Artwork by Kim Dorland,  Green Tree Blue Tree

Kim Dorland
Green Tree Blue Tree

oil, acrylic and spray paint on wood panel
signed, titled and dated 2009 on the reverse
60 x 60 ins ( 152.4 x 152.4 cms )

Auction Estimate: $30,000.00$25,000.00 - $30,000.00

Price Realized $66,000.00
Sale date: June 9th 2021

Acquired directly from the artist
Private Collection, Toronto
You are Here: Kim Dorland and the Return to Painting, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, October 26, 2013 - January 5, 2014
Katerina Atanassova “You are Here: Kim Dorland and the Return to Painting” in Katerina Atanassova, Robert Enright and Jeffrey Spalding, Kim Dorland, Vancouver/Berkeley and Kleinburg, Ontario, 2014, pages 43-56, reproduced page 49 as “Green Tree, Blue Tree #2”
Alberta-born painter Kim Dorland studied at Vancouver’s Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, going on to earn his MFA at York University in Toronto. Influenced early on by the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson, Dorland’s work has involved an exploratory engagement with Canada’s long-established tradition of landscape painting. His nature-inspired paintings often begin with field trips where source material is gathered with Polaroid photographs and sketches. “Green Tree Blue Tree” directly references Tom Thomson’s tightly composed oil sketches of dense foliage. Dorland’s trees are built up with aggressive, linear swathes of paint, the brazen use of impasto so sculptural that in areas it physically extends from the picture’s edges. Birch trees, incongruously depicted in silver and gold metallic spray paints, curtain the composition. The scene is permeated with the red glow of a menacing sunset. Dorland has shattered the conventional notion of the romantic Canadian landscape.

The painting imparts psychological weight through the sheer physicality and density of the woods depicted. Curator Katerina Atanassova notes that “nature is imbued with a psychological dialogue between artists and viewers. In Dorland’s work, the forest often
seems to be closing in on the artist, neither inviting nor foreboding, but pervaded by a feeling of intensity and danger”. Kim Dorland has consistently maintained a sincere, non-ironic belief in the lasting artistic viability of painting in contemporary times. The artist has asserted “My work is very much about paint. It’s about other things too: landscape, portraiture, identity, psychology...but for me, it always comes back to the medium.”

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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.