Our Doug Kirton exhibition features new paintings inspired by the landscape of Laurel Creek in Waterloo. Using photographs to trigger a sense of place, Kirton intentionally creates an image of reality, though abstracts the specificity of the landscape. He begins each painting without any pre-conceived plan and allows the painting to evolve and develop naturally.
A true “painters painter”, Kirton is a master of both colour and paint. Using thin layers that have been glazed and scraped, layered and woven, Kirton creates a surface that is both transparent and complex. The image emerges through this complexity creating a smell of the muck of the mud, a feeling of the gentle breeze and the sight of dappling light on water.
The paintings are dreamlike, internal, comforting and provide a feeling of shelter, transporting us to another world.
Doug Kirton received his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in 1978 and his MFA from the University of Guelph in 1994.
For the past 40 years, Kirton’s work has been shown extensively across Canada and he has participated in International exhibitions including a 2-person exhibition with Jeffrey Spalding at 49th Parallel in NYC and “Painters 15” at the Shanghai Art Museum in China. In 2000, Kirton’s work was the subject of a mid-career retrospective exhibition jointly organized by the University of Waterloo Art Gallery and Museum London. Entitled “Times of Uncertainty: Doug Kirton Paintings 1983 – 1999”, the exhibition featured an accompanying catalogue with an essay written by the artist Will Gorlitz.
In 2002 Kirton was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA). In 2004, he was awarded the Kitchener|Waterloo Arts Award in the category of Visual Arts and in 2012 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
His work is represented in numerous public collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum London, National Gallery of Canada, and Shanghai Art Museum.
Doug Kirton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo in Kitchener/Waterloo where he lives and maintains an active studio practice.