Our latest Artist You Need To Know is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and is based out of Toronto. The late gallerist and curator Katherine Mulherin spoke of Clint Griffin’s works in the following manner: Griffin’s humble narratives are approached through a raw and intuitive mark making that offers insight into the simple moments that add up to complicated existence. Relationships are explored through the hits and misses of social interaction, environment and landscape. Griffin’s profound ability to collect, deconstruct and reinvent from the world around him is celebrated in both the contemporary and folk art worlds.
Griffin has exhibited his work across Canada and the United States: these include Mercer Union (Toronto), Berenberg Gallery (Boston), the American Primitive Gallery (New York), Yard Dog (Austin), Gaurde-Rail (Seattle), Galerie Trois Pointes (Montréal) and the aforementioned Katharine Mulherin Art Project (a past exhibition there was titled scribbletown, and that’s a descriptive, and appropriately amusing, term for much of his work). He was part of The Painting Project, a large exhibition presented by Galerie de l’UQAM and curated by Louise Déry and Julie Bélisle, in 2013. Griffin’s artwork can be found in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Canada), Bank of Montreal (Toronto, Canada), Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts (Ottawa, Canada), Senvest Collection (Montreal, Canada), Sun Life Collection (Toronto, Canada), The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and numerous private collections.
From a solo exhibition of Griffin’s works, in 2013: Iconoclast, strongly anchored in the physicality of the medium and carried with great authenticity, the work of Clint Griffin celebrates the grandeur of the banal object. The artist is interested in the immensity of the Canadian space, its broad minimalist landscapes, its wildlife and its people. In the recent years, Clint Griffin has been working with found materials, rejected by their owners, recycling and giving them a new life. He reuses landscape paintings found in flea markets or refuse. He respectfully preserves the original signatures, considering his work as collaborations with forgotten artists and craftsmen. As he makes different landscapes coexist on the surface to which he adds cut-out characters and traces of painting, Griffin creates beautifully narratives collages. He combines several realities to create an unusual and fascinating universe.
Many of Griffin‘s artworks can be described as a world where painting, photography, found objects and images, and elements of craft all collide, meld and form something that is both a response to, but a reinterpretation, of the world: these are imaginary landscapes that are grafted and grifted from what’s at hand, to form something new, but also with familiar components. A wonderful resource about Clint Griffin’s work can be found at the Galerie Trois Pointes site, as they have many images of his practice, as well as links to various reviews of Griffin’s exhibitions.