Mark Dicey / Rhythm Section

Online Viewing Room / Opens May 7, 2020

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Rhythm Section, a new exhibition of paintings by Calgary artist Mark Dicey explores the artist’s continued interest in abstraction and rhythms of everyday life. Having begun his dedicated studio and painting practice after graduating from the Alberta College of Art and Design, Dicey has established himself as an integral presence in the Calgary art world. His work is strongly rooted in abstraction while also being directed by what Dicey refers to as “ritualistic actions of the studio”: activities that are a part of the artist’s daily life. It is in these moments that Dicey finds rhythm, a constant in all our lives and one that plays a central role in his artistic process.

As he writes:

rhythm of making the work

            rhythm of the composition

            rhythm of the shapes, lines, forms, textures

            rhythm of a daily routine

            rhythm of our bodies

            rhythm of being a runner

            rhythm of my past as a drummer


The work selected for Rhythm Section was created over an intensive six month period, the end of which corresponded with the arrival and devastation of Covid-19. In the exhibition, the viewer is presented with a new and thrilling body of work but also a renewed place from which to look at the world, one populated by the real and imagined representations of life that Dicey brings forward.

Creating from his one car garage turned studio space, Dicey has taken up the role of the flâneur – observing, visually digesting and creating an understanding from his own unique vocabulary. For amongst the large washes of warm yellows, the shocks of greens, blues, pinks and the curving lines, the viewer will discover that the painter is a poet: his words brushstrokes, his line breaks blocks of colour.

Dicey as the poet of painting offers a place for reading our present from his rhythmic and colourful perspective.

-Maeve Hanna