MULHERIN is pleased to present a solo presentation of paintings by Kris Knight at ART TORONTO 2017.
Kris Knight (born 1980) is a Toronto based artist whose paintings puncture the membrane between dream and reality, historical and contemporary, light and dark. Within their apparent ambiguity, Knight’s sensitive character based paintings and portraits of queer men are an evocative combination of romanticism and nostalgia, exploring notions of performance in both an everyday and theatrical dimension. His pastel and tonal oil paintings conjure a series of shifting moods, themes and experiences that are connected by a wide range of positions regarding the private and public self.
Knight’s new paintings reference theatre as a way to examine what is real from what is staged and what happens when these lines are blurred. Many of these canvases and paperworks were created this past spring while Knight was studying the artist Antoine Watteau as artist in residence at MABA (Maison d’Art Bernard-Anthonioz) in Nogent-sur-Marne France at the family home of Watteau, where he died in 1721 at the age of thirty-seven. These works focus on the performer as the tragic hero whose importance is unparrelled in a culture like today’s - where the desire for distraction in these unstable times has become paramount. Knight’s latest paintings aim to capture backstage moments of the performer with or without an audience and the underlying sense of sadness that’s common in so many entertainers. Some works are dark and melancholic; others are tinged with notes of humor, sensuality, sweetness, elegance and light.