David Rasmus

photographs 1988-1996
March 25 - April 23, 2016

Flower 132-14
Flower 219-24
Flower 208-10
Flower 176-21
Flower 162-014
Flower 128-6+7

Flower 132-14

Flower 132-14 , 1990
edition of three, #1
30 x 30 inches

Paul Petro Contemporary Art is pleased to present photographic works by Toronto-based artist David Rasmus.

Banff Souvenir (an exhibition at the CMCP, 1992)

excerpt by Martha Hanna

In the late 1970s, a group of photographers (including David Rasmus) established a base at the Banff Centre for Fine Arts. In the philosophical tradition of Alfred Stieglitz and Minor White, their metaphoric images mirrored the personal and the spiritual in the real. They distinguished themselves, however, by working in colour. Their collective experience set the tone of their later practice and that of subsequent generations.

- Martha Hanna, Associate Curator at the former CMCP (Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography), National Gallery of Canada

Here is a quotation from a text by Denis Lessard which accompanied Offering, an exhibition of Rasmus' work at Gallery TPW (Toronto Photographers Workshop) in 1999:

“Flowers often are a disconcerting and disdained subject in contemporary art because of their association with prettiness and sentimentality. But there is an uneasiness in David Rasmus’ images, due to the magnified size of the flowers, their heightened ephemeral nature and the technical limitations of the camera. And yet there is inescapable beauty, which can also be richly unsettling.

"These photographs are about offering flowers, rather than documenting flowers. Any purpose of accurate documentation is denied by the photographic technique employed by the artist: a plain instamatic camera with a flash. Obviously, the apparatus does not matter here. Or, rather, its disarming simplicity becomes the message: the tool remains a tool, it is a mere point of departure.

"In this world, beauty is never quite perfect, and there is no perfect offering either. In David Rasmus’ work, imperfections are willingly provided by the photographic technology in use, and by the changing nature of flowers. They are imperfections with a purpose.”

- Denis Lessard, excerpt from Offering catalogue, Gallery TPW, Toronto, 1999

David Rasmus was born in Canada in 1950. He studied photography at the Banff School of Fine Arts (Banff, Alberta) and at Apeiron Workshop (Millerton, New York). He is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Getty Museum. Past exhibitions include Toronto: Tributes and Tributaries, 1971-1989, Art Gallery of Ontario (2017),The Language of Flowers, Paul Petro Contemporary Art (2015); Impulse Archaeology, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto / White Box, New York, NY (2005/2007); Toronto; Picturing The Land: From the Sublime to the Document, Art Gallery of Ontario (2004); Flowerpieces, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa (2001); Offering, Gallery TPW, Toronto (1999); Offrande, Gallery VOX, Montreal (1998); and Fabrications, Gallery TPW, Toronto / Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (1995). He lives and works in Toronto.

On Flowerpieces

From 6 October 2000 to 14 January 2001, visitors to the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography will enjoy an eclectic arrangement of photographs in an exhibition that explores the flower in photography.

Flowerpieces features 15 black and white and colour photographs taken between the early 1970s and the early 1990s. From the stately gilded lily to the humble pansy, as bouquet, garden denizen, or painterly inspiration, the flower has captured the imagination of many photographers. The 12 artists represented in the exhibition depict flowers both reverentially and playfully, from David Rasmus's poignant tribute to loved ones lost to AIDS, to Carol Marino's elegant abstract lily, from Jennifer Dickson's exquisite detail of a floral pattern in the residence of an Italian aristocrat, to David Hlynsky's humorous still life of cut flowers in a urine specimen bottle.

The works in Flowerpieces have been hand-picked from the CMCP's collection of over 160,000 works. The exhibition is part of the museum's ongoing series of special presentations highlighting favourites from its collection.

The CMCP is an affiliate of the National Gallery of Canada.

- from the web site of the National Gallery of Canada