Coldstream Fine Art is pleased to present Quantum Landscapes, a new exhibition of work by Toronto-based painter Matt Beasant. Working from the twin inspirations of particle physics and psychedelia, Beasant generates lush, otherworldly landscapes that emerge from and melt into each other in sinuous strands. Through these glimpses into the imaginary, we are reminded of the invisible, unstable vibrance of existence, which has long been suppressed in Western thought in favour of the illusionistic notion of the concrete, non-negotiable “real”. As modern revolutions in the field of quantum theory have shown us, however, and as has been long intuited from spiritual and hallucinatory experiences, there are worlds that exist beyond our immediate perception. Through particle acceleration and/or intoxication, we are able to briefly access them, however fragmentary they may appear to us.
Beasant’s compositions, at once placid and dynamic, crystallize these ideas into images that can be appreciated at length, retrieving them from the clinical, imperceptible data of scientific study and the fleeting, indescribable whirlwind of psychedelic experience. There is an elegance to the way that self-similarity is rendered in these works that bypasses rote depictions of fractals and scientific signifiers; instead we see the recognizable forms of mountains, lakes, leaves, all nested inside one another, seamlessly linked together. After all, this all emerged from iterations of the same processes working at different scales, growing in complexity with the passing of time. These same processes, of course, generated us, bestowing us with the curiosity and brilliance to peel back the layers, only to find that nothing is as it seems, that everything, ultimately, is the same—and equally alive.
Beneath this whirring symbolism lies the continued development of Beasant’s technique, taking on ever more rhythmic qualities and, appropriately, eschewing black and white in order to explore the possibilities of what lies in between. Additionally, despite mostly containing what would traditionally be considered non-living entities, the landscapes within the compositions mimic the curves and musculature of bodies, again reminding us of the vitality of all matter. This series, then, demands from us a full reevaluation of the way we see what is before our eyes, destabilizing the very ground we stand on. Beasant immerses us fully in this multilayered universe—that is, of course, a mirror of our own world—and mystifies everything that we have taken for granted, inviting us to a blissfully delirious paradise.