Artwork by Kim Dorland,  Big Wheel

Kim Dorland
Big Wheel

oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas
signed, titled and dated 2007 on the reverse; unframed
30 x 36 ins ( 76.2 x 91.4 cms )

Auction Estimate: $15,000.00$10,000.00 - $15,000.00

Price Realized $14,950.00
Sale date: November 22nd 2016

Private Collection, Calgary
A native of Wainright, Alberta, Dorland relies heavily on his tumultuous experiences growing up, translating into works charged with challenges to preconceived notions of the Canadian landscape within a contemporary context. “Big Wheel” depicts a haunting image of emptiness where the only traces of life are the abandoned toys on the front lawn of the suburban home and the ghost-like figure blending into the right-most tree trunk. There is an inherent tension and visual conflict at play in the piece, a complex and recurring element to Dorland’s body at work. The vibrant neons contrasting with the muted tones of the house, foreground and background creates a jarring visual comment on the symbols of “having it all”- the suburban home on a corner lot, lush green front yard, sedan in the driveway and a family to rear. The narrative here takes a decidedly darker tone where having it all may not be just that. Rather than a soft and rosy depiction of a happy home life, looser and thickly applied paints and pigments reference a more aggressive and dystopian representation of a typical suburban scene, disrupting the viewers initial assumptions of home sweet home.

Share this item with your friends

Kim Dorland

A native of Wainwright, Alberta, Dorland relies heavily on his tumultuous experiences growing up, translating into works that challenge preconceived notions of the Canadian wilderness. He studied at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver before earning his MFA at York University in Toronto in 2003. Dorland was also an artist-in-residence at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in 2014.

With an emphasis on demystifying the idea of terra nullius—the void, pristine, virgin land often idealized by historical Canadian painting and art history—the artist often incorporates contemporary figures and objects in a rugged environment emphasizing one's place in the landscape. Dorland works in a variety of media, including neon pigments, spray paint and even inkjet technologies. Works often include hidden symbols and references to the relationship humans have on the landscape they inhabit. Graffiti, cars, toys and modern infrastructure populate Dorland’s landscapes, making a contemporary comment on the traditionally barren Canadian landscape throughout art history. In each work, strong formal elements of line, contrast, and colour figure prominently to create visually complex imagery. In doing this, the artist forms a dialogue with celebrated twentieth century Canadian painting technique rather than a rejection of tradition.

As one of Canada's leading contemporary painters, Dorland exhibits frequently in Canada from coast to coast at the institution and gallery level with regular art fair participation in Toronto and New York. His works are part of the collections of The Art Gallery of Alberta, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Bank of Montréal, Royal Bank of Canada, and The Glenbow Museum among many other private and international collections.