MICHAEL CANNING – Language and Information, Waterhouse & Dodd, 47 Albemarle Street, London W1, until 31st May
This celebrated Irish artist makes a welcome fifth return to the gallery where he has previously had four sell-out exhibitions. It is easy to understand why.
The landscapes are an evocation of those found near his West of Ireland home while the wild plants he uses come from nearby pastures and hedgerows and are often chosen because of their herbal or medicinal qualities. While Canning can take several years to build up the landscape elements of his pictures the plants are usually painted from life in a single session.
There is a hint of an historical element to the composition of these works in that the black base in which the plants are set suggests the window ledges on which flowers are often displayed in Old Master paintings but as the exhibition’s title suggests the artist is in fact exploring the contemporary philosophical questions of painting and representation. Very eloquently so in my opinion.
All images are copyright