The other evening, I went to the opening of Will Gorlitz's exhibition at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Gorlitz is a Professor in the Studio Art Program in the Department of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph and a veteran Canadian figurative painter who "sets out to unsettle our vision", says Richard Rhodes, editor of Canadian Art magazine. See a brief video tour of a 2008 Gorlitz exhibition.
I found it interesting to hear him talk briefly about his work at the opening. In my last couple of blog posts, I wrote some thoughts about changing directions in my artwork and asked how to recognize when we need to change directions or how to stay true to our own intuition. Will mentioned that when he graduated from art college, that he had noticed how it seemed an important thing for an artist to find their path and to stick with it. He decided right then to challenge that 'convention', and try to make many different bodies of work.
When this retrospective was offered to him, he said that he wondered how they would hang so many different bodies of work. But after the show was hung and he stood looking at it, he realized that there was a connection between the various works.
It makes me wonder if we have a certain mark or way of making artwork that is ours, even if the bodies of work seem unconnected. And looking back at our work over time, if we simply make art long enough, do the connections become more apparent?