Bruce Pashak: The Mahler Project
Christina Parker Gallery is pleased to announce Bruce Pashak’s The Mahler Project, an exhibition of six monumental mixed media paintings exploring Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony. The show opens on May 26 and continues until June 18.
Our opening on May 26, beginning at 7pm, will feature Bruce Pashak in conversation with Annalise Smith, Lecturer of Musicology in the School of Music at Memorial University. As space is limited, please register through Eventbrite if you wish to attend the opening.
Pashak’s large mixed media paintings illuminate the complex themes of Mahler’s magnum opus, taking their titles from the symphony’s six movements. “The Mahler Project hypothesizes that we exist in two worlds simultaneously,” writes Pashak. “One is the real, and the other is a virtual past that grounds us in the present where we become ghosts of our own virtual future. In this sense, the series is a cyclical adventure, always returning to a beginning, only to merge into other worlds where we will, once again, return.”
“The paintings’ subjects have dreamlike qualities which instill feelings of disassociation and alienation. This estrangement between the worlds of the imagined and the real is where the Mahler Project gathers energy.”
Pashak has been working on these paintings for more than a decade, but the inspiration for this project began 20 years ago. “There are moments of clarity only to be led into further mysteries,” writes the artist. “The layering of images embody the interweaving relationships between cultural, scientific, technologic and historical antecedents and future possibilities. The work is always questioning the fragility of those relationships. Viewing this project can be a wonderfully disorientating experience.”
The exhibition includes an audio experience, so that viewers can listen to the corresponding movement of Mahler’s Third Symphony while viewing each painting.
Bruce Pashak is a Canadian artist with studios in Gander and Fogo Island, Newfoundland. He completed his MFA and BFA degrees at the University of Calgary, and has also studied at Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He has taught at the University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge and University of the Fraser Valley.
Pashak has had over 40 solo and group exhibitions of work throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. His works are a part of numerous collections, both public and private, in museums, corporations and art institutions including Art Hotel, Calgary, Alberta Arts Foundation, Lethbridge University, Nickle Arts Museum, Maritime Museum, and VGH Vancouver.
Pashak is a multidisciplinary artist who uses imagery, text and technology to create abstracted anti-narratives that both affirm culturally-encoded associations and break free of these limitations. The images become an experience, a slippery personal tour through existentialism where the meaningful is unhinged and the meaningless finds its private value. He creates art forms as playgrounds for the imagination. Pashak calls them, “riddles that you might try to puzzle out but never need to solve.”
Annalise Smith is a Lecturer of Musicology in the School of Music at Memorial University. Her research focuses on 18th-century operatic music in France, emphasizing the role institutions play in shaping musical cultures and traditions. Her research also explores issues of sexual violence and perceptions of beauty in musical stage works. She has spoken at numerous conferences in North America and Europe, and her research, supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, has received awards from MusCan and regional AMS.
To attend the artist reception on May 26 at 7pm, please register through Eventbrite.