Sky Glabush (Canadian) is one of the country’s leading mid-career artists. As Critic Sarah Milroy describes, Glabush’s paintings investigate “the legacies of art, expressing a special connection to the European traditions of Der Blaue Reiter and Die Brücke, in particular the work of Nolde, Kirchner, Munch, Kupka and Paul Klee.” Milroy explains, “These historic works combine in his imagination with some of the influences from his own lived experience, raised as he was in a variety of alternative, back-to-the-land communities on the west coast of British Columbia.”
The artist’s practice subverts traditional painterly archetypes and presents landscape, still life and portraiture through an historic lens. Primarily figurative and often underpinned by abstraction, these large-scale surreal paintings tell a story as they shift in and out of focus. Milroy wrote, “Narrative has long been deemed inessential to the art of painting, but Glabush seems to invite the storytelling impulse as we inevitably set about the task of supplying meaning.”
Glabush’s paintings are underpinned by a rigorous drawing practice and exist as a meeting point for different ideas and approaches. “The architecture of the drawing is embedded in the materials,” Glabush says, “All the paintings have gone through this process of getting the structure up through the drawing, breaking it down and rebuilding it through colour.” The artist often mixes sand into the paint to build texture and to erase but not conceal the labour in his work. This rich surface is a magnet on which bold pigments vibrate and infuse Glabush’s paintings with a humming energy.
Glabush’s first UK solo exhibition will open at Stephen Friedman Gallery in April 2023. The artist is also represented by Philip Martin Gallery in Los Angeles.