For the past 25 years, Kevin Sonmor has been bumping through the history of art and raiding it's themes and conventions. Caravaggio’s ripe still lives and claustrophobic spaces, the equestrian paintings of Gericault and Delacroix , Rembrandt’s dense paint handling and the studied paint manipulation of the abstract expressionists have all provided food for his canvases.
Originally from Calgary, Kevin Sonmor completed his MFA at Concordia University in Montreal in 1991. Since then he has exhibited widely across Canada, the US, and more recently, Europe where he had a solo exhibition in Stockholm in 2013.
Along with his numerous exhibitions in established commercial galleries, Sonmor has enjoyed solo exhibitions in many public galleries and museums. The University of Waterloo in 1998 organized a touring exhibition, The Mendell Gallery in Saskatoon did likewise in 2002. The Art Gallery of Mississauga in 2004 and most recently, a 2 person exhibition at The Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts in Sherbrooke, Quebec with the painter, France Jodoin. In the fall of 2014, Sonmor will be having a solo exhibition at The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie in Alberta.
Sonmor currently works out of his studio in Dunham, in Quebec’s eastern townships.
Kevin Sonmor applies art historical conventions whose original purposes no longer have hold. Instead of using them to convey wealth, affluence, or military might, Sonmor engages in a pure aesthetic exploration. In his latest body of work, Sonmor continues his investigation of colour and atmosphere to elicit the grandeur. These new paintings are part of his ongoing inquiry, but introduce an intensified sense of the Gothic. Sonmor’s seductive paintings are fantastical new worlds, full of brooding abstracted landscapes and intensely coloured plump and ripe still lifes. Hints of unseen inhabitants play around the edges of his subjects, luring the viewer in while whispering the possibility of danger. Deep velvet reds and royal blues present an invitation to a sanctuary, but disguise forms that may hide behind the folds of colour. Sonmor’s masterful handling of intense texture and colour transforms the gallery space into his own romantic world where luminous paintings offer the only points of light amid the darkness.