Kai McCall

Kai McCall

Montreal, QC, Canada

About Kai McCall

I'm a figurative painter living in Montreal. I'm interested in narrative painting because of its versatility in expressing a wide range of thematic and philosophical ideas. The way I typically develop narrative in a painting is by depicting a conflict. The conflict becomes the motor driving the painting's narrative. I have used many different types of conflicts to propel the narrative in my work. I might, for example, depict an event where a simple opposition takes place, or have a figure forced to make a difficult choice, or show an uncertain transition taking place. In some paintings the conflict depicted suggests a deep crisis, in others it occurs more quietly. I enjoy setting the wheels of narrative in motion and allowing the viewer to speculate on the outcome of the events depicted.

My recent series of paintings make reference to multiple periods in the history of art. Set in the present and framed like a film still, they engage with the past by taking on the tones and colours of Grand Manner portraiture. The play of light and shadow is handled differently from one painting to another, becoming as much the subject of my work as the figures themselves. In the latest paintings I have increased the scale, zooming in on the subject's faces, creating a deeper intimacy between the viewer and the artwork.

Education

BA, University of Western Ontario, 1991

Exhibitions

2019, Late Night Pictures
Galerie St-Laurent Plus Hill
Ottawa, Canada

2018, Elusive Luminosity
Galerie LeRoyer
Montreal, Canada

2016, Conversations with Animals
Galerie St-Laurent Plus Hill
Ottawa, Canada

2015, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You
Galerie LeRoyer
Montreal, Canada

2014, First Light
Galerie St-Laurent Plus Hill
Ottawa, Canada

2012, L’article indéfini/Indefinite Article
Galerie d’Avignon
Montreal, Canada

2011, The Weightlessness
KWT Contemporary
Toronto, Ontario