Canadian, b. 1928
Soft Couch with Bushes and Streamers, 1986
oil on canvas
122 x 198 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from The Winnipeg Foundation
Recognized for drawing upon her everyday life for the subject matter of her work, artist Gathie Falk mixes the personal with humour, irony, and even a sense of the absurd. Playing with notions of interior and exterior, in this painting she brings the outdoors in, with her unique vision of a landscaped living room. The red couch that dominates the composition suggests a darker, more aggressive element in contrast to the playful nature of the streamers and shrubs. The artist feels that trees and bushes create a powerful effect, eliciting in the viewer a reference to nature, to a sense of peacefulness and beauty. More than mere houseplants, the shrubs improbably grow out of the floor, suggesting a ridiculous form of interior decor that also doubles as the very structure of the house. The shrubs remind one that nature creates architecture as much as humankind does.