David Thauberger R.C.A.
Perfectly Natural, 2021
David Thauberger is known for his paintings of architectural icons of the prairies. Hyper-real, arrestingly bright, his images take on new meaning and defy easy categorization. They are folk-art, pop-art, and kitsch, as well as decidedly serious depictions of places that often no longer exist. Rainbow Danceland, from 1979, in the collection of Calgary’s Glenbow Museum, is well-known to Calgarians and a defining work in Thauberger’s vast oeuvre. Perfectly Natural is a recent work, coming from a series begun in 2015, which deal with the icon of the red canoe set alone in a flat blue lake beneath a landmark mountain in the Canadian Rockies. Not adrift, but still unmanned, these canoes are suspended, untethered, the sitter in a portrait of a familiar Canadian place. As places that are rarely quiet, rarely still, rarely un-peopled, Thauberger comments on the place he paints in a continuation of the dialogue he began with Rainbow Danceland, asking us to consider how we use, reuse, and dispose of iconic Canadian places.