26 January 2012 — 29 February 2012
Black Sun is a solo show of paintings from 1986 to 2011 by Harold Klunder, the Dutch-born, Montreal-based painter widely regarded as one of Canada’s most compelling. The exhibition marks the artist’s fourth solo since joining the gallery when it opened in 2003. The title of the exhibition is taken from of a large, new triptych painted over the course of four years and being shown here for the first time. Also included are small, very recent paintings made over a four-month period in Brooklyn and a rare, eight-foot high oil from 1986 entitled Sacred And Profane Love (Self-Portrait I) which was last shown in New York in 1990 at the 49th Parallel.
After more than three decades of painting and exhibiting Harold Klunder has crafted a deeply personal, refined, potent, erotic, fluid vocabulary of colour and form. His vivid works speak in a voice that are uniquely his to suggest ideas of vitality and transformation, of biology and duration, of identities that are mutable and of the still-unfolding history of painting itself. The paintings reflect Klunder’s lifelong engagement with the work of other painters such as Soutine, Ensor, Bacon, Van Gogh and de Kooning (both sharing his Dutch lineage) among others. Klunder will work on single paintings for years at a time and in so doing they become invested with a palpable sense of lived experience. Klunder has often spoken of his interest in using his artistic struggle as a formal element in the gestation of new paintings, laying bare the evidence of his effort to give shape to consciousness itself. In his recent, definitive book “Abstract Painting In Canada” Roald Nasgaard wrote that “A sense of the history of art (at least back to the seventeenth century) pervades Klunder’s work, but not in any derivative or historicist way. His are no postmodern exercises of appropriation but something entirely internalized and personalized.”
Born in The Netherlands in 1943 Harold Klunder immigrated to Canada in 1952. As a teenager he studied at Central Technical School in Toronto under Doris McCarthy and began showing with Sable-Castell in 1976. He maintains three studios in Montreal, Flesherton (Ontario) and Pouch Cove (Newfoundland). His paintings are held in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, MuseumLondon and the Winnipeg Art Gallery among many others.