October 2015

Tim Zuck, Flying Loon (#13), 1981, oil on canvas, 61 x 61 cm. Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre. Gift of Ms. Barbara Stringer, 1997.

Tim Zuck (American-Canadian, b. 1947) Flying Loon (#13), 1981 oil on canvas 61 x 61 cm Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre. Gift of Ms. Barbara Stringer, 1997 Striking and graceful, the loon is a familiar inhabitant of lakes across Canada. Its distinct call is often associated with the beauty and solitude of northern wilderness. Every October, the loon can be seen migrating from northern regions to areas of open water father south. Flying Loon is an oil painting by leading regional artist Tim Zuck. Completed in 1981, it depicts the elegant bird suspended in movement above a placid body of water. In the act of being witnessed, the loon acquires a mysterious narrative role. Silhouetted and devoid of detail, there are no clues as to its point of origin or destination. In the background, both water and sky remain minimal: blocks of solid blue and grey that reflect the seclusion and stillness of the place. Zuck, who is profoundly affected by the natural environment, often chooses his subject matter as a reminder of a particular place and time. By capturing a loon mid-flight, Zuck distills the essence of a beloved and haunting Canadian icon. Flying Loon marks a shift from the artist’s early minimalist period to the beginnings of more a personal, narrative style. Meticulously painted with uniform horizontal strokes, the painting is flat and deliberately emphasizes the two-dimensional surface of the canvas. This work is characteristic of Zuck’s painterly style, in which simplicity of form and composition always prevails. Tim Zuck was born in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1947, and has lived in Canada since 1969. He currently resides just north of Barrie, Ontario. He completed his BFA at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and his MFA at the California Institute of the Arts, and taught at both NSCAD and the Alberta College of Art and Design. He has exhibited extensively and his works are in numerous important collections.