In the past year, elements in the artist’s painting, such as ornament, optical mixing, and graphic quotations from institutional sources — once implicit in the construction of the work — have become explicit. This choice has enabled Kissick to quote directly from the period of high modernism’s collapse into the visual detritus of suburbia while creating a dynamic and chromatically dissonant backdrop for the painting. The result is work that floats uneasily between a kind of feigned nostalgia for a previous era (a contingency integral to most abstract painting these days) and a somewhat disorienting and unnerving opticality.
Trained as both a painter and writer, John Kissick’s exhibition record includes numerous solo shows in Canada and abroad and his work has been included in a number of important survey exhibitions and public collections. A mid-career survey entitled John Kissick: A Nervous Decade, along with a major catalogue, is currently touring Canada. Two of Kissick’s recent essays, “Elephants in the Room” for Canadian Art and “Disco and the Death Switch: Tales from Contemporary Abstraction” for Border Crossings, were nominated for National Magazine Awards in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Kissick is currently the Director of the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph.
Represented by Galerie Katzman Kamen, Toronto
and Galerie Peter Wilde, Berlin