Jaan Poldaas at Birch Contemporary

A Canadian Master Colorist

Last chance to see the retrospective of Jaan Poldaas’s work at Birch Contemporary – and you know you should go see it now. Here is why.

Installation view. Photo: Elena Iourtaeva

‘Oh, more geometric abstraction’ – you might say. Fair enough. But here’s the thing. It is not every day you get to see a full chronological overview of an abstractionist’s work, complete with sketches and video interviews. Patrick Barfoot’s film combines footage of the creative process, interviews with the artist and curators’ commentary. This thoroughness holds a tremendous value when it comes to offering a glimpse of the artistic evolution of an individual over decades, a rare privilege for the viewer.

Documents of the artist’s life. Photo: Elena Iourtaeva
Visitors looking at the documents. Photo: Elena Iourtaeva

A Colourful Life represents a first retrospective of the artist’s body of work since his passing in 2018. The exhibition includes some of his latest, not previously exhibited, works, thus painting a full picture of a lifetime’s achievement.

Jaan Poldaas, Perasequ, 2017, enamel on canvas, 121 x 121 cm. Courtesy of Birch Contemporary

Jaan Poldaas is undeniably a master colorist. So do yourself a favor and go immerse yourself in these delicate variations of hues. Behold these paintings up close, discerning every little detail of the production process, or delight in the perfect balance of color from a distance. This is a show not to be missed.


Installation view of Jaan Poldaas, A Colourful Life. Photo: Elena Iourtaeva

Elena Iourtaeva

*Exhibition information: Jaan Poldaas: A Colourful Life, February 7 – March 2, 2019, Birch Contemporary, 129 Tecumseth Street, Toronto. Gallery hours: Wed–Fri 10 am – 6 pm, Sat 11 am – 5 pm.

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