Kim Dorland seeks to observe and distill what he sees through a subjective lens, and his work often conveys a sense of dispossession and exhaustion, foregrounding the isolating nature of many of our day-to-day activities (i.e., texting, social media, and other digital technologies). The apocalyptic moods in his recent paintings, for example, are not meant in a horror context, but aim to capture a pervasive sense of daily drudgery. Dorland is not making overtly political statements about looming environmental catastrophe or humanity’s downfall (although these are certainly on the artist’s mind), but through his work portrays a series of moments, as though every painting was a short story, a flash of memory. The viewer stands in the future, looking back upon things that have just happened or are about to happen, that perfect, in-between moment when the tension or mood—whether nostalgia, exhaustion, fear, or even hope—is more important than what actually took place. As always, the artist is fascinated with the materials he uses to create these effects, and, ultimately, where his paintings end up. For the past couple of years, Dorland has been pushing himself to do more with less and allow happenstance to play a greater role in his works.
Born in Wainwright, Alberta, in 1974, Kim Dorland has exhibited globally, with shows in Milan, Montreal, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. His work has recently been shown at Contemporary Calgary and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Dorland’s works appear in numerous public collections, such as the Sander Collection in Berlin; the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas; the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal; the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas; the Glenbow Museum in Calgary; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; and many private collections.