Steve Mennie

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About the Artist:

Steve Mennie was born in 1945 in Revelstoke, British Columbia, and graduated in 1968 from the Ontario College of Art, in Toronto, Ontario.  He worked as a freelance illustrator in Toronto for two years before returning to BC in 1970.  Mennie has worked in various media, including hand-pulled silkscreen, acrylic, oil, and watercolor.

He has exhibited since the 1970’s both nationally and internationally and his works are part of major corporate and public collections across Canada.  In addition, Mennie has been commissioned twice by Canada Post to design commemorative postage stamps.

“In a time where we all seem to be involved in relentless and near-hysterical “doing,” I think of my artistic practice in terms of Heidegger’s “being-in-the-world” and the resulting works as, to quote Mark Kingwell, “slabs of existence”.  These slabs are not pieces of equipment subordinate to the concept of “usefulness” but are instead openings or spaces in which we are called to remember what it means to be.”- Steve Mennie

Résumé:

Selected Exhibitions

2015    Oh, Canada/New York: a cultural exchange and dialogue, Westbeth Gallery, New York City, NY

2015    "Plein Air & River(s) Run", Chazou Gallery, Kamploops BC
2015    "Appearing and Fading",group show, Lake Country Art Gallery, Lake Country BC
2014    "Beyond Land Escape(s)", group show, Chazou Gallery, Kamloops BC
2013    Pulled (A Print Show), group show, Headbones Gallery, Vernon, BC
2013    "Winter Salon", group show, Chazou Gallery, Kamloops BC
2011    "The Mechanics of Abstraction", group show, Salmon Arm Art Gallery, Salmon Arm BC
2010    Pulled (A Print Show), group show, Headbones Gallery, Vernon, BC
2002    "Homemade Show and Sale", 2-person show with Jen Dyck, Tappen Gallery, Tappen BC
2001    Salmon Arm Art Gallery, Salmon Arm B.C., duo exhibition
            "Co-Incidence"
2000    John Ramsay Gallery, Vancouver B.C., solo exhibition " Recent Work
            Porch Furniture Series"
1999    John Ramsay Gallery, Vancouver B.C., solo exhibition "Recent Work"
1999    Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton Alberta, group show " The Future
            Ain't What It Used to Be: The Victoria School Exhibition Project"     
1999    Vernon Art Gallery, Vernon, B. C. solo exhibition. " Domestic Exotica"
1998    Salmon Arm Art Gallery, Salmon Arm, B. C. solo exhibition
1998    Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, B.C. group show, "Home Base"
1998    Headbones Gallery, Vernon, B.C. solo exhibition, "New Paintings"
1998    Vernon Public Art Gallery, Vernon, B.C. group show, "Hockey Night in Canada"
1997    Oasis Gallery, Kamloops, B.C. solo exhibition, "Isolated Incidence"
1996    Langham Cultural Centre, Kaslo, B.C., solo serigraphic exhibition
1996    Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, B.C., group show, "The Grass Menagerie"
1996    Kamloops Public Art Gallery, Kamloops, B.C., solo exhibition "Fish Princess"
1995    Headbones Gallery, Vernon, B.C. solo exhibition, "Following Directions"
1994    Centre d'Exposition du Vieux Palais, St. Jerome,Quebec, solo exhibition
            "Following Directions"
1993    New Works Gallery, University of Illinois at Chicago, group show "Visible
            Language"
1993    Amelia Douglas Gallery, Douglas College, New Westminster, B.C. solo
            exhibition "Following Directions"
1993    Smash Gallery, Vancouver, B.C., solo exhibition "Following
            Directions"
1992    Kamloops Public Art Gallery, Kamloops, B.C. solo exhibition "Following                
            Directions"                        
1991    Oasis Gallery, Kamloops B.C., group show "Little Picture Show"
1988    Kamloops Public Art Gallery, Kamloops B.C. group anniversary show
1987    Grace Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. solo exhibition
1986    Bonnie Kagan Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, solo exhibition
1984    Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, B.C. solo exhibition
1984    Kamloops Public Art Gallery, Kamloops, B.C. group show "A Fish Story"
1983    Graffiti Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. solo exhibition
1980    Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C., group show "Stolen Moments"
1980    2nd Biannual Canadian Print and Drawing Council, group show
1980    Hett Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, solo exhibition
1979    Devooght Galleries, Vancouver, B.C. solo exhibition
1979    Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, B.C. group show "Kids and Cows"

Statement:

Although I’ve been involved in my practice as a painter for some thirty- odd years, I’ve never been completely successful in determining just what got me started and further, just what it is that I’m up to.

At some level, my work is a response to the mystery of being here (wherever ‘here’ is) and in the beginning, I worked in what would be called a ‘high realist’ style. My interest was primarily to document and to perhaps reveal the essential limitedness of our knowledge by constructing ‘real’’ and banal scenes or contexts in a very cool and detached manner. Although quite natural and possible, the resulting images were meant to be difficult to ‘read’ and this difficulty would point up the ambiguous nature of reality.  I worked much as a magician would work at practicing a magic trick or illusion. I was careful to hide the means used to create the final work…to achieve a smoothness of surface and an objectivity which was not to be ‘contaminated’ by any ‘painterly’ trace of the medium or the artist’s subjective feelings.

At some point, I switched from acrylics to oil and began to paint “en plaine aire” landscapes where I became more involved with the plastic possibilities of the medium itself. The more I worked with this more expressionistic approach, the more I became enamored of the medium and soon I was having difficulty distinguishing just where paint ended and image began. The next step became inevitable; I suppose…working only with the expressive qualities of painting itself and leaving ‘recognizable image’ behind. I have yielded much conscious or direct control in my present practice and as a result am more open to what is disclosed or revealed to me through the process of working.  

So now, in a time where we all seem to be involved in relentless and near-hysterical “doing” I think of my artistic practice in terms of Heidegger’s “being-in-the-world” and the resulting works as, to quote Mark Kingwell, “slabs of existence”. These slabs are not pieces of equipment subordinate to the concept of “usefulness” but are instead openings or spaces in which we are called to remember what it means to be.

– Steve Mennie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Associated Exhibitions

Steve Mennie – Look Both Ways
October 13 - October 31, 2017
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WINTER SHOWCASE
December 7, 2016 - January 31, 2017
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