• Charles Meanwell

    Cape Pine Revisited - Paintings and Poems

     

    June 4 - July 9, 2022

  • Charles Meanwell first visited Newfoundland in 1968 as a deckhand on a coastal freighter. He was instantly struck by the raw elements of sea, rock and sky. Decades later when he returned to Cape Pine on the southern tip of the province, he was once again moved by the simplicity of the terrain which is locally referred to as The Barrens. While in Cape Pine, he made works on site that responded to the ‘featureless plains of random, scrambled colour’.

     

    For the paintings in this exhibition, Meanwell referenced the digital photographs he had saved from his last trip to Cape Pine. Rather than printing them out, he prefers to look at them through the small display on the back of his camera. This method provides only the most essential information and complements his considered approach to painting that reduces landscape into colour and shape. Meanwell has also recently started painting on white instead of dark grounds, a change that originated with a series of watercolours in 2020. The white grounds infuse his minimal surfaces with a new sense of light and definition.

     

    Accompanying the paintings is a series of poems by Meanwell. The poems were written in Newfoundland and Ontario and speak with the same minimal means as his paintings. Meanwell started painting and writing poetry in 1973, shortly after seeing a portrait by Barker Fairley. The two artists of different generations became friends who shared a similar vision for both painting and writing.

  • Charles Meanwell, Five Hills, 2021

    Charles Meanwell

    Five Hills, 2021 oil on panel
    30 x 30 in.
    $ 6,000.00
  • © Joseph Hartman
    • Charles Meanwell White Patches, 2021 oil on panel 14 x 14 in.
      Charles Meanwell
      White Patches, 2021
      oil on panel
      14 x 14 in.
      $ 3,200.00
    • Charles Meanwell Red Contours, 2021 oil on panel 14 x 14 in.
      Charles Meanwell
      Red Contours, 2021
      oil on panel
      14 x 14 in.
      $ 3,200.00
    • Charles Meanwell Yellow Grass II, 2022 oil on panel 14 x 14 in.
      Charles Meanwell
      Yellow Grass II, 2022
      oil on panel
      14 x 14 in.
      $ 3,200.00
    • Cape Pine Fence Poem
    • Charles Meanwell Cape Pine Fence, 2022 oil on panel 30 x 30 in.
      Charles Meanwell
      Cape Pine Fence, 2022
      oil on panel
      30 x 30 in.
      $ 6,000.00
  • © Joseph Hartman
    • Charles Meanwell Peach Sky, 2021 oil on panel 23 x 23 in.
      Charles Meanwell
      Peach Sky, 2021
      oil on panel
      23 x 23 in.
      $ 5,200.00
    • Charles Meanwell White Patch, 2021 oil on panel 23 x 23 in.
      Charles Meanwell
      White Patch, 2021
      oil on panel
      23 x 23 in.
      $ 5,200.00
  • Cape Pine is a very simple place primarily made up of four basic, unordained things. The ocean, the sky, the barrens and a minimal cast-iron lighthouse.

    It is, for a great deal of the time, very harsh. Either from driving wind and snow or long periods of the most isolating fog cover. It is both the foggiest and windiest location on the island of Newfoundland.

    It is not for everyone.

    But for some, these elements provide great freedom or a beautiful solitude. Where you are free to work, think and be quiet without judgement.

    Meanwell's paintings are done with a speed and intensity that echoes the reality of being at Cape Pine. He also recognizes the importance of the few structures and quieter elements that give comfort within it. Bits of painted fencing, the lighthouse and the security it offers on very black loud nights. Light reflecting on ponds dwarfed by the surrounding barrens. A road that promises to get you out of there when it's just too much.

    Simply put, both Meanwell and Cape Pine are in these works.

     

    - Ned Pratt

    • Charles Meanwell White Patches II, 2022 oil on panel 14 x 14 in.
      Charles Meanwell
      White Patches II, 2022
      oil on panel
      14 x 14 in.
      $ 3,200.00
    • Charles Meanwell Soft Peaks II, 2022 oil on panel 14 x 14 in.
      Charles Meanwell
      Soft Peaks II, 2022
      oil on panel
      14 x 14 in.
      $ 3,200.00
    • Charles Meanwell Black Sea II, 2022 oil on panel 14 x 14 in.
      Charles Meanwell
      Black Sea II, 2022
      oil on panel
      14 x 14 in.
      $ 3,200.00
  • © Joseph Hartman
    • Charles Meanwell Grey Road, 2021 oil on panel 23 x 23 in.
      Charles Meanwell
      Grey Road, 2021
      oil on panel
      23 x 23 in.
      $ 5,200.00
    • Colour And Shape Poem
  •  

  • Charles Meanwell was born in Windsor, Ontario in 1946 and currently resides in Hamilton. Museum exhibitions include Painting Hamilton at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2014; On the Ground, Thames Art Gallery, Chatham, Ontario, 2010; Windsor Paintings, Windsor Art Gallery, Ontario, 2008; and Things Seen, MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, 1995

     

     

    View exhibition checklist

     

    On view at

    Nicholas Metivier Gallery

    190 Richmond St E, Toronto ON M5A 1P1

    through June 25.

     

    For additional information,

    please contact Sarah Massie, (416) 205-9000.