Thursday, September 11, 2008

Review: Joe Plaskett's Pretty Paintings at Bau-Xi

Let me say off the bat that there is nothing that has felt as strange to me in some time as giving Joseph Plaskett's current show at Bau-Xi Gallery a rave review (see today's NOW for the published text). Usually still-life painting leaves me cold, as in "been there, seen that, got the overpriced postcard and the Made-in-China coffee mug." But goldarnit, I really like some of his works. Well, pretty much. Any one where he attempts poinsettas drives me crazy in a bad way, but the others, like Green Table, above, really rock the mic in my mind.

On another note, I think it's cool that Plaskett, now 90, is not just "still painting." He's also encouraging youngsters to paint through his $25,000 painting prize. And he also says in his catalogue essay that he still never feels he knows where he's going when he starts a canvas. Plus he has the grace to admit that a lot of past work of his left the studio too early. Good, because I agree, even for this exhibit (see again the maddening poinsettas).

In my review, I mentioned some of the larger (eg 10-foot-wide) pastel drawings Plaskett used to predominantly produce. Here's a sample culled from the website for Reflections and Shadows, his 94 BC retrospective:

Sweet, eh? The result of all this is that I like his work so much I fear meeting him in case I find he's a jerk personally speaking, or something. But if I change my mind I will make sure to go see the live interview with him on Saturday, September 20 at 1:30pm at Bau-Xi. It's part of the Canadian Art Gallery Hop, for which I'm also giving a talk--this one on Pascal Grandmaison at Jessica Bradley--at 3:30pm.


L.M. said...

He's an absolutely lovely man, Leah.

I had him for an instructor at a summer course in Banff when I was only 13. He gracefully hiked up mountains in a beautifully tailored pastel-green linen suit (that we all assumed came from Paris.)

Leah Sandals said...

Parisian suits! Even better. I'm definitely going to see him speak now. And check out his clothes : )