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The National Gallery will present Tim Gardner, on view January 17 – April 15, 2007. In 2005, Tim Gardner, a 33-year-old Canadian artist, had the opportunity to spend a few months exploring the National Gallery collection whilst working in the artist's studio here. This exhibition showcases the paintings he produced as a result of that experience. 

Tim established his international reputation with his first solo exhibition at 303 Gallery in New York (2001). There he showed meticulously executed watercolours based on photographs of a variety of subjects, including his brothers and their college friends partying, hanging out and drinking too much as well as landscapes, seascapes and single figures in nature. 

His compelling gift for identifying resonant images from contemporary life, combined with using photographed images and executing the work in such traditional materials as pastels and watercolours, creates a visual tension that is at once astonishing and unsettling. 

Critics saw these images as a rich and provocative new commentary on such traditional themes as youth, masculinity, friendship, the family and middle-class life. Subsequent exhibitions of his work have been widely praised in New York, Oslo, Indianapolis and London. 

The twenty works in this exhibition include many that were begun in London during Tim's time at the National Gallery, but most were executed upon his return home to British Columbia. Major presences in Tim's life and art, such as the Rocky Mountains, are revealed to us in works like the small watercolour 'Highway through the Rockies'. The centrepiece of the exhibition, a portrait of Gardner's older brother Nick ('Nick on Prairie Facing into the Wind'), addresses heroism - a theme rarely depicted in contemporary art. 

Brilliant improvisations of dramatic skies (including 'Sunburst over the Prairie' and 'Mt Edith Cavell') deepen the impact of many of the pictures. The cycle ends with images of banal suburban sprawl and a lone basketball player shooting hoops in the park ('Oak Bay Basketball'). In these works, at once deeply personal and coolly appraising, Gardner has extended the range and resonance of his singular art. 

This exhibition is part of an expanded National Gallery commitment to contemporary art - to exhibit younger artists early in their careers as well as the work of more established figures