Art fans are eager for a new career retrospective of Arlie Hoffman’s works this Saturday, April 23, at the Alex Dufresne Gallery at the Callander Museum. Hoffman curated the show himself and presents highlights from his impressive 64-year career.
Perhaps most exciting is many of these works are borrowed from private collections for this show. Some of these paintings have not been displayed publicly, and his first painting, which he completed in 1958, will be displayed as well.
“In this retrospective,” Hoffman detailed, “viewers who have seen my work in previous exhibitions will recognize some familiar paintings either collected or available for sale. Notably, there are paintings representing my teens, early twenties, and early thirties.”
He explained how his journey in art started as a child, an interest that “progressed to a point where I started painting seriously around the age of nineteen.”
“I feel my representative style formulated early in my development and continues today,” he said. “I do have an affinity for other styles of art, but I am happy as a realist. However, there still remains a desire to explore and be challenged.”
This show is a long time in the making, mentioned Natasha Wiatr, the gallery’s curator. She explained that originally this show was planned to launch last July, but due to Covid concerns, the decision was made to postpone the event.
Wiatr is please to present the retrospective, as Hoffman’s return to the gallery marks a sort of “full circle” return for the gallery. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the gallery, and soon after it opened, Hoffman took part in a group exhibit. In 2008, he was also the artist in residence at the gallery.
As for this show, “there are about 20 pieces that are borrowed from private collections, and about 18 from the artist.” As many are large-scale works, the walls are almost filled with Hoffman’s art. “You really feel engaged with the work,” she said.
“You can enjoy this show for a long time, and really take it all in.”
The show opens Saturday at 10:00 a.m., but the official launch is from two to four p.m., and the artist will be there during those hours. Some paintings will be for sale, as well.
“Generally, the subject matter I paint is presented in a positive light,” Hoffman explained. “And I feel I benefit when I have an emotional bond with the subject to truly convey its characteristics.”
“Ultimately, it is the viewer that makes the final decision in what they see in a painting.”
The Hoffman retrospective runs until May 21, 2022.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca