Nancy Kembry

5 January 1989 - 4 February 1989
Opening Reception 5 January 1989 8pm

East Gallery:

Nancy Kembry: Recent Painting

Opening Thursday January 5 at 8:00 pm, Mercer Union: A Centre for Contemporary Visual Art presents recent still life paintings by Toronto artist Nancy Kembry. Although Kembry has exhibited in Toronto since 1982, this exhibition at Mercer Union represents the artist’s first major solo exhibition.

Kembry’s still life paintings focus on the expressive and abstract qualities of colour and formal composition in both an historical and a contemporary context. Although influenced by the still life work of French artists Chardin (1689-1779) and Cezanne (1839-1906), and the Italian painter Morandi (1890-1964), Kembry draws on abstract/ representational forms common to our everyday life. In keeping with the spirit of these artists, her large scale oil paintings are characterized by somber colours and a meditative mood, and are stripped bare of decorative elements, extraneous detail and moralizing content. While attempting to create a classical three-dimensional illusion on canvas, she also integrates real objects into the two dimensional surface, such as combinations of cement, clay, wood, plaster, bolts and screws.

For the artist, still life embodies both the spiritual world and the physical ephemeral qualities of life and death. Combined with the use of three-dimensional objects, and historical and contemporary influences, her work expresses the simultaneous co-existence of the past and the present, illusion and reality, and the physical and the spiritual. Nancy Kembry‘ s solo exhibition in Mercer Union’s East Gallery continues through Saturday February 4.