Saskatchewan-based artist Jeff Nachtigall's new paintings highlight his quintessential Canadian wit while drawing from his own life on the prairies, Canadian history and contemporary pop culture. This new body, in fact, is a tribute to the historically infamous Battle of the Plains of Abraham celebrates its 250th anniversary on September 13th.
In 1753, Voltaire famously referred to Canada as "...a country covered with snow and ice eight months of the year, inhabited by barbarians, bears and beavers." Voltaire's poison pen also highlights the degree to which the perception of Canada has been crafted by collective imagination.
Nachtigall uses this pivotal battle as the jumping off point for his latest painting series. The quasi-historical battles play out on landscapes that reference the history of Canadian landscape painting as much as the specific geography of Quebec. Running rough shod over any canonical account of the events, Nachtigall takes on the past in much the same way that teenage boys develop elaborate war games on paper, inventing the battle theatre and rules of engagement through the process of drawing itself.
Born in 1970, Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Jeff Nachtigall received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan in 1993, and completed one year of his master's degree in printmaking at Illinois State University. He has exhibited widely across Canada and his artwork can be found in many public collections.