Works of the artist
Kai McCall lives in Montreal and has exhibited his work in Canada, The United States, Great Britain and France. His paintings represent contemporary figures that resonate with the history of art. Situated in the present, they engage with the past by taking on the tones and colours of Grand Manner portraiture. His compositions are grounded in the play of light and shadow, which is as much the subject of his paintings as the figures themselves. Many of his recent paintings portray enigmatic scenes which might take place in a theatrical interior, a bare room or simply within a semi-abstract field of colour. Although the paintings resemble formal portraits, there is always some ambiguity to undermine the figure’s authority. The introduction of unlikely or even surreal elements within the paintings evokes an ambiguous relationship between the subject and our expectations of portraiture. McCall exploits this tension to explore dual themes of vulnerability and human isolation.