Arbor Nimbus: Paintings by Joseph and Matthew Catalano
A little over a year ago, I got it into my head that I wanted to have an exhibition with my father. The idea of a father/ son show seemed engaging and kind of unique. We have both been working away for years now and I thought it would be nice to show our work together. When it comes to art making; we have very different approaches and working styles from one another, but I felt the work might dialogue in an engaging fashion.
I then began to look for possible venues for this potential exhibit. A week into the process I opened my email and found a notification that this new Gallery A was excepting exhibition proposals for their upcoming schedule. I have no idea who sent me this or how I got on this mailing list but, works for me. Oh and the proposals, they’re due in a week.
I immediately started to brainstorm an exhibition proposal that tied our work together in some coherent and meaningful way. My father is a very versatile painter who loves to experiment. His subject matter ranges from the purely abstract all the way to the representational with all stops in between. I didn’t want this to merely be a survey show and was looking for a common thread. I decided to focus on his love of nature. The landscape and nature loom large in his work with the tree being one of his favourite subjects. In his paintings, he is endlessly reinventing and abstracting this form. This is where the Arbor comes from.
In my own work, I’ve been playing with a variety of symbols and motifs that find their way in again and again. One of the earliest symbols to show up would be a graphic cloud like shape (Nimbus). In some cases it resembles more of a flower or variety of other things but I like it to have weightlessness to it. My work is intended to be purely abstract, but over time elements and attributes of the landscape were slowly presenting themselves.
These two elements of the land and the air or the tree and the cloud would be the foil to wrap the show around. The show is also meant to explore two generations of painters that approach the medium from two different directions. One steeped in history and tradition and the other playing with technology and working methods.
Overall we were very pleased with the results and the two styles seemed to play nicely together.
The show runs from Aug 5 to Sept 10th.