30 Calix Ester Malzahn - IMG_3035

Calix, 1996

Location: Francis Winspear Centre (interior, north wall)



At two stories tall, this massive painting greets visitors entering the lobby or mingling during intermission. Although he retired from the University of Alberta’s Department of Art and Design in 2003, Darrah continues to actively produce and sell new work today.


Artist Statement: In 1997, I moved my home and studio from the city of Edmonton to an acreage in Mulhurst Bay. This move, in conjunction with preparations for an exhibition in Greece, and the recent death of my mother, brought about significant changes in my approach and practice.


Up to this time I had considered myself to be exclusively an abstract painter. At first, I found myself in the process of “taking stock” of those painting issues and assumptions that had been a feature of earlier working periods and I began to re-examine some of them. The September 2002 exhibition in Greece was entitled “Recollections” and was the first public acknowledgement of this process.


I had begun to allow the things in my immediate environment that I habitually looked at with fondness, to have a greater presence in my paintings.


During the 2002 Greek tour of museums and later in 2004, I made a few drawings of both landscapes and more particularly, antique ceramics. In 2002 a white Lekythos, in the collection of Charles Politis, held great resonance for me and I made a few impromptu sketches on the backs of envelopes.


Some of these drawings subsequently led to and some were incorporated into a painting based on this wonderful ceramic. So, some of my paintings, when derived from a very rich and resonant source, are a way of bringing in my experience to the essence of the subject. Later the painting process digests the literal and my personal abstract language takes over.


Source: SOPA Fine Arts

Photo Credit: Ester Malzahn