An unusual and thought-provoking installation of large and medium scale works (largest is 7 x 7 feet) known as The Enso Collection will be on view through December 10, 2014 at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton. The water media works are by international artist Daniel Kanaan. They depict the “enso,” the Japanese word for an uninhibited, hand drawn circle. In Zen Buddhism, Enso is intended to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create.
Daniel Kanaan has exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition (London) alongside such renowned artists as Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach. Born in Boston and raised in London, Kanaan spent most of his life in England and France before returning to the United States in 2011. He now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, notes Harrington Gallery Director Julie Finegan, who curated this exhibit.
Kanaan switched his focus from figurative work to abstracts a few years ago, which brought him to this latest body of work, Enso. He has explored a variety of mediums and motifs over the course of his career, including landscapes, portraits, and even kinetic art working with scrap metal. His experimentation with printmaking led him to create an etching titled ‘Lawn Chairs,’ which was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2007.
In discussing the Enso, Kanaan says, “In the case of these very large, colorful Enso, it is their remarkable nature to evoke the most complex human emotions with the simplest of forms.” He goes on to propose that “the existential questions posed by the Enso are at the very core of an artist’s ethos, summed up most eloquently by Gauguin: Where do we come from; what are we; where are we going?”
Kanaan will be at the Firehouse on Thursday, November 6, from 7-9pm during the next Harrington Gallery artist’s reception. The public is invited to this free reception, to chat with the artists and enjoy light refreshments.
The Enso Collection is open to view during Firehouse open hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 12:00-5:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. The Firehouse Arts Center is located in beautiful downtown Pleasanton at 4444 Railroad Avenue. Admission is free.
For more information, contact Gallery Director: JFinegan@cityofpleasantonca.gov, or call the gallery: 925-931-4849.