Robert Lemay Solo Exhibition: Say It With Flowers

May 08 - May 26, 2021

Exhibition Opening: Saturday, May 8, 2021: 12-5pm

Appointments available for the opening reception HERE.

Lemay has been focusing on the macroscopic with his recent foray back into floral works. This show will be a perfect opportunity for Mother’s day flowers that will last forever!

Exhibition on-line Catalog available HERE.

Exhibition Opening: Saturday, May 8, 2021: 12-5pm

Appointments available for the opening reception HERE.

Lemay has been focusing on the macroscopic with his recent foray back into floral works. This show will be a perfect opportunity for Mother’s day flowers that will last forever!

Exhibition on-line Catalog available HERE.

Artist Information

Robert Lemay

Born: 1961, Calgary, Alberta
Price range: $2100-$7600

“Light is the focus of all my work. I like the simple beauty of everyday objects. They evoke whole worlds and universes when placed upon a table. The flowers and fruits of still life recur over and over through the history of art because they are life affirming objects of contemplation. I’m interested in how we look at a thing, an apple, a swatch of fabric, drapery, or the light on a table, now, as compared to, say, how Cezanne painted an apple, or how Dali painted bread, or how Manet painted lilacs, or how Cotan painted a melon. My paintings seek to intensely look, to delve into an understanding of the nature of seeing, and to record a few of the infinite combinations possible on a table, well lit.” - Lemay

Robert Lemay graduated from the University of Alberta with a BFA in 1984. He began exhibiting in galleries the following year, in 1985. He has had over 20 solo shows in cities across Canada, including Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. He also shows his work in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Lemay has travelled extensively, studying the art in museums in Europe and the United States.

AWARDS

2007 Alberta Foundation for the Arts Projects Grant

1996 Alberta Foundation for the Arts Projects Grant

1990 Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant

1989 Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant

LECTURES, RESIDENCIES, and HONOURS

2015 Shaw Communications has named a room in Shaw Court, Calgary, Alberta, The Robert Lemay Room

2014 Inaugural Artist in Residence, Graceland University, Iowa, November 2014

2007 Alberta Society of Artists, September 13, 2007

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016 “Grid,” Wallace Galleries, Calgary

2015 Robert Lemay: 30 Years, Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton

2013 “Flower,” Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton

2011 Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton

2010 “In a Narrow Space,” Shayne Gallery, Montreal

2009 Wallace Galleries, Calgary

2008 “Calm Things,” Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton.

2007 Shayne Gallery, Montreal

2006 Wallace Galleries, Calgary

2005 Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton

2004 Shayne Gallery, Montreal

2003 Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton

2002 Shayne Gallery, Montreal

Wallace Galleries, Calgary

2001 Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton

2000 Wallace Galleries, Calgary

1998 Hollander York Gallery, Toronto

Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver

1997 Wallace Galleries, Calgary

1996 Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton

1995 Hollander York Gallery, Toronto

Wallace Galleries, Calgary

1994 Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver

Wallace Galleries, Calgary

Hollander York Gallery, Toronto

1993 Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton

1992 Woltjen/Udell, Edmonton

1991 Wallace Galleries, Calgary

1989 Woltjen/Udell, Edmonton

1988 Woltjen/Udell, Vancouver

1987 Woltjen/Udell, Edmonton

GROUP EXHIBITIONS (SELECTED)

2011 “For the Love of Art,” Wallace Galleries, Calgary, Alberta

1999 “New Talent Invitational” Denise Bibro Fine Arts, New York City

“Alberta: Six Degrees of Separation,” Prairie Regional Art Gallery

Grand Prairie, AB

1998 “Multiple Realities,” Muttart Public Art Gallery, Calgary

1997 “Still Life,” McMullen Art Gallery, Edmonton

BIBLIOGRAPHY

2010 Canadian Interviews. “The Moment of Astonishment: Interview with Robert Lemay.” canadianinterviews.com.

2010 Ryan, Janice. “Oil Paintings Animate Common Objects,” Edmonton Journal, Friday, June 17, 2011.

2009 Notebook Magazine. V.3, Issue 8. “Shawna & Robert Lemay: Calm Things.”

2008 Bouchard, Gilbert. “Lemay Reinterprets Iconic Art in his Neutral Realist Style,” Edmonton Journal, Friday, April 11, 2008.

