Schedule About Exhibitions Press Submission Links Contact Semai Gallery

June 22 - July 22, 2007

Drawing Breath - Intuitive Figure Drawings
by Robert Pasternak

Opening Reception: June 22, 8 - 11PM
Artist in attendance

Also meet the artist in the afternoon of July 7, 2007 (07.07.07)

The Illusionist

Robert Pasternakfs gDrawing Breath - Intuitive Figure Drawingsh

gThere are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors.h
- Jim Morrison

The poster advertising Robert Pasternakfs current exhibition of small-scale drawings depicts the artist conjuring up fiery breath, charming its snake-like coils towards his Solar Plexus - an energy centre of the body that resonates with emotional vitality and awareness. This dramatic composition signals that in this latest series of pen drawings Pasternak moves towards the presentation of his farsighted purpose with a magicianfs flare and a prophetfs insight. The forms present in the business-card sized drawings shown here have preoccupied this Winnipeg artist since the early nineties; and over the years he has been distilling the curvilinear figures down to their essence, something that he has achieved here. The drawings first began as doodles on napkins in coffee shops, and they continue here in a similar spirit as a series of framed works done over a period of one month plus a collage of sketches on bus transfers done over a period of four years. This entire project is an exercise in automatic drawing often under self-imposed time-constraints. These sketches were modified only a few times after completion and Pasternak noted the number of alterations with a circular pen mark in the upper right corner of every work.

The French painter Andre Breton defined the talismanic power of Surrealist art expression by calling it gpure psychic automatismh which in this case means automatic drawing practiced without conscious or aesthetic restraint. Pasternakfs intuitive forms are supposed to visually communicate the essence of being and the purity of emotion. They are at once humanoid and otherworldly and speak of something alien as well as something familiar: at times resembling spirits, flames, the viscera, and elements of the nervous system. This shape-shifting aspect results in something electric at work between the images and the viewer. Pasternak explores human perception and captures what he calls the geternal concept,h that is, the creation of a universal form recognizable by all. This shape, made of curves is representative of the body and as Pasternak alleges it is embedded in our evolutionary consciousness but has been banished from prominence in our lives by urban forms such as gour buildings, our roomch and resulting in geverything we usecbecom(ing) forced into boxes, squares, straight lines.h

The spontaneous action of drawing a breath symbolizes the process of exchange: the act of breathing in and breathing out is cyclical and life sustaining. Breathing is an essential part of being human and is an affirmation of being alive. Pasternak would like the viewer to consider what it means to be alive, and the connection between looking at oneself, self-awareness and the act of creation. Aesthetically, the rounded shapes, the gbreathsh on display are compact and elegant- an effect underscored by the clean lines of uniform matting and framing by the Semai Gallery director Takashi Iwasaki. This begs the question of whether any sort of creation, a work arranged or laid out in a regular, ordered, or symmetrical way can ever be considered purely automatist. Even though the temptation is strong, getting the magician to reveal his set of tricks ruins the mystique. The enjoyment lies in the process and the showmanship. Pasternakfs sensuous drawings are beautiful to look at and adeptly blur the boundaries between truth and illusion.

Robert Pasternak is a self-taught artist who received the 1994 Aurora Award for artistic achievement in science fiction. He has worked as a production artist, an art director for Zygote magazine, as a digital colorist and as a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and fine artist. He has had solo exhibitions at the Manitoba Legislative Building (2001), the Centennial Concert Hall (1996), and at the Gallery of Life (1995) where he showed the earlier versions of his small-scale sketches in an exhibition titled gEverlasting Breath.h

Aldona Dziedziejko
Exhibition Coordinator/Writer, Semai Gallery

Robert Pasternak, Winnipeg, Canada

Phone: +1-204-956-7675

Artist C.V.

