Border Crossings Reviews Kim Ondaatje

Kim Ondaatje

Studies of Vacancy: Kim Ondaatje and the House on Piccadilly Street

By Renee van der Avoird

Inspired by her rambling Victorian home in London, Ontario, Kim Ondaatje’s serigraph series “The House on Piccadilly Street” embodies both the serenity and the malaise of being homebound. Providing glimpses of spare, unpeopled rooms, the prints portray a detached domesticity, void of intimate details yet rife with potential.

In the winter of 2020, the Art Gallery of Ontario purchased six works from the series to complement the one it already owned, Doors, acquired in 1972. The gallery now holds the complete set of seven prints, and plans to exhibit them next year in celebration of Ondaatje’s remarkable contribution to Canadian art. Despite being produced more than 50 years ago, the prints, with their hard edges and muted palette, feel very contemporary. No one could have predicted just how contemporary they would feel in the face of a global pandemic….

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