Project Description

REFRAMED: Painting and Collage by Tiko Kerr

Curated by Meredith Preuss

May 8, 2019 to August 30, 2019


Alexis Fletcher: Choreographed dance to Tiko Kerr’s works – August 9, 2019 7:00pm | August 17 2pm and 7pm | August 24 2pm and 7pm

Karleen Gardner, Minneapolis Institute for the Arts: Empathy and the Arts – August 10, 2019 2pm to 4pm  

REFRAMED features new work by Tiko Kerr. Throughout his more than 30 year-long career, Kerr has explored the concept of perception through painting. His most recent works continue along this line of inquiry while drawing on images from art history and popular culture to explore the contemporary moment of widespread unrest and trauma. The distinctive wobbly style he developed and honed with his past work has been left behind and in its place is a deft handling of historically expressionist painterly styles, re-contextualized for today’s social and political climate.

Often beginning as paper collages cut from modernist artists’ monographs and interspersed with personal ephemera, Kerr’s paintings rely on a pop mentality in their irreverent mashups of high and low culture. At once uncannily familiar and strikingly contemporary, his mixed media approach interpolates his diverse influences to produce paintings that echo the political urgency of his forebears in a style all his own. Reworked and repeatedly recontextualized using an automatic sensibility, Kerr at times layers collaged digital prints of his earlier paintings or hand cut swaths of painted canvas with fresh brushstrokes to generate new compositions. In other instances he situates evocative patterning and bold abstracted still lifes within disorienting depth of field and figure ground relationships. The resulting paintings are as introspectively self-referential as they are influenced by the art historical cannon.

With a light hand and a poetic tone, the exhibition will systematically explore the various methodologies Kerr has adopted in his new body of work, while situating that work within a broader context of painting in Canada. It will also refer to it’s own context: a gallery outside of the centre of the city and a self-taught artist who doesn’t tightly fit into the few movements Vancouver artists are best known for.

With these concerns in mind, the exhibition’s programming will be produced in consultation with Minneapolis Institute of Art’s new Centre for Empathy in the Visual Arts to adopt new research and strategies around empathy and its role in exhibition viewership. The plan is twofold: to feature an exhibition comprised of work that is deeply felt by both the artist and the viewer, and to use that exhibition as a dynamic forum for new practices in exhibition programming to help encourage the growth and maintenance of a healthy community.