WAG exhibition Tim Gardner: The Full Story featured in Galleries West news article.
Tim Gardner made his name in the early 2000s with paintings of young middle-class white guys, in backyards, in hotel rooms, sometimes on spring break. They drink, they eat junk food, they stuff beer cans down their pants, they run naked, they goof around.
The American-born Canadian painter’s look at bro culture is straight-on, not loaded up with satirical edge or packed with political commentary, but it’s not macho. Tim Gardner: The Full Story is his first major retrospective (on view at Winnipeg Art Gallery/Qaumajuq) and features more than 130 works from three decades. Its cumulative effect is thoughtful, poignant and often unexpected.
The first unusual aspect of the artist’s oeuvre is the medium: Gardner works predominantly in watercolour and sometimes in pastel. His pieces can come off as photographic, but they lack the smooth, shiny assertion of hyperrealist works done in acrylic or oil. Especially with the large-scale watercolours, there’s a sense of fragility and risk, the feeling that one mistake could wreck the whole thing.