Monday, February 05, 2007


Today, I was in the art committee meeting. We were shown a couple of new paintings and photographs for the walls of PI, and some of them were really great! I admit I wasn't really aware it's so complicated to find appropriate paintings or photographs - there seems to be an awful lot that needs to be considered.

Among the pieces we were shown was a recent photographic work of Robbin Collyer (exhibition at Susan Hobbs Gallery), which I liked a lot. I found it in the Canadian Art Database. It's from 2000 and called Crime Scene:

Now what's wrong with the photo? Look again - all the logos and labels are missing. If you have a bit of time at hand, browse some of the artist's photographs, they are worth it.

The painting that is currently hanging in the lobby downstairs is 'Untitled (Spell)' by Elizabeth McIntosh:

Ah. Oohm... How do I put that? - I just don't like it. But I can understand that one can't possibly decide for or against building decorations by asking everybody who happens to walk by. I should also say that I've looked up some of the artist's older paintings, and these are really good! Like, something between Miro and Hundertwasser. You find a couple on this website. Here is an interesting review of the painting from the Globe and Mail: BIRTH, NEW ART by Gary Michael Dault. It mentions that the painting is the first after a "dramatic shift" that Elizabeth McIntosh made after having her daughter Chlose:

"Why is that, do you think?" She thinks about it for a minute. "It's probably having Chlose," she says. "The paintings are faster and more forgiving now. And since I have a lot less time in the studio than I used to have, it all works out."

Unfortunately, I couldn't find photos of any of the paintings I liked better (well, okay, the problem might be that I immediately forgot the names of the artists). Anyway, while browsing, I stumbled across John Copeland's paintings, which are all entangled in loops and strings ;-)

This one is titled 'A Long Journey' and depicts very precisely how I feel after a day with too many seminars

And while we are at it: on the weekend I was on a pretty weird painting trip, and made some first tries for a new series of works. I'll keep you updated on the progress of the pieces. Here's a close up on the first study (click for an enlarged picture).


  1. I like Long Journey.

    If you don't mind my asking, just how many hours are there in the day?

  2. I don't mind :-)

    just how many hours are there in the day?

    Here in Canada? We're on the 20 hour clock, but one hour has 65 minutes ;-)

    Oh yes, they have legalized staplers but the national Igloo melted away in this year's unusually warm November.

  3. Your painting is gorgeous! Looks finished to me.

  4. Hi Sean, thanks :-) It's just an experiment to see if the medium does how I want (it doesn't). It's nice but totally void of content... I'm thinking about a series called 'structure formation'. You see, I'm heavily influenced by the cosmologists around me. Best -B.

  5. The painting by Elizabeth even though you don't like it would seem appropriate to the PI Institute?

    I was thinking in terms of Quantum Gravity? See here "for perspective" on why. :)

    I am guessing as to what the requirements would be "as to the choice of paintings" but I am sure some of the ones I refer too, are way to expensive? :)

  6. My first reaction on seeing your painting, Bee, was

    "String theory landscape".

    The second was

    "Structure of the cosmos"

    The third was

    "The Mississipi Watershed".

    After looking at it for a while, it seemed like

    "A fading memory of someone seen from the back".

  7. Also "crime scene" is a good one in the fact that what you would want of your science teams as they work using investigative techniques.

    You need a "crime/science anomaly" to evoke this?

    "A landscape" can be devoid of meaning and content until one understood the formation is "in context of the brain?"

    So Arun's interpretation "string theory landscape" may indeed be appropriate one as well? :)

  8. Hi Plato,

    thanks. I'm not a big fan of Picasso. But you're right that the painting by E McI vaguely made me think about dynamical triangulation. Just if it was that it would make a very poor visualisation of the topic. It's actually not so much the shapes that disturb me but the colors. Apologies for the poor photo, but the colors are actually pretty bright, esp. the pink and the light green. I've no idea who would possible want to look at this thing for more than 30 seconds. On the other hands, it prevents people lingering around in the lobby, so maybe its not all that bad a pick ;-)


  9. Dear Arun,

    I definitely had nothing landscapy in mind.

    "A fading memory of someone seen from the back".

    I like that, very poetic. I found it looks like people's experiences criss-crossing back and forth, not knowing where to go, but occasionally meeting in places. In case you're interested, I've a photo of the next painting. Unfortunately, it's a very poor photo, but anyway. It's called 'Trouble'.



  10. I like your painting better than any of the others that are pictured. I'll have to go back a click the links.

  11. Your push+pull=painting has greater merit than posseurs' offal pursuing stepped value aggrandizement then tax write-off after museum donation to corrupt entrenched interests.

  12. Hi Bee,
    this one reminds me of Star Trek
    engage Warp drive

    Could it be like different speeds that create the magnetic fields in the Sun, that dimensions be moving at different (energies) speeds, and on higher ground?

  13. Dear Bee,

    ah, now I see what the Leichtstruktur-Paste will be good for ;-)...

    Hm, the new painting, however somehow reminds me of histological cuts of the brain. I like "Trouble" very much - that one reminds me of a satellite foto of a remote mountain range!

    Cheers, stefan

  14. vHi Uncle,

    thanks for the kind words :-)

    Hi Stefan,

    somehow reminds me of histological cuts of the brain.

    Nah, not at all. It's not that smooth.

    I like "Trouble" very much - that one reminds me of a satellite foto of a remote mountain range!

    Indeed, I was also reminded of some mountain ranges as seen from an airplane.

    Besides this, it's not as easy as it looks like. And it's a total mess. Hope you got the stuff, and send it to me asap. The local artist store ran out of everything comparable and it takes either 4-6 weeks waiting, or I'll have to go to Toronto. Sigh.



  15. Trouble? I had an entirely different first reaction. I was in orbit around an alien planet with signs of intelligence on the watery globe.

  16. well, it's a very troubled alien planet ;-)

  17. Yeah, they have global warming or something :)


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