Announcing Kim Dorland at the McMichael Collection

Kim Dorland / Untitled / 2013

Kim Dorland and the Return to Painting

26 October – 5 January, 2014

McMichael Canadian Art Collection
10365 Islington Avenue
Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada
L0J 1C0

Mike Weiss Gallery is pleased to announce Kim Dorland’s exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, where 85 works will be shown alongside masterpieces by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. This new show continues the momentum following his wonderfully successful 2013 exhibition at Mike Weiss Gallery, Ghosts of You and Me.

We are pleased to announce Dorland’s participation in this highly acclaimed project curated by Katerina Atanassova. We invite you to have a look at some of the press this show has already generated below. For more information on the exhibition or paintings by Kim Dorland please contact Mike Weiss Gallery.


"How Kim Dorland is changing the landscape at McMichael Gallery"
By Murray White

"When you’re dealing with only the landscape, you have to tune up the material a lot to push it into an interesting, uncomfortable place," says Dorland, matter-of-fact. "I always said that if I produce something that’s strictly just beautiful, I failed."


"Kim Dorland: ‘Tom Thompson on acid’"
By Sara Angel

"…while Dorland may nod to the past, his art succeeds because of how it diverges from the Group of Seven. "He is like Tom Thomson on acid," she says, referring to Dorland’s singular technique of layering his canvases with fluorescent hues, densely applied paint, airbrush, acrylic, and aggressive sculptural brushwork that at times incorporates such elements as glass, glitter, glue, feathers and wood."


Catch 2 rising stars in contemporary art world at McMichael gallery

By Adam Martin-Robbins

"Dubbed You Are Here: Kim Dorland and the Return to Painting, the show will span five gallery spaces and feature more than 100 works, including approximately 30 freshly painted canvases created by Mr. Dorland over the past few months, during his time as the McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s artist-in-residence."

Vaughan gallery’s newest artist-in-residence known for contemporary flair

By Adam Martin-Robbins

"For Kim Dorland, the invitation to become the McMichael gallery’s newest artist-in-residence is a bit like Charlie Bucket scoring a golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory."

Kim Dorland / Woodland Waterfall (after Tom Thomson) / 2013 / Oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas over panel / 72 x 96 inches

The image of the Canadian primal forest has been a magnetic visual experience and a daring adventure for generations of artists whose sensitive nature has allowed them to respond more acutely to their surroundings. In the first decades of the twentieth century, better-equipped modern artists not only carried their painting gear with them, but acquired a set of skills necessary to endure extreme weather conditions and the harsh environment of the North. Artists like Tom Thomson and the future members of the Group of Seven became experienced guides and canoeists-skillful in setting up camp and traveling long distances. Each trip into the Canadian wilderness left a deep and lasting spiritual impression on the artists; a longing and a connection to the land that they had never before experienced.

Tom Thompson / Tamarack / 1915 / Oil on wood panel / Gift of Mr. R.A. Laidlaw, McMichael Canadian Art Collection / 8 x 10 inches

With the growth of modern urban life and the rise of abstract art, the practice of painting en plein air -hugely popular at the turn of the twentieth century- fell out of fashion. Over the past few years, however, we have witnessed a slow yet steady resurgence of the painting medium in Canada -both in terms of its presence in the public eye and its appeal to young artists. Toronto-based painter, Kim Dorland, is among those whose work has contributed to the renewed power of the medium.

Kim Dorland / The Painter in his Canoe / 2013 / Oil and acrylic on jute over wood panel / 72 x 96 inches

You Are Here: Kim Dorland and the Return to Painting, reflects this shift and pays homage to a century-old tradition as seen through the eyes of a young Canadian artist whose interest in art is similarly rooted in a strong connection to the land. It is structured around two main objectives: to celebrate the tradition of Canadian landscape painting and; to document a process that results in certain familiar outcomes while remaining highly individual to each artist.

The wide selection of works follows Dorland’s personal quest to understand nature and the human relationship to it. The inclusion of new works created specifically for this project during Dorland’s tenure as Artist-in-Residence will highlight his response to the gallery’s permanent collection of works by Tom Thomson, members of the Group of Seven, David Milne, and Emily Carr, as well as to the McMichael’s natural setting.

Kim Dorland / Evening Rainbow Negative / 2013 / Oil and acrylic on canvas over wood panel / 36 x 48 inches

Dorland has long been inspired by the pioneers of Canadian landscape painting and never lost faith in the medium or its ability to communicate meaningfully. In his sketch You Are Here (2013), for which the exhibition is titled, Dorland brings the artist back as the focus of our attention in order to observe the human presence in nature. His paintings often depict the artist at work, caught in a moment of complete immersion and unity with his surroundings. Dripping Dream (2012), on the other hand, is pervaded by a sense of intensity and danger. The forest lends itself to a simple reduction of forms. Nature is stripped down to the bare essentials of art: line, shape, and colour. The forest seems to be closing in on the artist, either to invite him in or to warn him of an ever-present danger. In both paintings, Dorland seeks an intense psychological dialogue with his viewer-a key feature of his work.

Kim Dorland / Evening Rainbow Negative / 2013 / Oil and acrylic on canvas over wood panel / 36 x 48 inches

Visitors to the gallery will have the unique opportunity to study works from the McMichael’s permanent collection by Tom Thomson, David Milne, Frederick Varley and others, alongside newly created works by Dorland. While many of the works on display were painted nearly one hundred years apart, they possess the same spirit and pure painterly approach. The exhibition’s wide selection of artwork initiates a dialogue on the subject of what makes the Canadian wilderness so appealing to generations of artists.

By Katerina Atanassova
Chief Curator

For questions or more information, please contact

Mike Weiss Gallery
520 W 24 NYC
Tues-Sat 10am to 6pm

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