Steve Mennie

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Biography

Although I’ve been involved in my practice as a painter for some thirty- odd years, I’ve never been completely successful in determining just what got me started and further, just what it is that I’m up to.

At some level my work is a response to the mystery of being here (wherever ‘here’ is) and  in the beginning, I worked in what would be called a ‘high realist’ style. My interest was primarily to document and to perhaps reveal the essential limitedness of our knowledge by constructing ‘real’’ and banal scenes or contexts in a very cool and detached manner. Although quite natural and possible, the resulting images were meant to be difficult to ‘read’ and this  difficulty would point up the ambiguous nature of reality.  I worked much as a magician would work at practicing a magic trick or illusion. I was careful to hide the means used to create the final work…to achieve a smoothness of surface and an objectivity  which was not to be ‘contaminated’ by any ‘painterly’ trace of the medium or the artist’s subjective feelings.

At some point, I switched from acrylics to oil and began to paint “en plaine aire” landscapes where I became more involved with the plastic possibilities of the medium itself. The more I worked with this more expressionistic approach, the more I became enamored of the medium and soon I was having difficulty distinguishing just where paint ended and image began. The next step became inevitable; I suppose…working only with the expressive qualities of paint itself and leaving ‘recognizable image’ behind. I have yielded much conscious or direct control in my present practice and as a result am more open to what is disclosed or revealed to me through the process of working.  

So now, in a time where we all seem to be involved in relentless and near-hysterical “doing” I think of my artistic practice in terms of Heidegger’s “being-in-the-world” and the resulting works as, to quote Mark Kingwell, “slabs of existence”. These slabs are not pieces of equipment subordinate to the concept of “usefulness” but are instead openings or spaces in which we are called to remember what it means to be.

BIOGRAPHY

1945         Born in Revelstoke, British Columbia
1968         Completed studies at Ontario College of Art, Toronto Ontario
1968-70   Worked as freelance illustrator in Toronto

EXHIBITIONS

2015    Oh, Canada/New York: a cultural exchange and dialogue, Westbeth Gallery, New York City, NY
2015    "Plein Air & River(s) Run", Chazou Gallery, Kamploops BC
2015    "Appearing and Fading",group show, Lake Country Art Gallery, Lake Country BC
2014    "Beyond Land Escape(s)", group show, Chazou Gallery, Kamloops BC
2013    Pulled (A Print Show), group show, Headbones Gallery, Vernon, BC
2013    "Winter Salon", group show, Chazou Gallery, Kamloops BC
2011    "The Mechanics of Abstraction", group show, Salmon Arm Art Gallery, Salmon Arm BC
2010    Pulled (A Print Show), group show, Headbones Gallery, Vernon, BC
2002    "Homemade Show and Sale", 2-person show with Jen Dyck, Tappen Gallery, Tappen BC
2001    Salmon Arm Art Gallery, Salmon Arm B.C., duo exhibition
                "Co-Incidence"
2000    John Ramsay Gallery, Vancouver B.C., solo exhibition " Recent Work
                 Porch Furniture Series"
1999    John Ramsay Gallery, Vancouver B.C., solo exhibition "Recent Work"
1999    Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton Alberta, group show " The Future
                 Ain't What It Used to Be: The Victoria School Exhibition Project"     
1999    Vernon Art Gallery, Vernon, B. C. solo exhibition. " Domestic Exotica"
1998    Salmon Arm Art Gallery, Salmon Arm, B. C. solo exhibition
1998    Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, B.C. group show, "Home Base"
1998    Headbones Gallery, Vernon, B.C. solo exhibition, "New Paintings"
1998    Vernon Public Art Gallery, Vernon, B.C. group show, "Hockey Night in Canada"
1997    Oasis Gallery, Kamloops, B.C. solo exhibition, "Isolated Incidence"
1996    Langham Cultural Centre, Kaslo, B.C., solo serigraphic exhibition
1996    Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, B.C., group show, "The Grass Menagerie"
1996    Kamloops Public Art Gallery, Kamloops, B.C., solo exhibition "Fish Princess"
1995    Headbones Gallery, Vernon, B.C. solo exhibition, "Following Directions"
1994    Centre d'Exposition du Vieux Palais, St. Jerome,Quebec, solo exhibition
                "Following Directions"
1993    New Works Gallery, University of Illinois at Chicago, group show "Visible
                 Language"
1993    Amelia Douglas Gallery, Douglas College, New Westminster, B.C. solo
                exhibition "Following Directions"
1993    Smash Gallery, Vancouver, B.C., solo exhibition "Following
                Directions"
1992    Kamloops Public Art Gallery, Kamloops, B.C. solo exhibition "Following                
                Directions"                        
1991    Oasis Gallery, Kamloops B.C., group show "Little Picture Show"
1988    Kamloops Public Art Gallery, Kamloops B.C. group anniversary show
1987    Grace Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. solo exhibition
1986    Bonnie Kagan Gallery,Toronto, Ontario, solo exhibition
1984    Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, B.C. solo exhibition
1984    Kamloops Public Art Gallery, Kamloops, B.C. group show "A Fish Story"
1983    Graffiti Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. solo exhibition
1980    Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C., group show "Stolen Moments"
1980    2nd Biannual Canadian Print and Drawing Council, group show
1980    Hett Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, solo exhibition
1979    Devooght Galleries, Vancouver, B.C. solo exhibition
1979    Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, B.C. group show "Kids and Cows"

 

COMMISSIONS - AWARDS

1970       Awards of merit from Toronto/Montreal Art Directors Club
1973       Commissioned by Canada Post to design postage stamps commemorating 100th anniversary of birth of Nellie McClung
1974       Commissioned by Canada Post to design series of postage stamps commemorating 100th anniversary of postal service in Canada
1990       Received Explorations Grant from Canada Council

COLLECTIONS

Weyerhauser Canada Ltd.
B. C. Telephone
B.C. Lottery Corporation
Bronfman Collection, Montreal, Quebec
Connor Clarke and Company, Toronto Ontario
Ernst and Young, Toronto Ontario
Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby B. C.
Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops B. C.
Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton Alberta
Westin Hotels, Whistler B. C.
Prestige Inns, Salmon Arm B. C

PUBLICATIONS - BIBLIOGRAPHY

2000       Asian Art News, September/October
2000       Artichoke Magazine , Spring 2000
1996       Vancouver Sun, review of books, December 14
1994       New Art Examiner, January
1993       The Royal City Record, September 22
1993       Vancouver Sun, September25
1993       Vancouver Sun, February 6
1990       CFJC Television, Kamloops B.C.-"Print or not to Print"
1987       Western Living
1987       Art Post Magazine, February/March
1987       CFJC Television, Kamloops B.C. - "PROBE" - Documentary on artist's work
1984       Western Living Magazine, February
1982       Vancouver Sun, December 1
1982       Vancouver Sun, September 24
1980       Vancouver Magazine, April
1980       Images, Contemporary Canadian Realism
1979       Vanguard Magazine, August

Artist

Born: Revelstoke, BC
Price range: $400-$3500