A Primary Exhibition organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection for Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Size Matters brings together the work of painter Steve Driscoll and photographer Finn O’Hara for their first-ever exhibition at a public art gallery.
These Toronto-based artists face a dichotomy familiar to many Millennials: urban lifestyles combined with a love for the outdoors. Their work is a creative response to the need for a sense of scale. The resulting images are moments of intervention on landscapes that are sharply foreign to the production and even subject matter of the paintings themselves. A wooded portage route joins passersby on Queen Street West; a giant northern lights landscape finds itself fireside in the concrete jungle; and a multi-panelled waterfall is juxtaposed with towers of commerce in Edmonton.
The process of photographing art is laid bare, but any sense of practicality is abandoned for wit, and Guerrilla-style set making produces a document of art documentation. The disconnect between seemingly impromptu outdoor sets and the landscape paintings they act to frame underlines the impasse reached between en plein air methods and Canadian landscape painting in the 21st century.