Vitalism: A Force of Nature June 2007


Vitalism Show

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Vitalism Show

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“Vitalism is the doctrine that “vital forces” are active in living organisms, so that life cannot be explained solely by mechanism.  That element is often referred to as the ‘vital spark’ or energy which some equate with the soul”. Wikipedia

Toronto, ON,  May 24, 2007 – Show Gallery is pleased to announce its new multi-media  exhibition, Vitalism: A Force of Nature by the artist, Lavarius.  Lavarius brings a unique and dynamic approach to his art, utilizing nature and light as media tools.  The exhibition is grounded in vitalism, which posits the life force as the animating characteristic of his art.  The exhibition utilizes various media to demonstrate this concept; it introduces the Highlight display feature, incorporates live-streaming, pod-cast painting, and a storefront screening of the video “The Power of Water”.

The Show Gallery will thus transform into a multi-media celebration of art and nature in harmony, with the more serious subtext of respecting nature and achieving inner balance and personal awareness.  This show reflects Lavarius’ personal fascination with nature and his life-long interest in combining creativity with the elements of nature.

“I view my art as an alchemical interaction with nature.  I paint on a molecular level, using minerals and deposits. And, I use other natural elements such as rock and bark directly on the canvas in order to bring the true energy of nature to the viewer. This imbues my paintings with life and spirit”.

In keeping with this naturalistic style, Lavarius uses tools and materials that are applied to, or come from the earth.  He paints mainly with trowel, pastel, charcoal, acrillyic, mica, lavarock, glass-bead, fibres, granite dust, efforescence, and florescence.  At the same time as he is grounded in the earth and nature, one can also see that this is an artist who ‘paints with modernity’.

A critic describes Lavarius’ work: “His paintings reflect the energy and luminosity of spirit and nature - expressed through vivid fluorescent, explosive movement, highly textured surface and deep felt appreciation of nature as art.”  (R. Citron)

Lavarius is a unique artist emerging from an unlikely environment, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).  One of the resident buskers, he radiates health, hope and vitality in the midst of chronic pain, alienation, and poverty. Lavarius acknowledges the impact of substance use and madness in his own life, but he seems undaunted.  He has chosen ‘to live in colour’, creating bold and enlivening art, both as a means of exploring identity, and the path to recovery.  His art is bright and expressive, as though free from doubt and torment. It would appear that the past holds no dominion.  Instead, he is located in the enjoyment of the moment with nature as his muse, his pleasure, and his anchor to wellness.

Inspiration  “Where does the creation of a painting begin, where does it end?  When intense feelings merge deep within a person and idea bursts forth as lava from a volcano, is this not the emergence of a suddenly created work, brutal if you want, but certainly great, and bearing a superhuman aspect?” - Gauguin

Press Release

‘Show Gallery’ Opening

Vitalism: a Force of Nature