Favourite art exhibit of 2013: The McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s You Are Here: Kim Dorland and the Return to Painting

Jan 04 2014 by
Categories : Culture


A fresh new look for Canadian canoes: Kim Dorland’s Untitled (Painter in a Canoe), 2013, (left), and The Painter in His Canoe, 2013. Images courtesy the artist and McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

I love a little road trip out to Kleinberg, Ontario to explore the McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s Group of Seven paintings—the gallery has Tom Thomson’s
Silver Birches (1915-1916), which is one of my absolute favourites—followed by a wander through the property’s verdant (and currently snow-dusted) grounds. It’s a pretty perfect Saturday afternoon. Earlier this winter, I made yet another trip back to the gallery to see
You Are Here: Kim Dorland and the Return to Painting. The Alberta-born and Toronto-based artist is one of Canada’s (and the art world’s) rising stars known for his landscapes and portraits created with sculptural gobs of oil paint and touches of neon and fluorescent shades.
Get a closer look at Kim Dorland’s paintings…


The old and the new: Tom Thomson’s Woodland Waterfall, 1916–1917, (left) and Kim Dorland’s Woodland Waterfall (after Tom Thomson), 2013. Images courtesy the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and Kim Dorland.

For the exhibit, Dorland retraced the steps of some of the Group of Seven artists, Tom Thomson in particular, and then spent five months creating more than 50 original works inspired by the journey and the Group of Seven works. The result is a collection of vibrant paintings that radiate energy and evoke a raw whiz of adventure—even though Dorland claims he is not a natural outdoorsman. His paintings channel the essence of the Group of Seven works, yet travel into eclectic new territory. And it’s a lot of fun to see them side-by-side the Group of Seven works at the gallery. It’s a journey I’m game to take any day. Now…where can I find a fluorescent backpack? Here are a few more paintings from the exhibit:

KimDorlandWaskesiuLake Kim Dorland’s Waskesiu Lake, 2013. Image courtesy the artist.

KimDorladWaskesiuLakeReversedRainbow Kim Dorland’s Shoreline, Waskesiu Lake #2, 2011, (left) and Reversed Rainbow, 2013. Photo by Rachel Weiner, courtesy of McMichael Canadian Art Collection.


Kim Dorland’s You Are Here, 2013. Image courtesy the artist.

You Are Here: Kim Dorland and the Return to Painting is at the
McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinberg, Ontario through January 5—so go this weekend! If you go, make sure you also venture into Canadian Karine Giboulo’s
Small Strange World(s), another of the gallery’s must-see exhibits, which is on until January 26. (More to come on that one.)

Categories: Culture