Solo Exhibitions 2007 Semai Gallery - Drawing Breath: Intuitive Figure Drawings - Winnipeg 2006 Adelaide McDermot Gallery - Sleeping Is Easier - New Work 2005 Ken Segal Gallery - Geometric Concretism - Pastel Works & Assemblages 2004 Fleet Gallery - Crazy Old Paintings That Everyone Has Seen 2003 Stanley Milner Public Library - Edmonton - Metanomacies 2001 Manitoba Legislative Bldg. - Metanomacies 1998 Adelaide McDermot Gallery - Meta Figures - Winnipeg City Corner Poster Project; - Toronto - Whatever Happened To the 2 Sided Shape - Winnipeg - Meta Figures - Vancouver - This Is Your Soul 1996 Centennial Concert Hall - In Between Worlds - Winnipeg 1995 Gallery Of Life -Everlasting Breath - Winnipeg SFRA conference - Grand Forks 1992 Manitoba Planetarium - After, After the Mind Escape -The Cosmic Trap Gas Station Theatre - After the Mind Escape - Winnipeg 1989 Ace Art - Holy Crow - Winnipeg Studio Show - Everything So Far Including the Sky - Winnipeg Education 2007 Silk Screen Printing - Suzie Smith - Martha Street Studio 2002 225 Film Experiment Workshop - Winnipeg Film Group Sol Nagler & John Kapitany instructors 1980-1985 Painting - Nic Bjelejac, Forum Art Institute 1985 Figure Drawing - Richard Brown, Winnipeg Art Gallery Studio Program 1988 Paper Sculpture - Jack Butler, Forum Art Institute 1988-1990 Silk Screen Printing - Jan Boning, Omni Screen Grants & Awards 2003 Canada Council - Travel Grants to Media Arts Professionals MB Arts Council - Short Term Projects, Travel Grant MB Film & Sound - Access To Festivals Grant 2002 Bolex Film Experiment Grant - Winnipeg Film Group 1994 Aurora Award - Artistic achievement in Canadian Science Fiction Art Reviews & Articles (A-Article, R-Review, MA-Mention in Article) R Winnipeg Free Press, Nov 3, 2005 -D8 - Geometric Concretism by Lorne Roberts A Winnipeg Free Press, Oct 9, 2003-D1, 7 - The Right Stuff, Life & Arts by Morley Walker MR Uptown, Oct 9, 2003-pg20 - Strange and Stirring Shorts A Winnipeg Free Press, Aug 15, 2003-pgD7 - First Time local movie off to Venice... A The Aquarian, Fall 2002 - Cover & pg5 - The Artist and the Vesica A Uptown Magazine, May 31, 2001- pg5 - Whatfs In A Name MA Edmonton Journal, June 30, 2000- E14 - The Zine Scene MR Uptown, Jan 21, 1999- pg.6 - Main/Access Showcases Diverse Talent MA Winnipeg Free Press, Sept 5, 1998 - pg.B6 - Gateway To Space MR Winnipeg Free Press, July 18, 1998 - pg.B11 - Rogues Gallery MR Winnipeg Free Press, Dec 7'96- pg.B4 - Gallery Celebrates Decade A Winnipeg Sun, Aug 16'96- pg.21 - Brush with Greatness A Wpg Fr PR, Community Review (SW), July17'96 pg3 - Artists Popularity Growing R Winnipeg Free Press, July6'96 pgB6 - Pasternakfs Fantastic Style Unfolds MA Artword, Fall95 pg8 - The Pressing of Flesh R Zygote, Sum95 pg43 - Book Review - Everlasting Breath A The Paper, Apr95 pg14 - Every Breath He Makes A Uptown, Apr95 pg9 - Keys To The Cosmos A Zygote, Spr94 pg 12 - Straight from the Hands A Friction, Sum/Win92 pg12, 13 - Ascending the Mind Escape A Winnipeg Free Press, Mar18'92 pgC34 - Works Gain in Recognition A Uptown, Mar92 pg6 - Artists Ascending A Mega (Russia) Jun91 pg49-52 - Relation of Pasternak? R Winnipeg Free Press, Mar25'89 pg27 - Holy Crow A Renters News, Jan89 pg56, 57 - Blending Reality & Fantasy A Western Report, Sept12'88 - Amazing Stories A Amazing Stories, Nov88 pg88-91 - On Exhibit A Winnipeg Sun, Aug28'88 pgS5 - Fame in the Stars R Comics F/X Review, Aug88 - Comic review - Holy Crow MR Winnipeg Free Press, Oct87 - The Box Project MR Winnipeg Free Press, Jun29'85 - Indivisuals Group Exhibitions 2006 Plug In Gallery - Fabulous Fakes 2005 Bears on Broadway - 2 painted Bears (public works) 2004 Floating Gallery - Ground Photograph 2003 Floating Gallery - Ground Photographs 2000 