Realism up for grabs

What is realism?

That is the question in Capture 2014: Nova Scotian Realism, a compelling, landmark show of paintings by 28 artists at Dalhousie Art Gallery to March 9.

“No one has asked this question in the province for decades,” says Peter Dykhuis, curator-director of the gallery.

This show blasts away at preconceptions about Atlantic Canadian realism and it shucks off realism’s reputation in the academic art world as a poor cousin to serious contemporary art.

“We understand the bias against it. It’s an unfair bias,” says co-curator and noted Canadian art writer Tom Smart.

Realism in Nova Scotia is “complicated and complex,” he says. “Is the term realism even meaningful?”

Arisaig artist Jaye Ouellette’s painting of a crashing wave belongs to a Nova Scotia tradition of wave painting, or does it? “It’s really about light and deep, deep meditation on the nature of land,” says Smart. “The image is deep and metaphysical. It’s a glorious

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