It was with great pleasure that I assisted to the jam-packed opening of Midnight Bloom by Erin Loree. As this is her first show with Angell Gallery, her art definitely benefited from the large square footage and the high ceilings.
In this show, we can see a grand maturity achieve by Loree. First, she is working on larger canvases than she ever did before (up to 3 meters large). Secondly, I noticed a greater work in transparency. White spaces are more present, creating softer rhythms and fluid lines. Don't get me wrong, the thick impastos of oil are still present and center to her composition, however they are more condensed and balanced by the surrounding thiner application of paint.
The grand chef-d'oeuvre of the night (even though I consider everything Erin produces to be a chef-d'oeuvre) was definitely Thug-of-war. The painting takes your breath away first by it's gigantic scale 2.5 meters high for 3 meters long. I can only imagine the physical work required to create it. Let me remind you that Erin Loree works vertically, applying oil with brushes and moving the thick paint all-over the surface with homemade squeegees. Then, the seemingly infinite shades of blue, green, purple, yellow, pink and orange present in Thug-of-war captures your soul and forces you to look deeper and deeper into the composition. As I said in my previous review, I could spend a lifetime gazing at Erin's thick impasto's of oil, just as I would spend my life in front of a Riopelle, and never get tired of it.
As I was writing this review, I received the news that Midnight Bloom sold-out just after the opening! I couldn't be happier for this well deserving artist who worked so hard to present her inner landscape & her inner light to the world. Erin Loree is undeniably the most promising Canadian painter of this century and it is only a matter of time before she achieves world-wide recognition.
Midnight Bloom is on view at Angell Gallery from January 8th to 30th 2016, Wed to Sat 12pm to 5pm or by appointment7 to 9 p.m. 1444 Dupont St., Unit 15, Toronto.