Deon Venter – PENTIMENTO – June 18th
Pentimento is Deon Venter’s re-imagining of the Canadian landscape and wildlife painting– a re-invention of its historical significance, metaphor and symbolism. In this series of large-scale oil paintings, Venter uses ‘pentimento’ to refer to his processes of alterations. The word is Italian for ‘repentance’, meaning to repent or change. Traces of his previous efforts scar the surfaces of his canvases and bear witness to the artist’s evolving compositional decisions. For Venter, ‘pentimento’ represents the presence and emergence of earlier images– transmuted forms, or strokes, painted over, again and again.
Light varies from dappled blue to blinding silver, acid black-greens to urine yellows or foamy turquoises, even flesh-like pinks and purples. Venter draws from a personal iconography developed at Avatar Grove on Vancouver Island’s west coast. His compositions and subject choices reference the historicity of the grove. In his paintings, Venter focuses his attention to the existing languages of art and recalls the spiritual emblems of both European and Indigenous cultures. He strives to deliver a spiritual experience, remembering his own observations of Clayoquot Sound, Carmannah, Walbran Valley and Avatar Grove.
In these works, we see evidence of the first stirrings of the artist’s inspiration– the direct results of his thoughts and actions. Deon Venter examines the complexities of rendering a Canadian landscape. He reassesses and remakes his own oeuvres, interrogating his chosen motifs through repetition. Multiplied by paint, his corrections and erasures construct sensitive and personal imagery that is more curious than resolved.
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