Kim Dorland_par Lorne Bridgman

Kim Dorland | A Creative Force Engaged in the Art of Authenticity

A fixture in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles since last year, Montréal’s Patel Brown Gallery is currently hosting a show by Kim Dorland, a Canadian painter known for his visceral works.

A painter of truth, Kim Dorland delivers powerful commentary on what he calls the “environmental apocalypse.” Realistic without being pessimistic, Dorland poses a somewhat disconcerting question: Is This It? This open question, as both the subject and title of the exhibition, sets the tone.

Canadian Wildfires, 2023
Jewish General Hospital Foundation
Sighting, 2023

Using art to stimulate discussion

Dorland has had an impressive career, producing distinctive, powerful work that leaves no one indifferent. His style is unmistakable. His paintings are known for their vibrant colours, intense textures, and disturbing themes. His talent lies in his ability to capture viscerally the challenges facing the modern world. Though he has exhibited in some of the world’s most prestigious museums, his perspective has remained firmly rooted in the Canadian experience. The exhibition Is This It? encourages viewers to reflect on current environmental issues. His paintings are neither activist nor political, but they nonetheless prompt us to confront our complex relationship with the world around us.

Is This It?

Is it the end of the world? In this exhibition, Dorland depicts the never-ending forest fires of recent months. More importantly, however, he portrays the issues associated with human impact on the environment, expressing his inner angst with a touch that evokes a Kafkaesque world. Yet his vision remains incredibly authentic, which is what makes his work so powerful. His paintings, both bold and subtle, show us reality, imbued with a touch of David Lynch. Forest fires, heightened by his technical mastery, hang alongside portraits of lush yet disturbing vegetation. Through his windows, we can sense the tension of a fast-changing world.

Wall, 2023
Les Immeubles Charlevoix
Maison 4110
GTL Paysagiste
NFLD, 2023

An all-consuming passion

Dorland is never at a loss for ideas. His sources of motivation are often moments of tension, uncertainty, and reflection. He paints tirelessly, juggling multiple ideas and canvases at the same time. He describes himself as hard-working rather than prolific. Like an athlete, he trains diligently to refine his technique and enhance the power of his art. His abundant output reflects his passion and unwavering commitment to art.

Heart and mind

Dorland is an authentic painter who combines thought and emotion. Looking at his work, one might think that he is an intense, frenetic, or even spontaneous painter. However, he is a skilled technician who pursues specific objectives, leaving nothing to chance. And yet, his honesty and transparency are what touch the viewer. With Is This It?, Dorland invites us to feel in order to spur us to action. He reveals the beauty of a wounded world to remind us of the importance of preserving our planet.

Rabble, 2023

The exhibition Is This It? is a unique opportunity to enjoy a moving artistic experience through the work of an artist who documents reality without judgment.

Photos Lorne Bridgman (portrait); Jean-Michael Seminaro (exposition)

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