GORDON MCKINLEY WEBBER
Family of the Artist, Kitchener, Ontario
With a diverse set of influences that include Arthur Lismer, Mexican muralists, and Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy, Webber excels in creating vibrant and evocative scenes that bristle with energy. Frequently, his works address a particularly Canadian relationship between the natural and the constructed, centered on a fusion of diligent construction set in abstracted environments.
Cabin in the Woods is an excellent example of Webber’s unique treatment of an otherwise typical rural landscape. The cabin is pressed into the hillside, the surrounding forest reduced to a series of fluid bands and whorls. Stacks of wood are jostled against green-painted shutters and rusted tools, trees and walls each bending in the breeze around deep voids of shadow. The scene seems outside of human scale: tools and stumps are as large as buildings; construction material and cast-off detritus are indistinguishable from each other. The whole painting is flattened onto a single receding plane, proceeding across the surface of the canvas like a ripple, and punctuated by a bare yellow and black tree breaking through the centre of the image.