Dropped by Fran Hill Gallery last night for opening of Robert Chandler’s “Scratch,” an exhibit of new paintings.
The first thing that strikes me about Robert Chandler’s paintings is the colour. In some cases, colours that you’d never have thought would work together – like pink, red and orange – do work together. Most of the vibrating canvasses have a decidedly urban sensibility to them, and the stacked, outlined squares in these compositions bring to mind multi-level dwellings, a computer keyboard, a bird’s-eye view of a street grid. Then Chandler surprises the viewer with two lighter canvasses, which appear to be white-wash over colour, with abstract, geometric drawings scratched onto the surface. And then the yellow and black piece, which put one fellow visitor in mind of two crosses sinking in water, the yellow disappearing into black. I noticed how the one titled “Red Writer,” pictured in the exhibit flyer – the image used in the gallery’s exhibit invitation – looked more reddish in print than in real life, which was more bright pink. And the red in the canvass is the colour of blood. Vibrant and a bit disturbing.
I didn’t note titles for the most part, though I did take the list around with me. Titles are something that interests me – but not necessarily the artist. More importantly, I found myself and others there last night, returning to look at the paintings – and noticed that there was something different to see.
Come see for yourself.
Robert Chandler’s “Scratch” is on at the Fran Hill Gallery showroom (285 Rushton Road, Toronto) until November 24. Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11 a.m.m – 6 p.m. or by appointment: email@example.com – or call 416-363-1333 or 647-768-6865 (cell).