January 13 – March 6, 2005

John Kissick: Recent Work

John Kissick

The de Kooning-esque crisscrossed slathers of paint, by which holes and caves of space are slashed into being, the ballooning, illusory volumes carved out of the painterly turbulence, the Kline-like girders of black paint giving a struggling structure to the gaseous passages of colour, the painted knots and bows-still as precise and deliberate as they would be in a Jonathan Lasker, but clearly on the verge of fraying into pure chromatic bliss…Gary Michael Dault, Canadian Art Magazine (2001)

This exhibition will present current works on panel, canvas and paper. Reaching dimensions as large as six square feet, these endeavours are exhilarating forays into the abundant history of painting where the artist re-emerges with evidence that presents an invigorated journey of painterly licks and swellings; colour and form that rollicks, surprises and delights. These works express both confidence and uncertainty; a compulsion to go forth without knowing what lies ahead. Their success lies in a lack of prescription and in a sense of adventure. Kissick’s paintings offer insight and a promise that abstraction can and does continue to offer refreshment to the viewer.

About the Artist

John Kissick was born in Montreal in 1962 and received his MFA from Cornell University in 1987. Kissick is currently the Director of the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph. His book Art, Context, and Criticism (Brown and Benchmark, 1992) is now in its second edition. Painting on lead, copper and large plywood constructions typified his early production but in the past three years he has moved to canvas and paper where he's been occupied with the creation of intimate but ambiguous spaces, capable of both exposing and disguising their contingency to historical conventions of abstraction. The central issue of his work has always been the question of making abstract paintings that are both ironic and authentic. Kissick agrees with Milan Kundera's notion of the "beautifying lie" and states that the history of painting is many things, but at its core it is a fiction.