ROSS PENHALL: METEORA
Opening reception: Thursday, May 24, 5 – 8 p.m.
Exhibition dates: May 24 – June 30, 2018
Gallery Jones presents a solo exhibition of work by
the Vancouver-based artist Ross Penhall, Meteora,
from May 24 – June 30, 2018. Penhall’s new largescale
oil paintings display the incredible height and
depth of the mountainous West Coast landscape,
while each tidied tree, cloud and mountain⎯marking
the artist’s distinct style⎯signals the human desire
to connect with the vast wilderness.
In Ancient Greek philosophy, Aristotle used the
phrase ta meteora to describe the totality of
phenomena which takes place in the sky, including
those celestial and spiritual things beyond the grasp of humans’ cognitive capacities. Many of
Penhall’s paintings in Meteora reveal a sense of the power of the natural elements, drawing
attention to the tangible turbulence of our coastal weather. The expansive, moody skies of
Penhall’s new works invite us to consider the sublime and transcendent aspects of nature.
Penhall’s use of light and shadow guide the eye through each scene, conveying a feeling of
temperature as if one is standing on the edge of the landscape. Philosopher Elisabeth Grosz
writes that landscape art has the potential to make visible “that which sensation senses of the
invisible”. Penhall’s paintings have a way of invoking the memory of those invisible stimuli,
whether it is cold, warmth, wind, or fresh air. They manage to capture a piece of the untamable
and ever-changing environment that imbues (or permeates) our coast.
Also included in the exhibition is a new print work called Fluid Dynamics / Silt Sidewalk
Suspension, created in collaboration with the Vancouver printmaking company New Leaf
Editions. It presents two photographed patterns side by side, drawing an interesting connection
between human footprints in silt and handwritten mathematical formulas describing the
relationship of fluids to solids. Elizabeth Grosz, Sensation, the Earth, a People, Art (New York: Columbia University Press,