Nicole Katsuras: Painter’s Paradise
Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, BC
BAU-XI GALLERY, Vancouver BC - Nov 16 - 30
by Michael Turner
The exhibition title is seductively ambiguous. Is the artist referring to a mood state in which a painter can work comfortably? Or by “paradise” is she referring to a well equipped studio in which to make paintings?
The art of Nicole Katsuras is full of such questions. Based in Toronto and a graduate of Central St Martin’s, University of Art, London (MFA), Katsuras brings a range of styles and techniques to the making of her large, often jarring oil paintings. Neither abstract nor figurative (yet made with an awareness of both histories), Katsuras’ paintings cross time and space to uncanny effect, unravelling from their heavily impastoed European selves to evoke the blurred watercoloured edges of a Song Dynasty landscape. Combined with an at-times electric palette that fuses the Northern Hemisphere’s blues and greens with that of a more citric South, the result is what might be described as a kind of World Painting.
Little information is available on the artist, and this could be deliberate. At a time when everything is face-first, when the personality of the artist is both the alpha and omega of meaning and intention, Katsuras’ lack of biographical or philosophical availability only contributes to the inward-outward nature of her paintings. Could this be what the artist means by “paradise” – the unmediated flow of oil over surface and support?
Opening reception Nov 16, 2-4pm