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Viewing Duncan Regehr

When you take time to contemplate the works of Duncan Regehr, many thoughts may cross your mind. Some, when first viewing “On Even Ground”, may find their first impression to be uncomfortable. Then they read the description hanging next to the painting:

“A beautiful young girl, perhaps ten years old, will master the jump rope despite her crippled foot and the negative outlook of others. In her mind, her crippled foot is neither ugly nor a deterrent to her aspiration to play ‘jump rope.’ She is a beacon of hope and determination in the face of adversity.”

They then go back and take a second, longer look at the painting. They now notice the two shoes; one a corrective boot, the other a ballet slipper. They see the rainbow in the background, a symbol of hope. Did your viewpoint change after reading the description?

Many of Regehr’s paintings are very ambiguous and reflect the abstract concepts of hope, innocence, desire, fear, greed and obsession. Much of the time he has left the interpretation up to the viewer, but the images are always compelling. When you examine the originals you notice the sensuous textures, the vibrant color and the layering of oil impastos over thinner glazes creating an overall luminosity that make his paintings so unique.