November 19 to January 7
burning of the houses of cool man, yeah
Mirror (Square) and Blue Web
Over the past few years, I have become somewhat obsessed with JMW Turner's extraordinary painting of The Burning of the Houses of Parliament. The work speaks to multiple preoccupations in my own practice – ranging from painterly theatricality, artifice and obfuscation, to the visceral response of materials, and the lingering potential of metaphor – to both invigorate and complicate readings. I particularly am interested in how a certain "staging" of history is churned through the materiality of paint and the conventional language of the artist into something both fundamentally true and untrue. The parallels to the making of abstract art today seem clear. It is here where I consistently situate my own studio practice, hovering between a kind of feigned authenticity for the expressionist mark, and a very real, almost desperate desire to situate a self among the ruins of all this constructed language. – John Kissick (2016)
In Mirror (Square), patterns become discernable as the viewer takes a longer look. And with this closer looking, the squares appear to move in and out into the picture planes they share in common, as seen by the unique experience of colour in each of us. In making this work, I set up a system or a game. For each colour square on the left side there is an equivalent on the right – for each square on right side there is an equivalent on the left.
In Mirror (Square), I am interested in the hemispheres and parallel systems of left and right in the nervous system, as well as the basic ideas of mirror neurons. A simple introduction from Wikipedia is as follows: “A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron ‘mirrors’ the behaviour of the other, as though the observer were itself acting.” – Landon Mackenzie (2016)
Known primarily as a painter and writer, John Kissick’s exhibition record includes over thirty solo exhibitions in Canada, the USA, and Germany. His work has been included in a number of important survey exhibitions on contemporary painting, and held in numerous public collections. A mid-career survey, entitled John Kissick: A Nervous Decade, toured Canada from 2010 to 2012, and was accompanied by a major publication. A survey exhibition, The Boom Bits, curated by Carl Lavoy, has been on tour since 2015 until next year. Currently, The Boom Bits is on view at The Esplande (Medicine Hat) until December 31. Kissick will also be part of a group exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, curated by Bruce Grenville, in the fall of 2017.
Kissick is also the author of Art: Context and Criticism (1992-1996), was editor of the Penn State Journal of Contemporary Criticism (1990-1995), and was a regular contributor to the New Art Examiner (1990-2000). As a critic and essayist, he has written numerous catalogue essays and articles for periodicals. As a curator, he was the recipient of the 2014 Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) Award for Curatorial Writing for his essay on the artist Ron Shuebrook. Two recent essays: “Elephants in the Room” for Canadian Art Magazine and “Disco and the Death Switch: Tales from Contemporary Abstraction” for Border Crossings Magazine recently were nominated for National Magazine Awards.
John Kissick has held numerous academic posts, including: Head of Critical Studies at Penn State University’s School of Visual Arts, Dean of the Faculty of Art at the Ontario College of Art & Design (2000-2003), and Director of the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph (2003-2014). John Kissick was elected into the Royal Canadian Academy for the Arts in 2005.
Landon Mackenzie has built an impressive body of work and is known for her large-format abstract paintings. Her work has been exhibited in over ninety exhibitions across Canada and internationally, and is collected by many museums including the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery. She began her education at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax (1972-1975), and received her MFA at Concordia University (1976-1979). Mackenzie has received numerous awards and is an influential artist and educator. Based in Vancouver, she Professor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Exhibitions (selected): Taipei Museum of Fine Arts; Museum of Fine Arts Kaohsiung; Yokohama Civic Centre; Hoffman Contemporary Art Gallery, Portland; 49th Parallel NY; National Gallery of Canada; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Vancouver Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Ontario; Musee d’art contemporain; Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, Toronto (solo); Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver (solo); Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax; Nickel Art Museum, Calgary; Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (solo); Confederation Centre for the Arts, Charlottetown (solo); Yukon Arts Centre (solo); Art Gallery of York University, Toronto (solo); Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (solo); Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina (solo); Winnipeg Art Gallery; McMichael Collection of Canadian Art; Leonowens Art Gallery, NSCAD, Halifax (solo); and Espace 502 of Galerie Rene Blouin, Montreal (solo).
Landon Mackenzie is represented by Art45.
Please note: Katzman Contemporary will only be open by appointment from Tuesday, December 20 until Monday, January 2.