Wilding Cran Gallery is pleased to present That’s An Excellent Question! a new body of work by Canadian painter Chris Cran on view November 15– December 27, 2014, an artist reception will be held November 15 from 6-9 PM. The exhibition marks Cran’s first solo show in Los Angeles.
That’s An Excellent Question! is an extension of Cran’s The Chorus Series, which was first presented in 2006. The ongoing series consists of a selection of oval and round paintings that each contain a face expressing enjoyment, surprise, curiosity, doubt, or disdain that looks beyond the periphery of the work itself. The Chorus portraits are intended to be placed around other works of art (by Cran or others) thereby appropriating those works and engaging them into a larger theatre of viewing, like the Greek Chorus from which the series is named.
For this exhibition Cran has created 31 new works, a combination of Chorus portraits and a number of larger still life paintings to invite the gazes of the ‘Chorus’ and await their judgement. The works will float on the gallery walls, high and low, like the putti or cherubs in Renaissance and post-Renaissance paintings who also float around and, like the Greek chorus, comment on the main dramatic action.
Cran employs a wide-ranging color palette and experiments with textures as well as varied techniques to evoke the photographic image. His work explores the construction of personal and cultural identities and perceptual/cognitive illusion, both interests critically underpinned by the artist’s disarming and revelatory sense of humor.
Chris Cran lives and works in Calgary, Alberta. He graduated in 1979 from the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary. Cran has exhibited widely including international exhibitions at the 49th Parallel Gallery, New York City (1992), Taejon Expo 93, South Korea and the Fourth International Painting Biennial, Cuenca, Ecuador (1994). A twenty year survey exhibition entitled Chris Cran – Surveying the Damage 1977 to 1997, curated by Clint Roenisch, was organized by Kelowna Art Gallery to tour nationally from 1998 to 2000. A catalogue accompanied the exhibition with essays by Dr. Roald Nasgaard and art critic Nancy Tousley. In 2015, Cran will have solo exhibitions at Southern Alberta Art Gallery and Art Gallery of Alberta; and The National Gallery of Canada will be presenting a solo exhibition of his work in 2016.
Cran’s paintings are included in numerous collections, including The National Gallery of Canada, Canada Council Art Bank, Glenbow Museum (Calgary), Nickle Arts Museum, the Banff Centre, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Art Gallery of Peel, Art Gallery of Windsor and Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (Toronto).
Cran has also ventured into a variety of other related activities including teaching art, curating exhibitions, and theatre set design. Cran was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy in 2002. He received the ACAD Alumni Award of Excellence in 2011 and the Doug and Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award in 2014.