Kathryn Macnaughton | Fixed State

Kathryn Macnaughton | Fixed State
January 13-27, 2018
340 Dundas St West, Toronto
Opening Reception: Saturday January 13, 2:00-4:00 pm 

Kathryn Macnaughton’s latest exhibition Fixed State seamlessly knits together high Modernism, graphic design, vintage print media, and other aesthetic references from popular culture with both formal concision and the intimate physicality of the human form. The artist's paintings, born of a process which starts with digital mock-ups (and endless possible variations), expose the sometimes tense relationships between digital technologies and artistic authenticity.

“When I was an illustrator and graphic designer, I would hand draw and scan images from vintage magazines and assemble them on the computer. I wanted my digital work to look raw and handmade. Now that I create “physical” paintings, I want to give the illusion that the work is digital.”

But this graphic simplicity yields to more subtle, painterly moments that complicate viewing in a way that for Macnaughton is very purposeful: imperfection—the futility in attempting to achieve digital precision with paint, ink, and canvas—is another of the artist’s chosen mediums. The longer one looks, the more one sees: a drop of paint, a swatch of raw canvas, an inexact line all betray the very human process behind each composition. In this way, the digital roots of Macnaughton’s practice ironically reveal again their deeper analog histories; cut-and-paste, assemblage, collage, layers and transparencies are art historical practices that continue to inform the language of digital technologies. And the resulting paintings in Fixed State seem to be about just that: the wealth of meaning inherent in our visual languages when they are stripped down to their most essential.

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