Dennis Mantin is a Toronto-based writer, artist, and filmmaker. Although he was born in Toronto, he grew up in rural Nova Scotia where he was introduced to creative writing and painting.
In 1980, he moved to Alberta and was offered a job as a nude model for an art class at The Banff School of Fine Arts taught by internationally acclaimed American painter, sculptor, and printmaker, Eric Fischl. Meeting Fischl opened his feelings and eyes to really seeing colour and tone, even in the most unexpected places.
In 1992, after having returned to Toronto, Mantin dedicated himself to painting and had the good fortune to meet the extraordinary Canadian poetic painter, Paul Fournier which ignited a life-long creative friendship. With Fournier’s mentoring, Dennis mounted his first solo exhibition in an antique store in The Beaches neighborhood, Toronto. After a decade of panting in Toronto, raising a family and other life circumstances, forced Mantin to give his attention to other things.
In May of 2014, Mantin renewed his relationship with painting and he was invited to share artist, Paul Fournier’s studio which culminated in a solo exhibition of 13 paintings at The Abbozzo Gallery at 401 Richmond Street, Toronto. The exhibition was entitled The Meditation, and alludes to Mantin’s recent interest and dedication to the practice and study of mindfulness meditation.
The latest collection of paintings by Dennis Mantin reveals a keen intuitive sense for the sublime and respect for spontaneity. In his work, swirling motifs, and vivid lines of colour emerge from strong solid backgrounds that suggest the rich and complex diversity of experience that underlies the seemingly ordinary and mundane. His paintings call us back to the here and now; back to ourselves.
While working on The Meditation, Mantin was encouraged to re-examine his writings which stimulated a re-vision of a short screenplay he had authored 20 years earlier. The play, also titled The Meditation, is now in pre-production. It will be filmed in the coming months, and has attracted the acting talents of Jonathan Hyde and Shannon Lawson.