Gerald Ferguson

18 May 1982 - 5 June 1982
Opening Reception 18 May 1982 8pm


The Maintenance Paintings

The Maintenance Paintings in the present exhibition relate to such works as his sculpture 1,000,000 Pennies, shown at the Glenbow Museum in January 1981. Earlier paintings of the same title are part of a programme of work since 1978 that refers to a procedure at Halifax City Hall where the wood trim of the building was painted in a green to match the oxidized copper of the roof. For Ferguson this observation signified a logical adjustment in time to changing conditions and a metaphor for perceptual and ideational changes that we, as human beings, undergo. “Maintenance Paintings” embrace this notion, but inevitably, because of their location in the painting context, reverberate against all the assumptions and practices held dear in the history of that medium. The earlier Maintenance Paintings, each logged with date, size and original colour, were evenly covered monochrome surfaces. Ferguson considers the new Maintenance Paintings for Mercer Union to be “bad” painting. Their appearance reawakens in the viewer responses conditioned by the emotionally charged Abstract Expressionism of the 5Os, and, by extension, much of the Neo-expressionist activity in vogue today.

A series of paintings in a variety of sizes and colours, on standard supports, using latex paint, installed in a reasonable manner and whose reinstallation and maintenance (re-painting) is at the discretion of the end user.