Mara Korkola: No Place

June 1 - 24, 2017

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 1, 6-8pm

Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by Mara Korkola. The exhibition will open on June 1st and run until June 24th with an opening reception on Thursday, June 1st. This is Korkola’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery.

Growing up in Marathon, Ontario on the north shore of Lake Superior, Mara Korkola was greatly influenced by her wild surroundings and understood at an early age, the beauty, fragility and sometimes danger associated with nature. She went on to study fine art in Toronto and then in Texas. Her practice over the last two decades as a self-professed landscape painter has encompassed cities, forests and airports. The complexity and density of these places is captured in her paintings that compress a world of information into small panels. These are often presented in diptychs or triptychs, showing slight variations in perspective or vantage point.

Late evening is Korkola's signature time of day. This is when she prefers to paint as it allows for uninterrupted sessions and working wet on wet, a technique that gives her paintings their lush and fluid surfaces. It is also her favourite time to photograph cities, when streets are devoid of human traffic and the lights emanating from buildings, headlights and street lamps appear jewel-like against the black sky.  In this exhibition, Korkola returns to night based paintings, this time documenting on foot with a focus on the intersection of nature and cities. Each city she has painted including New York, Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, San Francisco and Belgrade, has a specific feeling while still remaining relatively anonymous. The interplay between trees and artificial light is perhaps what excites Korkola most, prompting concentric, impasto brushstrokes in electric colour.

All the paintings in this exhibition are called No Place, a title that unhooks them from any specific site and lets them seek their meaning in the larger human landscape, a locus that is always momentary, fleeting. The great buildings that soar skyward in the night: any second they will come unstacked, floor by gorgeous floor, spilling their light into the blackness that is there to ratchet up the tension in these ruthlessly compressed, charged pictures. You feel as if you have hurtled out of frigid space into the human moment, and soon you will hurtle out again. Infinity waits at the edge of that leaf. 

– Matthew Hart

Mara Korkola graduated from the Ontario College of Art, Toronto (AOCA); Wichita State University, Kansas (BFA) and the University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio (MFA). She has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Canada, the US and Germany, including Painting as Paradox at Artists Space in New York, Synthetic Psychosis at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Sequence and Passage: Mara Korkola and Monica Tap at Cambridge Galleries in Cambridge, Ontario, and Commuter, a comprehensive solo exhibition of her No Place series of paintings at the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario.