The new romanticism?

Tim Gardner, Nick and Holly, 2008,watercolor, 10 x 14 inches
Tim Gardner, Nick and Holly, 2008, watercolor, 10 x 14 ins

Tim Gardner’s painting exhibition on now at Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery affirms for me something I have been feeling for some time now. Could it be that  a new sincerity, indeed a new romantic movement is afoot?

Gardner’s small watercolor mountain vistas and light-drenched children’s playground reveal a sensitivity that seems to have been undervalued in recent trends. True, his more typical painting of a pal giving the finger to the photographer’s camera while resting at the summit of a hike, and a homeless man picking up trash, adds edge to the exhibition, but then the glow from birthday candles on his mother’s face bring one back to a warmth and empathy for his subjects.

With the new pragmatic “get things done” spirit in Washington, and the economic downturn forcing us all to look at what is truly important to us, I am wondering if this will encourage an opening up in the artworld to more heartfelt subjects. Perhaps Gardner is onto something.

Tim Gardner is represented by 303 Gallery in New York.

2 Replies to “The new romanticism?”

  1. Hi Val, I think you are right about the new sincerity but going further, real honesty could be the keyword. And honesty leads to truth, a kind of truth that is simple and direct. It is what it is, not meant to trick, shock or is contrived so it says to the viewer “look at me aren’t I clever”.
    There are many artists working in different mediums that carry this honesty and they can be working in a less objective manner also. The life that is present in their work is what sets them apart and Gardner’s paintings hold that spark.

    1. Well said, Chris. This kind of work will likely stand the test of time, outlasting any trends or fashions. I just saw Jay Isaac’s work at CSA Space, and it is all about that directness of which you speak. I highly recommend you see it if you can.

      thanks for writing,

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