Nicholas Metivier Gallery

Stephen Appleby-Barr
October 5–28, 2017

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 5, 6-8 PM

Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by Stephen Appleby-Barr. The exhibition will open on October 5th and run until October 28th with an opening reception on Thursday, October 5th. A new book, Stephen Appleby-Barr – The Pale Path, was published by Nicholas Metivier Gallery and Black Dog Publishing to accompany the exhibition. A limited edition of the book with a signed and numbered etching is also available.

In the spring of 2016, Stephen Appleby-Barr moved to Berlin for one year to expand on his research in historical painting and costumes as well as to study opera set design. The influence of his brief but potent time abroad is reflected in this new body of work. In particular, visual nods to J.M.W. Turner, Hieronymus Bosch and Francisco Goya are now present alongside Appleby-Barr’s signature portraits of his friends and human-animal hybrids. A significant shift has also occurred in Appleby-Barr’s backgrounds. The setting is more defined than before and rendered in a rich phthalo blue that symbolizes the open road.

The primary setting is the Aves Road to Corvidae. All these beasts are on their way to a gathering. They walk and ride on the Aves Road. They are going to converge on a ceremony where an oath will be made by the bird folk of the surrounding regions. The creatures on this path come from all corners of the land. They are beggars, emissaries, mad kings, courtiers, soldiers, tradesfolk and couriers. They are drawn to an event that promises to change the world they inhabit. – Stephen Appleby-Barr, excerpt from The Pale Path

The most interesting development to come out of Appleby-Barr’s travels is the impact of theatre and set design. Several visits to the Palais Garnier Paris Opera House combined with readings of Leonardo Da Vinci’s notes about perspective and visual perception, have gifted him with a new understanding for depicting space. To fully explore the possibilities, he created sculptures of his characters, transforming his fantastical imagination into tangible form. Fabricated from clay and wire, the sculptures are intentionally left loose and with raw-edges. Unlike his meticulously detailed paintings, Appleby-Barr’s aim with the sculptures is to capture an impression or a gesture, as though seeing from a great distance. The sculptures enable Appleby-Barr to more accurately render his subjects in three-dimensional space while untethering his work from relying so heavily on encounters at museums. The sculptures also represent an exciting exploration into a new medium, just as etching entered his world in 2012 and is now a defining part of his practice.

Stephen Appleby-Barr received his Diploma in Illustration at Sheridan College. His work has been exhibited and collected in Canada, the United States and Europe. Appleby-Barr has created six etchings printed with world-renowned Master Printer, Gregory Burnet of Burnet Editions, and published by the Nicholas Metivier Gallery.  This is Appleby-Barr’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. His new book, Stephen Appleby-Barr – The Pale Path, will be available and distributed internationally this fall.

For more information on this artist, click here.