This weekend is very busy with the Art Hop in Vancouver, but we didn't want to forget to wish Fiona Ackerman well with her solo exhibition that will be launching in Calgary. Fiona's exhibit Amplifier opens this Saturday. We hope it is a stellar success! 
Having just closed an exhibition of recent studio paintings at Winsor Gallery (March 2014), this new series of abstract paintings is a burst of new imagery, and a return to a familiar, personal symbolic playground. Though at first glance, these two bodies of work, (the studio paintings and the abstract work) appear to be two concurrent, but unconnected painting practices, she has come to understand how deeply connected they in fact are.  

A Wandering, Wayfaring Giant,   FIONA ACKERMAN, 2013, mixed media on board
Fiona writes:
The process of working through a studio painting and an abstract painting are the same: I sort through the visual chaos I am presented with, eliminating everything non-essential. It’s a bit like listening to a room full of languages being spoken, looking for one you understand. When I think I’ve found it, I zero in on that language and compose the painting from it. In Sunshine Frere’s 2014 essay about the studio paintings, she likens the process to sorting through the noise to find a signal. It is this very same signal that is being tuned into when painting this abstract series. And to find this signal, I applied the very same strategy, but this time I had to first create the noise. I began these paintings by unselfconsciously filling the blank canvas with colour, pattern and line. This process brings me roughly to the same point I find myself at when I enter an artist’s studio with my camera. From this point, I look for the signal. Cutting canvas down, over-painting, building it back up, I listen for a tone. When finally it is found, all else falls away and I work to bring it out. With brush in hand, I am the amplifier. From the noise, is found one unique sound.
Critic, R.M. Vaughan wrote in the Globe and Mail about Fiona’s work, “When you describe the individual parts of a given Ackerman painting, then add said parts together, the math ought not to hold. But her paintings do cohere, and cohere wonderfully, largely because they remain true to their own interior, wholly idiosyncratic, systems of logic. Ackerman is a brave painter – always walking the dental-floss-thin tightrope between expertly composed and total train wreck.”
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