ANGELL GALLERY is proud to present KIM DORLAND: I KNOW THAT I KNOW NOTHING. This is Dorland’s ninth solo exhibition at Angell Gallery since 2004. Known for his extreme painting, vibrant colours, interpretation of Canadian landscape and reflections on his personal life, Dorland’s work is a collection of contradictions and contrasts. In pursuit of pushing the limits of his own practice, Dorland is an experimenter at heart and with this series seeks to pioneer new medium uses and techniques. The exhibition is on throughout the gallery from October 14 to October 29, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Friday, October 14, 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
The title of I Know That I Know Nothing, comes from the overall feeling of the exhibition. The primary theme is an examination of a person that Dorland knows intimately, his wife Lori. In stepping back to consider her as a separate entity and looking at the arc of a life that he’s spent so long living beside, Dorland is able to express a poetic reflection of familiarity. In the central room of the gallery the viewer discovers paintings of Lori. In these pictures, Dorland uses nudity as a metaphor of a person stripped bare psychologically. He is less interested in the figurative narrative as he is the continuum of awareness of the human psyche. He is removing the layers of the constructed self and examining the layers of growth, self-discovery and core emotions.
Opening the exhibition are two versions of the same painting titled All Work and No Play…, a sombre picture of a Canadian landscape with a seemingly cautious warning. The graffiti and salacious writing renders the mist or mystery of the imminent future. The terrain is purposefully ambiguously but noticeably different from his previous work. Dorland’s recent move to Vancouver has influenced this evolution.
In the Project Room at the end of the exhibition, butterflies are a noted theme. In the Swarm series, colourful butterflies float amongst the vivid hues of verdant greens and blues. They represent an element of hope and new beginnings which contrast the threatening beginning of the exhibition. Amongst the beauty, danger remains with selected wings displaying graffiti and salacious warnings.
Digital drawing has been an essential tool in Dorland’s practice since 2011. In a quest to collapse online and offline techniques, Dorland developed a process that allows him to digitally draw and then print to scale without compromising quality. To reflect the digital experience, he sought a material that best emulates an iPad screen. Within this latest series, Dorland prints digital drawings on to polyester fabric to create a back-lit, illuminated experience for the viewer. Thick oil and acrylic are instinctively painted on polyester to create a mashup between digital and manual mediums. Spray paint, ink and watercolour are used to create diverseness within the work. Throughout the exhibition, Dorland’s mind osculates between beauty and ugliness, between hope and despair.