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KELLY GOERZEN - Familiar and Unfamiliar
Reception: Saturday, November 4, 2:00pm
November 4 to November 30
Art Placement is delighted to present the latest solo exhibition by Saskatoon artist Kelly Goerzen, whose painterly realism has been beloved by collectors near and far for decades. Initially working exclusively in watercolour, Goerzen now paints primarily in acrylic with an impressionistic style that maintains the looseness and vitality of her earlier work in watercolour. In addition to natural landscapes, she has also become well known for her paintings of Saskatoon’s urban environment, presenting narrative vignettes of life in the city with brilliant colour, nearly photographic realism, and unconventional compositions.

This latest exhibition presents Goerzen’s most recent paintings of the urban and rural landscape in and around Saskatoon, as well as her first ever three-dimensional works--figurative sculptures that also incorporate acrylic painting. As a volunteer costume maker, Goerzen was introduced to the tradition of using gummed paper tape to make dress forms, a practice that goes back more than a century. In the early days of settler communities like Saskatoon, before mass-produced goods became widely available, many of life’s necessities had to be grown, gathered, built, or made--including clothing. Small groups of women would meet in their homes to make paper casts of their torsos, which would then be used as patterns for fashioning their own dresses. Goerzen’s construction of these dress forms, a laborious and time-consuming process, is a performative gesture that connects her to the social history of the practice.

As visual objects, Goerzen became interested in the aesthetics and surface quality of the paper casts, as well as the potential of the forms to function as supports for an unconventional approach to portraiture. It is important to note that the dress forms are all cast from the bodies of women in Goerzen’s immediate and extended family. While the final forms give a strong sense of the physical proportions of the person, each piece is finished with various additional elements as well as images painted directly onto the surface, to become a multi-layered narrative portrait that tells a story about the personality, interests, and personal history of the individual.

The diverse works in Kelly Goerzen’s latest exhibition--a blend of paintings in her signature style, as well as new figurative sculptures--demonstrate her tremendous versatility and creativity. She has exhibited her paintings in Saskatoon for more than thirty years and her works can be found in numerous corporate and private collections throughout Canada and abroad.

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