Birch Contemporary

Jaan Poldaas: 2016

We are delighted to announce a solo exhibition of new hard-edge abstract paintings by Canadian artist Jaan Poldaas, his first exhibition since 2013. This new exhibition includes a selection of works in two different scales - 121.2 x 121.2 cm and 60.1 x 60.1 cm.

“The grids Poldaas created for his most recent paintings are 18 by 18 units, with no lines within three units of a parallel canvas edge, leaving behind a central square 14 by 14.  Lines within this square can be associated with dealt playing cards Ace through King (games of chance are loaded with symbolism, which is why the Surrealists loved them), the red cards becoming vertical lines and the black horizontal, with each painting having at least a single black square. Each of these paintings is plotted in the form of seven shapes, squares or rectangles of differing dimension, each with its own colour...For Poldaas, his methods are a way of making explicit, if not exactly transparent, the sequence of decisions that need to be made in order to make works of art; they are a way of setting those decisions in a kind of relief.  Art, like all forms of human action, is defined by sequences of decisions, some determined by broad, pragmatic reflections, others impulsive and intuitive, all of them haunted by contingency, expedience, arbitrariness, and ultimately by irreversibility.”    - Excerpt from the essay 'Seeing and Thinking' by Daniel Baird, to be included in a forthcoming catalogue publication of Jaan Poldaas works from 2016.