Art News: Kim Dorland ‘Nocturne’ at Angell Gallery

7 Feb


Kim Dorland’s ‘Nocturne’ exhibition (his six solo exhibition at the gallery) is currently running at Angell Gallery in Toronto through February 19, 2011.

Toxic Rabbit

Ghost in the Woods

While Kim Dorland’s process in both its formation and its final object have remained grounded in the insights and attitudes he evolved in the suburban and rural towns of Alberta where he grew up, his stance toward his subject matter has taken some turns along the road, very much as though he were driving further into his own proverbial forest.


Awkward, compelling teen experience and his edgy pastoral depictions of it have been succeeded by a fascination with existential fear and horror; and now a further development has occurred, a point of potentially mystical experience has appeared in the work, a mysticism that reflects a new spiritual engagement. Dorland has arrived at a fresh center, where awe and revelation have emerged from out of the dark possibilities of the horror genre.

Seemingly real ghosts have made their appearances (especially that of Dorland’s greatest inspiration, Tom Thomson) alongside quieter, more emotionally charged images of groves, tree-houses, and glowing night skies that seem more spectral than spooky, or haunted. The use of glow in the dark and liquid mirror paint serves to highlight the possibility of the transcendental as well as the macabre in the work, while continuing the artist’s signature maximal impact in terms of investment in his formal vocabulary.

In the Forest


Owl in Snow

These paintings, drawings and sculptures expose a world of supernatural, dreamlike imaginings to us, where what is or isn’t “real” has come into question; and been made to seem plausible by the power of the imagination. The artist’s implication, in deploying his habitual formal gusto, seems to be that what is believed to be real, is as real as it needs to be.

About the artist: Kim Dorland was born in Wainwright, AB and currently lives and works in Toronto, ON. He attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and received his Masters from York University in Toronto. His previous shows have received reviews from the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

Check out Kim Dorland’s website to see more of his work, and visit Art Nectar’s Art Gallery & Museum Links page for gallery listings.

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