The Works Festival - Edmonton - Subtitles: Art of the Underground - Book works and comic book constructions at Stanley A. Milner Library Main Access Gallery - A study in grounding - Winnipeg 1999 Main Access Gallery - new paintings - Winnipeg - Have shown 2 new works there every year since 1988 Ace Art - 3X fundraising exhibit 1998 Moon Base Gallery - 7 x 7 show - Vancouver 1996 Selkirk Arts Centre - SF & Fantasy Art 1995 Toronto Photographers Workshop & Gallery 44 - The Pressing Of Flesh Assiniboine Park Conservatory - Winnipeg 1994 World Science Fiction Convention - Winnipeg 1993 Floating Gallery - The Pressing Of Flesh - Photo based - Winnipeg Ace Art - 10th Anniversary of solo exhibits Synergos - Rural Manitoba traveling exhibit 1992 Gallery Of South Western Manitoba - Misfit Lit - Comics - Brandon Plug In & Ace Art Gallery - Misfit Lit Ukraine - Synergos - Touring Exhibit 1991 U.S.S.R. - Science Fiction Convention - Volgograd Sf conventions in Minneapolis, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver Gallery 1C03 - University Of Winnipeg - Synergos 1990 Broadway Gallery - Stuff - Winnipeg Uptown Gallery - Breath Of Fresh Art - Winnipeg 1989 Art Channels & co. - Fantastic Art - Calgary SF conventions in Chicago, Minneapolis, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary 1988 World Science Fiction Convention - New Orleans 1987 Fleet Gallery - The Box Project 1985 Assiniboine Conservatory - Indivisuals 1983 Janet Ian Cameron Gallery - U of M Catalogues Synergos2, Manitoba Ukrainian Arts Council, Edited by Olya Marko & Doug Melnyk The Pressing Of Flesh, Floating Gallery, Edited by Lisa Gabrielle Mark, 1993 Film Screenings DVD Collection - Experiments with Humans (10 short films) 2007 -Keycon: Winnipeg Science Fiction Convention THE AFFIRMATION OF JIMMY BROWN (2003) 2004 -Int. Festival of Fine Arts ,Hungary -Images du Nouveau Monde ,Quebec -Urban Reel ,Canada -Winnipeg Folk Festival -Gimli Film Festival 2003 -Send & Recieve Festival, Screaming Pictures Show -Cinematique, Winnipeg -Antimatter Film Festival, Victoria, BC -Venice Film Festival, Venice, Italy -Catacomb Microcinema, with Live projection and live sound, Winnipeg -Keycon: Science Fiction Convention, Winnipeg SHIFT (2002 Unfinished) 2002 -Catacomb Microcinema, with Live projection and live sound, Winnipeg -Send & Receive Festival Guest Appearances 2005 LIGHT - Symbolism and Spirituality in Art 2002 Sacred Space - U of M Radio Interview & conversation 1997 Videon - Interview, Lances and Lasers 1996 MTN news - Interview - Inbetween Worlds Lecture - Heaven Art & books - Painting & Dreams 1995 Artist Guest - SFRA Conference (Science Fiction) - Grand Forks 1993 Artist Guest of Honour - Northern Prairie SF Convention - Regina 1990 Artist Guest of Honour - Noncon SF Convention - Edmonton 1989 Artist Guest of Honour - Keycon SF Convention - Winnipeg CTV, Todays World - Interview 1987 CTV, Todays World - Interview 1986 Videon - Alternative Rock Stand - Interview Collections Saskatchewan Group Insurance (SGI) Trader Publications Edmonton Small Press Association(ESPA) Many private collections in Canada and U.S. Published Work Since 1986 Robert Pasternak has supplied art for a variety of art directors in the music and publishing industry, including album/CD cover art, Science Fiction Illustration, Literary book jackets as well as contributing to comic magazine anthologies. His work has been printed in Canada, United States, Russia, England, Finland, Yugoslavia & Macedonia. Gallery Publications 2001 Paper Wait - Ace Art Inc. - Vol.3

Ball-point pen on paper, 9 x 5cm

Ball-point pen on paper, 9 x 5cm

Ball-point pen on paper, 9 x 5cm

Ball-point pen on paper, 9 x 5cm

Ball-point pen on paper, 9 x 5cm

Ball-point pen on paper, 9 x 5cm