2006 Bouchard, Gilbert. “Alberta: What is Visible,” Galleries West Magazine.

2005 Bouchard, Gilbert. “Lemay Breathes New Life into Form”, Edmonton Journal. Oct 7, G8.

2005 Lemay, Shawna. “Precarious”, Artichoke. Summer, 2005, pp. 38-45.

2003 Kellog, Alan. “Catching Up With the Beautiful People”, Edmonton Journal.

2001 Bouchard, Gilbert. “Real Life Frozen in Still-Life Mastery”, Edmonton Journal. May 4, E14

1999 Gustafson, Paula. “Robert Lemay at Douglas Udell Gallery,” Asian Art News, March/April 1999

1998 Image reproduced. Alberta Views, Spring Vol. 1, No.2, pp. 15.

1996 Mandel, Charles. “Still-Life Showing so Conventional it’s Uncongenial”, Edmonton Journal.

January 25, C5.

1993 “Time is Frozen in a Painter’s Still Life Studies”, Edmonton Journal. December.

1992 “Artist Follows Cezanne’s Example”, Edmonton Journal.

1989 Beauchamp, Elizabeth. “Summer Candid Pictures Can Lift Winter Mood”,Edmonton Journal. December 2, D4.

COLLECTIONS

Alberta Art Foundation

Alberta Energy

Alberta Treasury Branch

Bennet, Jones

Verchere

Canada Council Art Bank

Canadian Embassy: Beijing, China

Canberra, Australia

Chevron Oil

Cliff Lede Wineries, Yountville, California

Edmonton City Hall

Foreign Affairs

Graceland University (Lamoni, Iowa)

Interprovincial Pipeline

Lethbridge Regional Hospital

Norcen Resources

Ocelot Energy

Shaw Communications

Suncor Energy

Westin Hotels

Robert Lemay: “Say it with Flowers” Exhibition e-Catalog 2021

Robert Lemay: “Say it with Flowers” Solo Exhibition 2021

May 8 - 26, 2021
Lemay has been focusing on the macroscopic with his recent foray back into floral works. This show will be a perfect opportunity for Mother’s day flowers that will last forever!

“Flowers matter, beauty matters, and flowers help in that they give us pause.” - Lemay

To view the exhibition e-Catalog, click HERE

If I’ve learned anything from this past year, is that flowers matter to people. By the time the pandemic started I had painted a number of large floral pieces. I was interested in an immersive experience. I wanted to paint from the viewpoint of the person leaning into a bouquet of flowers and absorbing the scent and the sensations of the textures, just that glorious experience we’ve all had of breathing in all that beauty and perfume. Maybe someone gave you the bouquet to celebrate a birthday or to commemorate an accomplishment or maybe to console.

We had been to Rome for a month in November of 2019 and stayed near the Campo de’Fiori, and often brought home flowers from the famous market there. I wanted to capture some of that feeling, too, just how it feels to bring a bouquet home to enjoy for no reason other than to be in the presence of beauty. It made our apartment feel more like a home immediately, bringing the flowers and setting them on the kitchen table or by the windowsill.

I’d been working on paintings from our Rome trip at the beginning of 2020, when we first started hearing murmurings of the pandemic. I had been reminiscing about all I loved about Rome. you can go into any church in Rome and see an anonymous sculpture of an angel, or look at a candelabra, or the marble inlay on the floor and see a refined quality and subtlety of vision and execution. My faith had been renewed in the objective quality of art as a lasting value, no matter the subject or style. Whatever it was that I was looking at, I leaned in to see it more closely. We visited all of the Caravaggios in Rome…and I looked closely at the surfaces, getting as near as was permissible.

There was a still life show at the Corsini Galleria and we went to view it twice. Even after a lifetime of looking at still life, I was so taken by the eternal themes – of transience, and of the passage of time. Painted 400 years ago, these paintings continue to hold the viewers’ attention, drawing us in. I was also, as I always am when I travel to museums, interested in all the Baroque paintings. I’ve always studied this particular period, trying to learn the secrets of it. The dramatic lighting, radical painting style, and the raw emotion of this period never fail to excite me.

Coming home from Rome then, I wanted to apply all of those inspiring things that I’d absorbed and thought about while away. I began to delve into the photos I’d taken in Rome along with some that I’d taken the previous year of peonies. I began to delve deeper into the structure and colours of flowers and work at building intense compositions that are both dramatic and freeing, bold and inviting. I want the viewer to feel immersed.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I just painted. I didn’t imagine that anyone would be wanting paintings for some time. This was perhaps just the freedom I needed to paint exactly what I wanted to paint. I painted expansive bouquets of flowers because they consoled, gave hope, and they were a sensory experience that I craved when we couldn’t do much else or go anywhere. They filled our home with hope and beauty in a time of uncertainty and worry. They were a balm and they uplifted when it was easy to despair. I didn’t know that this would also translate so directly to my viewers, but it has. I began to get queries for my work from all over the world. Flowers matter, beauty matters, and flowers help in that they give us pause. The experience of leaning into a bouquet of flowers and smelling can be so grounding and I know that flowers have helped me through this time, and I hope they help others, too.