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Capturing the Mountains with David Pirrie

Pirrie asks people to contemplate our fleeting life in contrast to the slow rise and fall of the mountains in his paintings



The Tetons, WY — oil on canvas, 30 x 68 inches

THE ARTIST: David Pirrie

INSPIRATION: "I have been climbing, skiing, and mountain biking all of my life, and I never want to stop exploring mountains and seeing what's on the other side. Their isolation, beauty, and grandeur humble me—I am but a speck in time and place. Your life and your matters don't have consequence when you're in the mountains: The mountain shrugs and you fall off."


“The Pickets, N Washington” oil on canvas, 32 x 48 inches (2015)

ROCK OF AGES: "I closely study the morphology of rocks, the movement of glaciers, erosion. I contemporize the landscape in order to ask the viewer the think of time on a geological scale, and I hope people will experience our fleeting life in contrast to the slow rise and fall of the mountains."

LANDSCAPE AND TECHNOLOGY: "In many ways, I treat my paintings almost like scientific inquiries. Gridding, mapping: these are contemporary filters for how we look at landscapes now—with Google Maps and satellites—through technology. And that's partly what I'm getting at with the use of these very bold colors that are almost from the digital world."


“Mt Owen, WY” oil on canvas, 32 x 48 inches (2014)

ON THE DOT: "I started adding dots about four years ago, after having used grid-like patterns. It seemed like a natural evolution for me. I was looking for a way to add intense color and to reference mapping. The dots are so completely opposite from the natural monochromatic palette that I'm using; there's an incredible contrast. Your eye oscillates between the foreground and the background, and it creates an interesting effect. People end up focusing even more on the mountains."

WHAT'S NEXT: A solo show is planned for the Ian Tan Gallery in Vancouver, B.C., in April 2016.

Pirrie is also represented by Diehl Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming.

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