Gallery 78 is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Peter Salmon entitled “Mostly Land” commencing April 24. Salmon’s paintings are part of a realist tradition long entrenched in Atlantic Canada, which continues to ask critical questions and to reveal the importance of observation in art. Interestingly, realism is a difficult genre to define today as it has grown to encompass many aesthetics and styles. “Realism is an incredibly painterly craft” says Kimberly Bent of Gallery 78, “and requires a very high level of skill that Peter Salmon has truly mastered.” Salmon’s engagement with realism challenges traditional notions of the landscape genre and analyses the reality of the landscape with precision and complexity.
Salmon has been quite suggestive in titling this body of work “Mostly Land” given the subject matter in his paintings. A number of the works depict the rusted, broken bodies of cars as they decay on the land. Salmon is actively engaging with this subject matter. He is not simply relaying visual information to the viewer; it becomes a discussion about land, its use and concerns relating to human intervention. Undulating between more traditional landscape imagery and these images from salvage yards, Salmon creates a tension between what the viewer expects from landscape paintings and what is actually there. His work captures the beauty of the banal all the while emphasizing this question of land and its use. Preoccupation with land use is at a critical juncture on a world-wide scale, but has a particular resonance with the current economic prospects in New Brunswick.