November 21 to December 23

Flatbed Pictures

American Art critic, Leo Steinberg gave a lecture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1968 where he argued that a fundamental shift occurred in painting in New York in the early 1950s. This shift was from paintings that had always been angulated towards a vertical human posture to that of a horizontal pictorial surface like a flatbed printing bed. If you consider even Picasso's cubism work, there is one way up. They were painted while standing vertical at an easel and meant to be viewed in that orientation only. But then in the 1950's, Leo states, starting with Robert Rauschenberg, and Dubuffet, you see artists breaking free from this to create works that simulate table tops or the studio floor. Steinberg felt that this was the most important development in post-modern painting.

This exhibition will showcase artists who work in the tradition of a flatbed approach to painting. Artists include; Harry Kiyooka, Rhys Douglas Farrell, Joe Fleming, Lauren Walker, Ben Skinner, Fiona Ackerman, Curtis Cutshaw, Nate McLeod, Tia Halliday, Darija Radakovic, Mario Trejo, Angela Leach and Sara Robichaud.

Artwork detail and purchase options available at the bottom of this page


"My work qualifies as flatbed pictures because they are created on a tabletop. Also, the image is a pattern so there is not a particular top or bottom so that they can be hung any side up and it is still correct in nature.  I am inspired heavily by Julian Stanczak".

Rhys Douglas Farrell


"I made Ultraviolet by stretching canvas on a large cradled panel, situating it on the floor, staining it fluorescent pink and then scraping pools of lustrous paint using my wheeled painting device. I am reminded of the process of making silkscreen prints, using a squeegee to pull the ink and how influential it has been to have attended a school (Queen’s University) that revered printmaking".

Sara Robichaud

"Leo Steinberg’s analysis of modern painting suggests a shift in the body’s orientation to painting.  Contemporary philosopher Sara Ahmed suggests that from (dis)orientation, new orientations emerge*. My “Skin of a Painting” series was created with disorientation in mind; Physically performing notions of abstraction from underneath a painting’s skin".


*Ahmed, Sara, 1969-. Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others. Durham :Duke University Press, 2006.

Tia Halliday


"With a pictorial shift from nature to culture, Pied de Poule uses a houndstooth textile design as a starting point, breaks it from a rhythmic pattern through distortion and interference, and scatters the remnants on a horizontal picture plain".

Fiona Ackerman

"On the question "is it a painting or a sculpture?" Robert Rauschenberg would say "combine".  It was confusing for those days’ art critics how to classify his art, or art of Marcel Duchamp, Meret Oppenheim, etc.  Even these days it's not much different with those basic questions like "what is art?", or "who is an artist?" In that same sense "m3" is a controversial piece, a notion of not-belonging would be a common denominator.

The piece consists of three square tables forming a corner, each table with its legs against a wall or a floor, so you can not go around it or see it from behind. The piece is from 2019 and wasn't meant to be a part of some bigger narrative; the intention was to offer a unique experience to a spectator".

Darija Radakovic


"This piece was created after the birth of my daughter and was inspired by weaving together a tapestry of visual references that represent time and personal growth. Working flat allows me to constantly change perspective and viewpoint of my pieces in an expected and enjoyable manner, and has always provided me with invited surprises and discovery in the process".

Lauren Walker

"My work grapples with figuration and abstraction. Found drawings are torn, deconstructed, and morphed into fantastical images with a social and political narrative at a time when our beliefs and values are being challenged daily. Hand and machine are employed and the mark-making happens on both sides of the transparent surface, creating a play between figure and ground in a modernist way. Light travels through the surfaces casting shadows and involving the wall in the experience".

Joe Fleming

Joe Fleming_Nadia48x52_2017.jpg
MarioTrejo_Children of the Stars_20x16.j
The Defeated_I_24x18.jpg

"Mark Rothko continues to be an inspiration for me.  His work, although just layers and layers of pigment.. seemed to question the viewers themselves and in their static form... left unanswerable riddles".  Mario Trejo


"My paintings are made laying flat on the ground. The paintings are constructed without a top or bottom, as I work around the image, physically changing my perspective. When the paintings reach their final placements, they are often displayed vertically or horizontally and are well suited to do so".

Curtis Cutshaw

AR_Shape_19_2014_37x24x2inches_acrylic o

"Taking elements from the shaped canvas back to the standard rectangular format produces a visual result that is in line with the Op artists of the 1960s.  By deliberately treading on territory analogous to the Op Art style, I continue to experiment with a multitude of variables, repeating a particular motif; circle, square or wave shape, to mimic perspective and explore the question of what is real"

Angela Leach


"What Remains" is 1 in a series of 4 works I made using raw linen and hard-edge painting techniques combined with electrostatic flocking used in the t-shirt printing industry. I was thinking about how the adhesive stencils I was making reminded me of sticker sheets from my childhood. I always liked how after all the stickers were gone you were left with one big weird sticker that was the background, space between the die-cut sticker shapes.  For this painting I referenced a sheet of Valentine's Day stickers and the suggestion of hearts can be made out in the negative shapes. 

Ben Skinner

"During the 1950s I was studying Art first in Edmonton then Manitoba, Michigan, Colorado, and finally in Italy on a Canada Council Scholarship. I returned to Calgary in 1961 to begin teaching at the University of Calgary. Thanks to my thorough education and travels, I was very aware of the many movements simultaneously occurring in modern art and in fact, over the years I have practiced many of them. My work from the 1960s particularly pays homage to the New York School of abstraction. This painting is pure geometry and colour, stretched over a shaped piece of wood and can be viewed from all orientations".

Harry Kiyooka

Six Loops_42.5x48.jpg

Made up of several drawings and paintings produced over the last three years, my work combines seemingly random images and texts: a collage spread across an expanded picture plane that serves as a visual diary for me and suggests a non-linear narrative to the viewer. This installation draws parallels with Rauschenberg’s transfer drawings of the 1960s, of which Steinberg states: “the images – each in itself illusionistic – kept interfering with one another; intimations of spatial meaning forever canceling out to subside in a kind of optical noise.”  Nate McLeod

Click on image for detail and pricing information