What is Art For?

What is art for? Taking risks and looking for ‘essential value’

Art collector J. Tomilson “Tom” Hill III explains why a work’s staying power is more important than its market price.

A presentation at The Art Newspaper’s 25th anniversary celebrations, hosted at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hill was among those invited to investigate the subject What is Art For? Videos of the different speakers—Glenn Lowry, director of MoMA, Eric Kandel, a Nobel Prize-winning neuro-psychiatrist, James Davis of the Google Cultural Institute, J. Tomilson (“Tom”) Hill III, the collector and president and chief executive of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management, and Lina Lazaar, the founder of Jeddah Art


Interview with Eric Louie

Virtually Abstract 

Interview with Eric Louie  by Chris Keatley

Chris Keatley:  Although you are an abstract painter now, in the past you have dealt with both landscape and portraiture in a fairly traditional way. Are there elements of your landscape and portraiture work that underlay or inform your abstraction?

Eric Louie:  I think most of my paintings refer back to landscape, portraiture and still life in some capacity. For the most part in their sensitivity to space and form in an illusory context.  Although I’m using and developing an abstract language it doesn’t stop me from painting a wide variety of imagined subjects. In some instances I go deep into a scenario with close inspection and complexity while in others I pull back and take things on from a distance. I try to give myself the freedom to paint whatever the painting demands as images emerge and develop.

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Interview with Anda Kubis


Virtually Abstract

Interview with Anda Kubis and Chris Keatley:  off-site exhibition Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver, 2016

Chris Keatley:  What computer do you use to create your work? 

Anda Kubis:  I work on a Mac Laptop. I use the track pad and don’t even use a mouse. Because I’m at Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) University, I have lots of technology available to me to play with and I’ve used a Wacom Cintiqu and own a Wacom tablet but I don’t like using the pen. Using my fingers feels more like painting – a track pad feels closer to the painting process. I am not a ‘drawer’. I am distinctly a painter and my process is the manipulation the material of paint or pushing pixels of colour around in the digital process. I can’t wait until they make a 3D Wacom tablet that responds to gesture in a large field – I know that they’re doing testing in this area.

CK:  What computer programs do you use?

AK: I primarily use Corel Paint – always the most updated version as they expand the possibilities exponentially with each new version. I also use Photoshop at the end to make formatting decisions as the file sizes get exceptionally large in Corel Paint.  The funniest thing is that Corel Paint tries to mimic painting/high art practices. I find this humourous and like to work with it as I like to make the simulated brushstrokes and jagged edges of the brushstroke obviously visible. It’s great when viewers become confused about the process often thinking the artwork is made by hand.

CK: How do you see the interface of your creativity with the computer’s technical abilities?

AK:  The process of digital painting has really reinvented my practice. It’s allowed for a more experimental side to come through – definitely because I’m using new technology and I have the potential to work on a variation of surfaces but also because the digital is very fast. I do work to slow the process down by making many variations of the same piece until I edit and edit and come to a decision but I enjoy entertaining many options. Painting with oil on canvas, which I still do, is a very linear and additive process. Working digitally is rhizomatic – it grows and evolves in unexpected ways, which I like. I do still think that it’s important to note that I am working back and forth between conventional painting (in oil) alternating it with the digital process. These ways of working are informative and force me to get away from each practice to see things afresh. Again, they allow variety of pace as well.

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“Virtually Abstract” at the Pendulum


Elissa Cristall Gallery in collaboration with the Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver, is pleased to present “Virtually Abstract” an exhibition featuring the work of Toronto artist Anda Kubis and Vancouver artist Eric Louie.


Tom Thomson: Life & Work

TomThomson Nov2015Art Canada Institute / Institut de l’art canadien   
announces the publication of

Tom Thomson: Life & Work
by David P. Silcox

One of the most influential Canadian artists of the early twentieth century, Thomson (1877–1917) is recognized for his iconic images of the wilderness and as a forerunner of the Group of Seven. His tragic death at Canoe Lake remains a national mystery.  Read the Free on-line art book

ECG is pleased to welcome Nathan Birch

winding creek, transp web


ECG is pleased to present the work of Vancouver Island artist Nathan Birch, June 2015.

“Winding Creek, Haida Gwaii”
acrylic on canvas, 21.75″x 35″ (diptych)