Linus Woods 2016
Watching Sunset With Squirrel in Mouth
New works by Linus Woods
March 10 - 31Until recently Linus Woods's paintings have featured abstracted yet recognizable figures in landscape, boldly coloured and recalling contemporary work of the American Southwest. In these works Linus's figures are often tied to the land, the bottom portion of the figure firmly locked into the lower portion of the painting, while the upper part occupies a higher plane, often the middle-ground or sky, perhaps symbolizing a connection to the past and a simultaneous yearning towards freedom and a higher realm.
Despite drawing inspiration from the legends and stories of his ancestors, the nostalgic undertones of Linus's paintings do not mire the work in a saccharine, romanticized past. His contemporary, abstracted painting style lifts the work out of historical context, giving it a freshness that allows his work to sit comfortably amongst both traditional and modern works of art. Using mixed media, mainly oils and acrylics in layered compositions on paper or canvas, Linus’s works evoke memories of another era yet reflect current political and cultural Aboriginal issues.
In contrast to his older body of work, Linus Woods's most recent series are charming and whimsical paintings of Canadian wildlife. The progression of his style apparent in the current body of work, shows a growing confidence in composition and paint handling. Woods's newest series places his animal subjects, such as the sparring hares in "Put 'em up - rumble but not in the Bronx," at the centre of the image allowing them to occupy a greater part of the overall canvas. Fittingly, the figures are still tied to the land, but the colours and paint handling are lighter and more lyrical, and humourous titles, such as "Watching sunset with squirrel in mouth about to sneeze" or "Refuse city moose or else he'd become moose chili" (complete with the recipe written out on the back), lend these canvases an enhanced charm.
A Dakota/Ojibwa from the Long Plain First Nation in Manitoba, Linus Woods (b.1967) is primarily self-taught, but has studied art at Brandon University. His work has been featured in a number of exhibits throughout Canada and the U.S. and is also included in the collection of the Canada Council Art Bank.