For his first solo show in Toronto, Dutch-Canadian multimedia artist Jim Verburg has presented a series of magnanimously minimalist works. With a background in film, photography, bookworks, and installation, Verburg developed the bulk of his current method during a printmaking residency for non-printmakers. Instead of relying exclusively on traditional approaches to this mode of production, he utilizes the tools of printmaking in exploratory and unintended ways, creating monochromatic compositions that stand as a testament to the balance between playful experimentation and a painstaking attention to detail.
Although categorically minimal, several of the works in A Certain Silence are markedly complex in their construction. Verburg has developed a notable method of layering materials in order to achieve his characteristic glow or “hum.” By painting directly onto a sheet of clouded Mylar, hinging it on Plexiglas, and then setting it in front of a second piece of painted Mylar, he crafts delicate portraits of depth, focus, and texture. This play of surface on surface adds dimension to the subtle visual noise already present where dust or debris prevents the transfer of ink from roller to support. With a sustained gaze, viewers will uncover moments of pure, vibrating energy, as though the paintings themselves are alive with breath. This ever-present sense of movement is confident and exact, but still open to the rich mystery of an undefined present. As though aware of their own transience, the works seem to communicate an awareness of astounding beauty tempered only by the latent whiff of a pensive sadness.