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John Kissick: A Nervous Decade

January 21, 2012 - March 25, 2012

AWE Gallery

John Kissick, I feel better (than James Brown) No. 8, 2009, acrylic and oil on canvas, 91.5 cm x 91.5 cm, Gift of the artist, 2014

John Kissick’s work has enjoyed acclaim over the past decade for its viable, if highly critical, dialogue with the historical conventions of abstract painting. Kissick weaves the familiar — such as the supergraphics on 1960’s civic architecture and contemporary popular music — into an expansive conversation about quotation and the institutionalization of artistic processes.

A Nervous Decade brings together 19 paintings on canvas and panel from public and private collections throughout Canada. Originally conceived as a mid-career survey, this exhibition traces Kissick’s early exploration and re-assembly of an abstract expressionist lexicon, through to a current immersion in hybrid painting informed by popular culture. His focus on complicating the interpretive procedures at play in viewing painting has evolved into a current interest in sentiment and the supposedly raw experience of looking. This exhibition provides a glimpse into Kissick’s intelligent and dynamic practice.

Trained as a painter and writer, John Kissick attended Queen’s University at Kingston, Cornell University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Higher Education. He has held teaching and administrative appointments at Penn State University’s School of Visual Arts and the Ontario College of Art & Design. His exhibition record includes numerous solo exhibitions in Canada and the United States and his work is in a number of important national public collections. In 2005, Kissick was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy for the Arts. He is currently the Director of the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph and is represented by the Katzman Kamen Gallery in Toronto.

This exhibition is organized and circulated by the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery in partnership with the Kelowna Art Gallery.

A Season of Abstract Art Media Sponsor

In this exhibit

John Kissick, I feel better (than James Brown) No. 8, 2009, acrylic and oil on canvas, 91.5 cm x 91.5 cm, Gift of the artist, 2014

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