Artwork by Kim Dorland,  Untitled

Kim Dorland

mixed media on canvas on board
signed and dated 2012 on the upper edge; signed, titled and dated on the reverse
36 x 48 ins ( 91.4 x 121.9 cms )

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

Price Realized $18,000.00
Sale date: June 9th 2021

Private Collection, Toronto
Contemporary painter Kim Dorland excels at creating imagery that is simultaneously abrasive and attractive. This work draws in the viewer with its varied painterly surface. Thin washes of white oil paint form a shimmering, frost-like veil over the pink ground. Visual movement results as the viewer’s eyes dance over the linear trees and dispersed impasto dabs. Dorland has engaged with long-established tropes of landscape painting, presenting a view through the trees, complete with a gently meandering stream.

Dorland’s painting establishes a dichotomy between tranquility and uneasiness. The silver metallic pigments employed here take the setting away from the specific into the realm of the mythological or imagined. A zombie-like, singular figure faces us impassively, adding a mysterious atmosphere and hinting at an elusive narrative. These ominous ghost-like figures often populate Dorland’s paintings, bringing to mind horror movie imagery, but also alluding to the sense of isolation so pervasive in our contemporary culture.

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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.