Thomas Anfield

Thomas Anfield Presents New Work: What Happens When The Figure Keeps Going

September 15-17 Thomas Anfield presents a solo exhibition of new paintings at West 7 Studios in Vancouver. A reception will open the weekend Friday, September 15 from 6:00-10:00 p.m.

The exhibition takes place on the traditional, unceded Coast Salish territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Works from Anfield’s Invisible Universities, Figures, and Still Lives series will be on display. Investigating tenacity, authenticity, and self-expansion, the paintings explore what experience does to us as individuals.

A musician and also a dancer, Anfield’s painting exists in symbiosis with his other disciplines. Accomplished in Butoh, a form of Japanese modern dance, Anfield’s appreciation of form and figure is evident in his paintings. They are vibrant pieces that take up space, challenging the confines of the canvas. The artist's process of sculpting figures before capturing them with loose brush work results in a physically powerful painting. Using the figure, Anfield explores the collective unconscious, how we are programmed to perceive form in specific ways based on our life experiences. From Beatrix Potter to Mad Magazine to surrealism, cubism, Neolithic sculpture, and reality TV—our perception is a subjective compilation of pop and pretension, history and modernity, tradition and technology.

Anfield remarks, “I have begun thinking about how and why I drew as a child, how I draw when I ‘doodle’ and what the simple forms are that we relate to. How the placement and deportment of a simple form constitutes and expresses emotion. How we internalize external forces and what shapes and forms we use to re-externalize them in a work of art.” Like poems, the pieces challenge the observer to interpret figures using the lexicon of living. Inside each work you’ll find metaphor, allegory, allusion and even hyperbole. Like jazz music and butoh dance, the pieces simultaneously demand and defy interpretation: It is the structure itself that holds emotional power.

A third generation Vancouverite, Thomas Anfield is a painter who also creates work in dance, performance and music. He has presented work internationally in North America, Europe, Russia and Africa including the Vancouver Art Gallery, The National Gallery of Senegal and Salon de Plastica Mexicana, Mexico. His works have been featured in Modern Painters, Elle, Macleans, Vancouver Magazine and Preview Magazine. Co-creator of the dance company Butoh-A-GO-GO, Anfield saw great success in Butoh, invited by the Moscow Ballet three times to perform in Russia, and premiering at the Vancouver International Dance Festival.

The exhibition will be on display September 15-17, 2017 at West 7 Studios, 14 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver with an opening reception Friday evening 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The collection will remain open for viewing Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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