Was very happy to be able to make it out to the final day of Philip Cairns’ Colours of the City exhibit at Arcadia Gallery on Sunday – and it was a great afternoon of art and chatting with Cairns, surrounded by colour and warmth on a chilly grey day.
An exhibit of mostly paintings (acrylic on paper), with a couple on wood and one colour pencil drawing, Colours of the City is a collection of mainly abstract expressionist works, some intense and using a darker palette, while others are more subtle and understated – all are organic, beautiful, and shimmering with gold and silver highlights.
Colours of the City features a number of renderings of trees which, while it seems an unlikely subject given the exhibit’s title, it reminds the viewer that Toronto is home to a large number and variety of green spaces. The dynamic composition and vibrant brush work bring these trees to life, at times appearing anthropomorphized – and, like the mysterious woman in the purple gown in the pencil drawing, even dancing.
Cairns has also included some lovely land/seascapes, inspired by the works of Rae Johnson. Here are some highlights from the Colours of the City exhibit: