00:00
/
00:00
Burnett, Brian
November November
1983 1983

The most contemporary landscape in the Soloway collection, Brian Burnett’s November embodies a renewed artistic interest in representation, particularly in painting, in the early 1980s as an alternate current to prevailing abstraction. Critics at the time were heralding “the return to the image.” “November” references Grange Park and its historic house in Toronto, but it is not a direct depiction. Rather, it springs from the artist’s memory of the place, its atmosphere and mood: “I did not go on site and sketch or photograph. I would rather, in the studio, from a mind vision, capture what I saw and felt … Actual architectural accuracy was not a concern.” Painted thickly in vivid, almost garish colours, it presents a sardonic view of urban living, one ironically devoid of life. The tangle of bare trees in the foreground does not coyly shield an inviting vista. Instead it forewarns of the gloomy monochromatic edifices beyond. A number of Burnett’s works from this period reflect darkly on the human condition and industrial environment. As Burnett himself later commented, “In my work and the work of the Neo-Expressionists of the early eighties, ‘angst’ was the common emotion depicted.”

 
Burnett, Brian
South Porcupine ON 1952 South Porcupine ON 1952
November November
1983 1983
Acrylic on canvas Acrylic on canvas
overall: 60.6 cm x 117.1 cm
Gift of Mrs. Ruth Soloway, 2012 Gift of Mrs. Ruth Soloway, 2012
55-004.07

Subscribe to our “This Week at Agnes” e-newsletter to stay abreast of events, news and opportunities at the art museum.