Cube Gallery


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Katherine McNenly Vernissage

Sunday September 5th, 2010
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


a solo exhibition of contemporary realist paintings

Katherine McNenly’s work resonates with depth and seizes the challenge of working from life within the realist tradition, conveying the essence of her subjects by meticulously reproducing the subtleties of light and colour. She strives to express an idea, a memory or a glimpse of beauty in the true tradition of this genre. McNenly’s work is extremely personal, yet it provokes a curiously familiar response from the viewer. Her delicate play of light and how it interacts with form stirs recollections of people, places, objects and draws those memories forward from our subconscious to the conscious.  

“I am interested in the remnants of memory connected with people who are no longer with us, significant events or impressions from our pasts,” says McNenly. “Objects, landscapes, or the senses, often trigger reminiscence which can become sharper, more poignant or more nostalgic over time.”

Influenced by artists Antonio Lopez Garcia and Andrew Wyeth, McNenly also utilizes metaphor as a means of remembering.  She studies Wyeth’s use of a mountain or hill to represent his relationship with his father. She looks to Garcia’s expression of nostalgia and presence in the highly realistic drawings of an empty room.

McNenly studied with renowned portrait artist and teacher John Michael Angel at the National Portrait Academy in Toronto, then the first school of its kind in Canada. It stressed a traditional approach to painting based on the techniques and materials of the old masters.  She continued her education in Florence, Italy in 1990 at the atelier Cecil-Graves, a 19th century realist-inspired atelier.

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