A Place Between The Water In The Water
Angell Gallery, Toronto Canada





There’s an irreverence and playfulness to Trautrimas’s appropriation of the simple forms
and clean lines of modernist design. Trautrimas takes the familiar – in this case,
decorative patterning, bathtubs and (heart-shaped) spas – and makes them uncanny.
In works such as Pooling Resources or Soaking is Never the Last Step, each element of
the composition seems to exist on its own plane. The expected visual relationships are
skewed and our eyes are pushed beyond the edge of the picture, making the works feel,
perhaps, more like assemblages than conventional oil-on-canvas paintings. How would we
navigate such environments if, indeed, they could even be built? “There are definitely
liberal interpretations of architectural perspective within the paintings,” says the
artist. “I use it as a way to critique the promise of modernism as a salve for our
collective woes.”

Despite this, there are subtle mimetic aspects to the work. Portal-like elements in
the compositions suggest bodily openings, but Trautrimas is also interested in
Aristotle’s ideas around mimesis as an “imitation of action’’; that is, how things are
re-presented through the act of forming the images. “The compositions are impressions
of spaces that we spend a lot of money on so we’re comfortable in them,” he says. “I’m
interested in observing closely the spaces where life happens.” – Bill Clarke