Marc BrzustowskiMarc is a painter of landscapes, who sets up his easel in the streets and on the rocks the way the Group of Seven did. He takes the advice that no interior studio work is ever as good as engaging directly with the immediate; the wind, sun and light playing across an ever changing landscape. "My paintings are not monumental; they are incidental, mementos of a specific place and time of day. I am moved by the intensity of my visual experiences to “bookmark” them with paintings – painted pictures, painted postcards. My chief ambition is simply to create an image capable of suggesting some small moving part of the moment that called me to paint it." Marc's paintings have been exhibited in galleries in Ottawa, Montreal, Sydney, Meat Cove, Halifax, Amsterdam and Toronto. He now lives in Manitoulin Island.
My chief ambition is simply to create an image capable of suggesting some small moving part of the moment that called me to paint it. My hope is that the depiction of the visual aspect of this moment will stand in for the direct experience, not only for me but for others who view the painting as well. Since much of my work is painted on-site, the primary challenge for me is to maintain a faithfulness to the view at hand while finding the most effective means to convey that view, its impact on me, and the very experience of attempting to convey it. I am not striving to copy the view but to find for it a faithful equivalent in paint. Amongst my biggest influences are Canadian landscape painters such as the Group of Seven, Emily Carr, Tom Thomson, and J.W. Morrice, and French post-impressionist painters such as Albert Marquet.
My own engagement with my work takes place on two levels: first on a creative level which presents me the challenge of finding the paint equivalents for light, object and feeling; second, on a perceptual level, in the act of seeing the painting itself. In my opinion, the work is successful if it conveys a distinct and convincing sense of place and time, if, in other words, it captures some of the light and power. Above all, however, the image must be visually appealing, must seduce my eye with an invitation and a place to wander. I think my work is engaging to the extent that it solicits the desire to be there – first and foremost before the painting itself.
In the past four years I have painted on average over 200 small panels annually, working in such places as Montreal, Toronto, Cape Breton, British Columbia, Paris, Amsterdam, Switzerland and Poland. I am currently living in Meat Cove, Cape Breton. I have worked as a social change activist, a truck driver, and a palm reader, among other occupations. While these experiences doubtless inform my work, I do not make any direct links between them and the content of my painting. As such, I have included in my résumé only those aspects of my experience which I feel are directly relevant to my intentional development as a painter.
Marc Brzustowski at Gallery 1313
“Montreal artist Marc Brzustowski is an engagingly old-fashioned painter who sets up his easel in the streets just the way the French Impressionists did, and paints what he sees. The result of this rather refreshingly conventional practice is the vast number of delectable little oil panels making up his exhibition 'tabernaque attaque!' in the tiny process gallery at Gallery 1313.
If I simply list their subjects – Montreal streets, Montreal canals, bridges, warehouses, churches – it's going to sound dull. But words cannot convey Brzustowski's remarkable way with light and atmosphere, his way of incarnating watery sunlight. The paintings may be traditional but they're effulgent with visual pleasure.”
Gary Michael Dault
Globe and Mail, Dec. 18, 2004
Price Range: $400 - $2,000