Gorlitz Will Playing The Part 1986 93 A 78 Copy

Will Gorlitz, Playing the Part, 1986, oil on canvas, Collection of Museum London, Gift of John Labatt Limited, London, Ontario, 1993

From Our Collections

  • Will Gorlitz is an Argentine-born artist living in Guelph, Ontario today. This painting is part of Museum London's current Realisms exhibition of art from our permanent collection. The Curator, Andrew Kear, was interested in how painting, photography, and sculpture can interpret the world, and how artists use images to communicate. Take a look at the painting above, at the perspective, and the relationship between the birds and the trees. What is realistic about this scene, and where does it stop seeming real? How does this affect the mood? What do you think the artist means by the title?
  • Learn more about the artist at www.willgorlitz.com.
  • Listen to what the curator has to say about this work in the Virtual Tours highlight on our Instagram page
  • We asked Will Gorlitz about this painting and he generously shared his thoughts. It is from a series of five paintings called Axis Mundi which are all painted from a similar ground perspective. Here is what he told us:

Axis Mundi – The Part was produced early in my development as an artist when I was exploring the range of relevant possibilities for subject matter. As one would expect, my personal experience informed my understanding of the world around me. And as an immigrant to Canada, without knowing either of the country’s official languages, I recognized language as a social construct through which my understanding of the world was filtered. Painting itself involves a complex set of elements: plastic materiality applied to variable physical formats to explore a range of articulated visual forms, in measures both objective and subjective— all of which in my mind collectively comprise a language. My representational subject matter was equally implicated in these language structures. Metaphorical, and informed by collage, my subject matter posed intentionally tentative relationships between things in the world, straining their interpretive readings. The birds in Axis Mundi – The Part, for example, appear quite animated in their fluttering about through the forest canopy, but actually, they show no other evidence of life. Initially, my subject matter interests focussed on aspects of the sociopolitical world. Living in Canada, especially as an urban dweller, the “natural world” could easily be perceived as altogether separate from the world of humans. My artwork aimed to qualify this view by foregrounding language as a co-condition of human experience."

Calm Corner

  • Find some calm and focus with a Zentangle. Doodle your own or colour this Cardinal: printable or online
  • Watch a barred owl nesting with her newly hatched owlets in this Youtube video

Play With Words

  • April is National Poetry month and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery has an open writing contest. They're looking for poetry inspired by any of their five specified art works. Try your hand at some free verse or dip into something more traditional if you like a rhyme.