David Craven: Selected Works, 1981 to 2013

March 22, 2014 – June 22, 2014

David Craven, Don’t Make Me Say It Again, 2009, mixed media on canvas, 84 x 60 in, courtesy of the artist

David Craven: Selected Works, 1981 to 2013
March 22 to June 22, 2014
MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, Ontario
Reception: Thursday, April 3, 7 to 9 pm
Artist Talk: Friday, April 4, 10:30 am at Georgian College Campus Gallery, admission free

New York-based Canadian artist David Craven is widely recognized for his distinctive painting practices that span a forty-year career. The MacLaren Art Centre presents tandem exhibitions devoted to this prolific artist, whose oeuvre is unified by a dynamic sense of play as well as a continuous exploration of the tensions between abstraction and figuration.

David Craven and the Cinematic: Selected Paintings, 1981 to 1985, on view in the Janice Laking Gallery,  features six large works from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection with a trio of canvases on loan from the Art Gallery of Hamilton. These portentous and commanding paintings indicate Craven’s turn to figuration after he moved from Toronto to New York in 1980.  While retaining the monumental scale of his abstract works of the 1970s, Craven’s later images depict the attributes of power brokering, telephones, office furniture, et cetera, to create a critique of corporate power and communication. The strong narrative quality of these works coupled with a sense of dramatic irony highlights the dynamism and pressures of urban living.

David Craven: Jump Cut, on view in Gallery 3,  features a selection of recent works composed of networks of lines, dots and text, representing the complex circuitry of contemporary society. Inspired by the bustle of New York City, Craven presents a unique brand of abstraction that combines collage, gestural mark, poured paint and experimental shelf constructions. His crisscrossing, all-over motifs merge with non-narrative text elements to form a vivid expression of the flurried fragmentation that typifies our present condition.

David Craven was born in London, Ontario in 1946. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1969 and the Ontario College of Art in Toronto in 1973. He has had solo exhibitions across North American, in cities such as Calgary, Toronto, Montréal, New York, Atlanta, Victoria and Edmonton. Craven’s work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Vancouver Art Gallery, among others, as well as private collections in Canada and the United States. He currently lives and works in Cambridge, New York.

David Craven Interview with Curator Renée van der Avoird