up front w/ Janine Hall
Mar 26 – Apr 30 2021
Norberg Hall is delighted to present new work by Calgary artist Janine Hall. For many years Hall has been studying archetypes found in nature. For this exhibition, the artist’s renderings in charcoal and oil focus on the storm as a representation of turmoil and the human struggle between power and revolution. In her work, Hall integrates the spirituality she experiences during the creative process with imagery of the raw force of nature.
Janine Hall is a Calgary-based painter with a focus on intimate life-sized portraits. Her work has been exhibited across Canada, most prominently with The Kingston Portrait Prize in 2005, 2007, 2011, 2017. In 2019, Hall’s work was longlisted for the prestigious Figurativas Painting and Sculpture Competition in Barcelona Spain. Her work can be found in the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and numerous private collections across North America.
Included in this exhibition are Coming Storms 2, 3, 4 and 5 (all works 2020, charcoal on cotton rag) and Over There and This Way, two new oil paintings on linen. As a substrate, linen is a fine natural material which reacts differently to oil paint than cotton canvas. The paintings are foreboding yet the artist’s treatment of the subject and skilled technique using layers of glazes, scumbling, shallow impasto and staining brings out a luminosity. The moment when the storm touches down is vividly portrayed, dark, dramatic earth whipped up with a terrifying momentum is seen at the base of the funnel cloud. Although the storms have been stopped in their tracks, arrested by Hall in her masterful capturing of each one the impact of the work remains strikingly powerful.
It is no coincidence that the artist returned anew to these favoured images as the Covid-19 pandemic set in just over a year ago. The chaos, uncertainty and fear that continues to be felt by many is conjured in these intimate yet tumultuous paintings and drawings. Hall’s accuracy in her treatment of the subject is searing, her renderings of these monsters of the sky haunting. The artist’s storms simultaneously conjure and quell the mix of emotions and certain states of mindthe viewer may experience as we enter year two of pandemic life.
–Maeve Hanna / art writer