Kim Neudorf: the signs appear as in aspic

Kim Neudorf, sleep kit, oil on canvas, 30“ x 40”, 2021. Photographed by Ruth Skinner.

the signs appear as in aspic

June 16 – August 13, 2023
Opening Reception: June 16, 2023, 8-9 pm (during ARTcrawl, 5-10 pm)
Thames Art Gallery, Chatham Cultural Centre

Artist Talk: June 23, 2023, 7:00-8:30 pm
Studio One, Chatham Cultural Centre. Free. Register Here

Painting workshop with Kim Neudorf: June 24, 2023, 10 am – 2 pm
Studio Two, Chatham Cultural Centre. Registration Required. $95.00
This is a family-friendly event.

In the signs appear as in aspic, horror-adjacent, cinematic imagery is reimagined as transgressive access to queer and trans embodiment through processes of collage and painting. Alluding to the hapless protagonists in the Daphne Du Maurier gothic novel and 1973 film version of ‘Don’t Look Now’, the exhibition’s title refers to a failure to notice warnings of future events as left by more psychically connected past selves. These warnings are “not threatening to those who cannot read the signs,” but for those who can, the signs appear as “in aspic”1. Relating this premise to their own work and life, Neudorf asks: What is needed to be known and seen as a queer and trans subject, what conditions of visibility are necessary in that being knownness, and what tools – built out of necessity and survival – have been left in the present by a self (or selves) from the past?

Kim Neudorf, Untitled, oil on canvas, 22“ x 25”, 2015. Photographed by Jennifer Sciarrino.

In the construction of paintings that can take months or even years to complete, Neudorf refers to a highly personal archive of references which shift in and out of use: eyes, arms and hands; scenes, practical effects, and ephemera from horror and horror-adjacent films; past and present transmasculine roots as illegibly legible emotional architecture; these cinematic moments, affects, and visual textures instigate new forms, new holes, new language. Neudorf draws on abstraction and the figural as a way to refuse and complicate the expectation of queer and trans subjectivities as fixed or binary, or as a queering of abstraction, a strategy which is “not limiting or universalizing, but excessive in ways that generate runoffs and alternatives to singular or dualistic categories.”2 Deliberately clashing, obscuring layers adjust and react to emergent material and painterly dynamics. The process of collage as both precursor and underlying space of tension considers the ways in which visual, affective fragments can retain the power of building an account of oneself by using/perverting the limits of available language. Temporarily anchoring the signs in aspic, or psychic life of an internal logic of self, these blurry, unreliable narratives and temporalities gesture towards resistant materialities that are on the threshold of meaning.

Kim Neudorf, Untitled, oil on canvas, 12“ x 12”, 2020. Photographed by Ruth Skinner.

Related Programming

Join us on June 23, 2023, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm for an engaging conversation with Kim Neudorf as they discuss the works in the exhibition, their practice and evolution. The artist talk is free, but registration is encouraged. Register for the Artist Talk with Kim Neudorf

On June 24, 2023 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm there will be a painting workshop with Kim Neudorf. Using a painterly process of collage, drawing with tape, and painting with intuition, this workshop will introduce an experimental form of autobiography where personal document, portrait and still-life inform and influence each other. Neudorf will introduce their practice, drawing connections between their process, use of materials, and chosen subject-matter. Space is limited, registration is required, cost is $95.00. Register for the Painting Workshop with Kim Neudorf

About the Artist

Kim Neudorf (they/he) is a queer, trans artist and writer based in London, ON. Their writing and paintings explore themes of resilience, healing, and survival, while seeking to undo easy legibility in order to honor the daily, more complicated modes of visibility and existence. Neudorf completed their BFA from Alberta University of the Arts in 2005 and their MFA from Western University in 2012. They attended the Optic Nerve Thematic Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2005, and in 2011 was named one of 15 semi-finalists in the 13th RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Their work has appeared most recently at Harkawik, New York, NY; Embassy Cultural House, London, ON; Support project space, London, ON; DNA Gallery, London, ON; Paul Petro, Toronto; Franz Kaka, Toronto; Forest City Gallery, London, ON; Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, Kingston; Evans Contemporary Gallery, Peterborough; and Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto.

About the Thames Art Gallery

The Thames Art Gallery is dedicated to promoting the understanding, appreciation, conservation, and enjoyment of the visual arts. The gallery places emphasis on arts education programming and multidisciplinary exhibitions that encourages engagement and fosters critical dialogues. Public programs, curatorial research, collecting, and audience development are all considered inherent components of the organization’s activities.

We acknowledge that the Thames Art Gallery is on the lands of the Anishinaabeg Nation. This is the traditional land of the Three Fires Confederacy: the Odawa, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe. We also recognize that this land is now home to the Delaware Nation. This land was settled through the McKee Purchase Treaty of 1790 and we, as beneficiaries of that treaty, must recognize our responsibilities including our collective responsibilities to the land and water.

The Thames Art Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Thursdays from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

For further information or touring enquiries, please contact: Phil Vanderwall at

Thames Art Gallery
75 William Street North, Chatham, ON N7M 4L4
226 312 2023 ext 4425

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The Thames Art Gallery is accessible. For more information, visit here

This exhibition is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

1. Marsha Kinder and Beverle Houston. “Seeing Is Believing: The Exorcist and Don’t Look Now”, Studies in the Horror Film – The Exorcist (Centipede Press: Lakewood, Colorado, 2011), 158.
2. Lancaster, Lex Morgan. Dragging Away – Queer Abstraction in Contemporary Art (Duke University Press: Durham, NC, 2022), 13.