signed; signed, titled, and dated to the stretcher, also inscribed "Browning Passage" on the reverse
32 ins x 55 ins; 81.3 cms x 139.7 cms
June 03, 2021
In 1980, after an already-prolific art career living abroad and teaching, Takao Tanabe returned to his birth place of British Columbia and settled on Vancouver Island to paint full time. His focus became centred around capturing the beauty of the West Coast. Goletas Channel, for which this painting is specifically named, is on the Northern tip of Vancouver Island. There is a ferry that leaves Port Hardy, just south of the channel and continues all the way to Prince Rupert in Northern B.C. We can imagine this was a view from the ferry down the channel.
Tanabe has expertly captured the mood and atmosphere of a cool, misty morning. While the painting is specifically named for its place, it evokes a grander place that is both subtle and sublime. He has treated the acrylic like watercolour, with soft washes of colour.
Of his West Coast paintings, he explains that “…the views I favour are the grey mists, the rain-obscured islands and the clouds that hide the details. However much we desire order and clarity in all the details of our lives, there are always unexpected events that cloud and change our course. Life is ragged. The typical weather of the coast is like that, just enough detail to make it interesting but not so clear as to be banal or overwhelming. It can be a metaphor for life.”1
1Takao Tanabe, in an artist’s statement of Oct. 12, 1999, cited by Roger H. Boulet in his essay in the exhibition catalogue Takao Tanabe: Wet Coasts and Dry Lands (Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, B.C., 2000), p.13.
Canadian Fine Art
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