Ken Dalgarno


Carcass Citadel
Entrails Waning

Statement for Ken Dalgarno

I first saw Ken Dalgarno's paintings in the gallery of the Frances Morrison Library in Saskatoon. I was in a bit of a hurry and had not intended to stop by. But seeing that there was a show, I popped in.

I was startled and thrilled by what I saw. More: I was moved. For a few years now, I've been looking for art that would capture the iconic landscape of the Prairies, a vastness of land and light that I've come to love.Yet my tendency is towards abstract art, which does not usually lend itself to bearing witness to a reality beyond the artist's inner world. What first struck me was the brilliance of Ken Dalgarno's palette, the raw, visceral wealth of it. This is the sort of chromatic bang that you don't get in Nature. I'll tell you right away, if you didn't know it already: Saskatchewan skies, whether at dawn, midday or dusk, are not like Dalgarno paints them. But what his brush accurately captures is how they feel.That is the great appeal of these paintings: they are the best of both worlds, charged with the radiance of abstraction but also conveying the content of figuration. They are intensely physical paintings, nearly shocking in their vividness, yet their tone is quietly elegiac.

My immediate thought was, I want to live with these. My great luck isthat I now have two hanging on my walls, lighting up my house.

 Yann Martel       (Internationally acclaimedauthor of "Life of Pi")