by a natural setting. The empty, eternal quality of the landscape could be compared to Romantic paintings by artists like Caspar David Friederich, though the surfer caught mid-wave is unique to the age of photography. Solo exhibitions of Gardner’s work have taken place at Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art; and National Gallery, London. Group shows include Visions of British Columbia, Vancouver Art Gallery; All the More Real, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill; New Work: Tim Gardner, Marcelino Goncalves, Zak Smith, SF MoMA; and Will Boys Be Boys? Questioning Masculinity in Contemporary Art organized by Independent Curators International.
gallery website: www.303gallery.com
Image rights: courtesy of the artist and 303 gallery, new york
About Tim Gardner
Tim Gardner uses watercolor to depict young men clowning around—stuffing beer cans down their shorts, streaking through the woods, or otherwise indulging their youth—subjects derived from photographs sent from his siblings and friends. As a foil to their crude behavior, Gardner incorporates majestic Canadian landscapes, seducing viewers with mountains and wildflowers. Tension between man and his surroundings is palpable throughout his oeuvre. In more recent works, Gardner’s subjects’ have matured and they often appear as lonely figures, either in nature or amidst New York cityscapes; in Boy in Park (2009), a young man walks through Central Park, seemingly oblivious to the world beyond himself.
Canadian, b. 1973