Michael Canning Irish, b. 1971

Michael Canning's paintings on paper are the result of a methodical creative process, an exploration of the process itself. Canning begins each work with a rugged, almost brutal treatment of the paper, breaking down the surface with abrasive materials and then reconstructing it with alternating layers of paint, ashes, ink, graphite, beeswax and collage. A work might take years to complete because he reworks each intermittently. As his work evolves, multiple layers of rich tones and textures conceal what was there before, but paper patches and scars hint of a past we can't see. The delicate flowering weeds are monumental in their isolation, defiantly blossoming from a blackened foreground of soot and sediment. Beyond these fragile plants lie vast landscapes, few glowing with a dreamy twilight from the edge of the earth. The weeds are suspended between light and darkness, whether rising or falling it is uncertain. Standing before the aftermath of Canning's creative destruction and restoration, one drifts into a meditation on time, transformation and memory.