Steven Shearer "Steven Shearer"

Steven Shearer "Steven Shearer"

de Appel, Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10, Amsterdam
Steven Shearer, "Xmastrees", 2005, courtesy Gallery Eva Presenhuber
A 'one-artist show' by Steven Shearer (New Westminster, 1968) can be seen on the first floor and in de Appel foyer. Shearer is a product of the leading, internationally renowned art scene that flourishes in the West-Canadian harbour town of Vancouver that since the middle of the 1980's enjoys worldwide attention as a major epicentre for contemporary photo-, film- and video art. In this context, Shearer's prevailing passionate devotion to more "traditional" practices like drawing and painting (graphic art, oil on canvas, silkscreen, lithographs etc.) is all the more extraordinary. Shearer generally derives the motifs for many of his colourful, figurative canvases from the obscure, suburban subculture of the American heavy metal scene and its various (Scandinavian) offshoots, or from the innocent schmaltz of 1970's forgotten pop idols. Shearer's outlook reveals a strong personal (and inevitably also autobiographical) tinted sympathy for these quintessentially proletarian non-cultures. Simultaneously his work is characterized by the cool anthropological detachment of an almost "scientific" eye. Steven Shearer's paintings do not shy away from hallowed traditions. Despite the often jesting, blasphemous nature of their visual source material, the paintings enter into a historic dialogue with the titans of European painting, from Bosch and Breughel to Bonnard and Munch - all of them undisputed masters of the melancholic, the gothic spirit of life - both obscene and grotesque.

As a result of the exhibition a book will be published in the Autumn of 2007.
For information: ednavanduyn [​at​] deappel.nl
See also