In ‘Nature Mart,’ Geoff McFetridge Queries Human Responsibility and Connection Through Minimal Paintings
“Person Person” (2023), acrylic on canvas, 50 X 40 inches. All photos by Jessann Reece, courtesy of the artist and Cooper Cole, Toronto, shared with permission
Canadian artist Geoff McFetridge is known for his distinct aesthetic that privileges feeling over visuals, all conveyed through minimal shapes and clean lines. In his latest body of work titled Nature Mart, McFetridge takes on connection, empathy, fear, and exploitation as he explores what it means to be in a community.
Rendered in bold, flat panes of color, his acrylic paintings feature nondescript figures joining arms, hopping a fence, and haphazardly tucked head or foot first into a silhouette evocative of a Trojan horse. While some works, like “Group Hug,” portray people seamlessly joined as if fused together indefinitely, others show a separation as in the mirrored “Thruwall,” a piece that depicts two nearly identical figures approaching the wall that divides them. Many of the paintings ask what our responsibility as humans is to each other and the species we share this planet with, which McFetridge broaches through his unornamented visual language.