David Janzen Exshaw Lumber Pile,
Oil on canvas
48" x 72"
Courtesy of the Artist
In 2010, David Janzen ventured out on a series of trips to landfills across Alberta. He took photographs, made sketches, and returned home to his studio to create a new series of paintings. The resulting work featured piles of neatly sorted debris in front of often sublime vistas of the surrounding landscape. This series by Janzen followed from earlier work where the artist focused on infrastructure seen up against the sky: security cameras, flood lights etc. Other works represent man-made disasters: the nose of a crashed plane, an impossibly tall dam about to crack. For Janzen, respect for innovation, development and progress is intertwined with dread. A sense of dystopia is combined with a sense that, in Janzen’s words, “things on this Earth are unfolding as they should.” This new series of paintings approaches the subject matter of waste management with curiosity and, ultimately, calmness as detritus is juxtaposed with the terrain that it may, eventually, overtake.