Fairway Variety is among a small group of paintings of Cabbagetown (among them Parkway Tavern, Carlton Streetcar and Cabbagetown Deli), the neighbourhood in which the artist lived with his family in the mid 1980s. These works constitute the turning point between the anecdotal, community-centred style of the Bridgetown Series and the style of what was to become the Window Series, at once more atmospheric and more detached. Initially trying to recapture the neighbourhood feeling of his Nova Scotia work, the artist painted local scenes, and developed relationships with local shopowners and restauranteurs--chiefly the owners and staff of the Cabbagetown Deli, several of whom he painted. However, as this painting, the premiere example of the group, illustrates, it became clear that the perspective remains external to the scene: the artist and viewer are outside the glass looking in through a frame constituted by the window. In much of the work of this period, instead of the free spatial relationship between subject and viewer which characterized the Bridgetown Series, the painter produced enclosed spaces, to which he himself was always external, although proximate. The paintings start to exhibit the shallower picture plane, the relatively close-up view, that was to become standard in the urban work. It is fair to say that Fairway Variety is the first painting in the Window Series, showing the idea which the artist was unconsciosly developing, recording city experience by expressing people through their things, especially things for sale.

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