Alain Norman Amar abstract paintings at Gallery 1313

Installation view. Photo: Nika Teper

In the exhibition, Abstractions in Nature: Imagination is Everything, vibrant, painterly representations of natural phenomena engage with human perception. Artistic mediation encourages the internalization of the uncanny views of the unmediated. Artist, Alain Norman Amar, creates allusions to the physical features, environmental qualities and ephemerality of nature. Applying oil paint and beeswax onto wood panels, he texturally creates atmospheric renderings that convey the luminosity, reflectivity and movement of nature. In memory of his departed brother Joseph David Amar, this exhibition becomes further embedded with ideas about the transitory and transcendent.

Artist, Alain Norman Amar in front of his painting. Photo: Phil Anderson

Luminosity is conveyed with dark and contrasting light moments as his blunt colour variation is contrasted with a discrete layering technique that only becomes revealed when the work is approached. Natural phenomena is abstracted yet approachable. The manipulation of light demonstrates contingency to time of day and year, a thread that unites each piece.

Alain Norman Amar, Untitled, oil and beeswax, on wood panel, 48″ x 48″. Image courtesy of Gallery 1313

A visual emphasis on the reflective quality of nature situates the viewer within a simultaneously recognizable and allusive outdoor space. The distinct divisions of the panel, repetitive motifs, layered translucent material and extreme colouration leave an emotional impression individual to each visitor. Most often the eye is drawn to a horizontal ground plane, either outlined or implied. On either side of this plane qualities of reflection are expressed with mirrored images of diminishing forms. Distortions, missing elements, elongated figures and an increased blur are present in the lower portions of the work and contrast the more distinct upwards impressions. The symmetries and singularities in nature are expressed. The heightened focus on reflectivity evokes water’s ability to frame a transient perception of the vertical of trees and the intensities of the sky. The obvious reflective quality situates the viewer and emphasises natural experiences contingent to time.

Alain Norman Amar, Untitled, oil and beeswax, on wood panel, 110″ x 86″. Image courtesy of Gallery 1313

Gestural brush strokes and pencil marks provoke directional movement and further distort the natural figurations. Excluding the ground plane, the horizontal brushstrokes suggest the wind and weather. Prominent vertical brushstrokes become more confusing, as they are both atmospheric and figural, resembling trees and their movements. The intense depth created with texture and repetition enables the simultaneous multi-directional movement of all natural forces. Simplified motifs align physical nature with its natural process.

Alain Norman Amar, Untitled, oil and beeswax, on wood panel, 48″ x 36″. Image courtesy of Gallery 1313

Evocations of the natural world dominate the abstract paintings of Alain Amar. Referential abstract elements situate the viewer in a natural setting demonstrating an artistic engagement with nature and human emotion. Multisensorial stimulations are achieved in his paintings with the addition and subtraction of colours. The patterns and materials convey distinctly natural qualities of luminosity and reflectivity. They create movement that invoke auditory and visual, fragrant and tactile memories. His work exists as a non-projective lens aiming to inspire the personal evaluation of  human emotions relative to the physical world. Amar believes that nature softens the human perspective and elevates the human condition. 

Nika Teper

*Exhibition information: July 6 – 17, 2016, Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen Street West, Toronto. Gallery hours: Wed – Sun: 1 – 6 pm.


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