SAINT JOHN ARTS CENTRE
Opening: September 6, 2019, 5:30 - 7:30PM
Exhibition: September 6 - October 25, 2019
Curated by Paul Edouard Bourque
The Saint John Arts Centre presents PICTUS: Recent works by Jared Betts.
Pictus consists of a series of large-scale acrylic paintings on canvas, by Moncton based artist Jared Betts. Created during the winter months of 2018-19, these works are part of a major show currently touring the Maritimes. The exhibition is curated by Paul Édouard Bourque.
Jared Betts is currently engaged in exploring cutting edge expression modes in the field of contemporary painting. His use of gesture and expressionist forms has since the onset set the tone for his highly charged pictorial works. Betts aims at rethinking the very parameters of contemporary painting, and his work as such touches on many pertinent and pressing concerns around the practice of chromatic mark-making, and how these relate to artistic ideals in the 21st century.
Betts confronts the picture plane with bravado and panache. Application and treatment of pigmented matter relies on a zen-inspired attitude mastered by the artist who “gazes trance-like at the surface, until the piece happens…”. Painting such as this requires a definite sang-froid and the mastery of one’s state of mind. The realization of a self-contained, autonomous body of work results from Betts’ full-time commitment to the exploratory adventure around mark-making and structural use of colour as a construction strategy for the picture.
Betts has traveled extensively and has benefited from many artist residencies throughout the world. His rapid absorption of other cultural mores has resulted in a global stance, but also a very intimate and personal one, in regards to what it signifies for an artist to articulate and express visual ideas and ideals onto a blank canvas, while maintaining a deep commitment towards the graphic expression of abstraction and form. His vision resonates within contemporary concepts relating to site, space and time. His strong ties to itinerancy and travel underline the inescapable passage of time; sequence allied to process becomes manifest in these large canvases, whose aim seeks to engulf the viewer’s imagination with vibrancy, action and life.
I am very grateful to acknowledge the constant support of artsnb.