The work I am presenting to the Vivarium Gallery is one panel from a series of six (The Mahler Project) that has been inspired by the composer Gustav Mahler's third symphony written between 1893 and 1896. the 3rd symphony is unique in that it contains six movements as opposed to the typical four found in most other symphonic works. Each panel in this
series of paintings represents a specific movement in the symphony and the one being presented here was inspired by the 6th or last movement. Mahler titled each movement allowing a kind of window into the creative motif of the symphony. The final movement was titled "what love tells me" bringing to light Mahler's quest to elevate music to the realm of desire and beyond
the systematic structure of notation.

I assumed Mahler's noble quest in my series of paintings wanting the images to transcend their physicality and venture into the realm of experience. The possibility of this assumed quest is always in question and it is the questioning of this notion that gives this work its strength: how much of what we see is determined by how we see it? My position is that our experience of an art form (what we are looking at) is determined, for the most part, by how we are looking at it. In other words, how we perceive an image is socially conditioned through a series of events (historical and current)that come to bear on what is presented. Aspects of the subject of a painting carry social codes that influence our experience of it that, in turn, raise concerns as to how an image will be interpreted. The Mahler project strives to maintain this dialog at a forefront in order to persuade the viewer to accept its limitations and possibly move from them towards the realm of desire.


Bruce Pashak is a Canadian artist living and working in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. He has shown extensively in over 30 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows through out Canada , parts of the USA and Europe (London and Paris). Pashak's works are held in many public and private collections, art institutions and museums. Pashak is represented by the Eliot Louis Gallery in Vancouver, the Paul Kuhn Gallery in Calgary and the Peter Buckland Gallery in St. John