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Douglas Walker: Other Worlds

Tile mosaic of waves

Douglas Walker: Other Worlds

June 14–August 18, 2012

Curated by Peter Dykhuis and Corinna Ghaznavi

Organized by the Dalhousie Art Gallery in partnership with the Robert McLaughlin Gallery and the Kelowna Art Gallery, with additional support from the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of recent works by Toronto-based artist Douglas Walker. Titled Other Worlds, Walker’s exhibition synthesizes the artist’s past pictorial concerns in an architecturally transformative series of wall-sized monochromatic paintings of fantastical, other-worldly imagery.

Douglas Walker has always paid homage to multiple visual traditions, including historical fine art illustration and the graphic production strategies found in ‘outsider art’ and tattoo culture. All of the works in this exhibition simulate crackled 18th century Delft Blue ceramic glazing—which itself quotes the Chinese porcelain that was highly valued by colonial Dutch traders. Using a resist technique of Walker’s invention, images emerge from multiple, simultaneous applications of water and oil-based materials that often yield unexpected textural results. The crackled patterns in the interior ‘spaces’ of many of these depictions call to mind cellular structures and micro-organic matter; rendered together they form transparent, x-ray-like images of animals, structures, figures and ethereal landscapes.

The interweaving of multiple dichotomies—figure and ground, near and far, past and future—in the spatial matrix of a Dutch-tiled grid evokes a strangely distended, millennial moment. Just as the graphic figures in his paintings are entangled in an ornamental, tomb-like present, in Walker’s tiled, architectural setting we are left uncertain whether what we are looking at is a part of this world – or another.

Opening Reception

Wednesday June 13 7:30 – 9:30 pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Curator’s Tour with Corinna Ghaznavi

Thursday August 9, 2012, 6-7pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery


Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts with additional project support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.

Title Image: Installation view of Douglas Walker: Other Worlds, 2012. Image credit: Toni Hafkenscheid.

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