Kristiina Lahde / Adam David Brown: Under the Influence

Kristiina Lahde & Adam David Brown from Touchstone suite, silkscreen print, 40” x 30”, 2023

Kristiina Lahde / Adam David Brown
Under the Influence

April 21 – May 26, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday, April 21, 5 – 8 PM in-person RSVP here
Smokestack Gallery, Hamilton ON

Under the Influence presents a new series of print works by Toronto-based artists, Kristiina Lahde and Adam David Brown. The works featured in this exhibition center around the notion of touch and are aligned by the principle of, ‘less is more’. Using their own fingerprints as the foundation for their imagery, the prints demonstrate Lahde and Brown’s experimentation with layering, scale, and patterning in order to expand, merge and translate the notion of touch. Integrating silkscreen methodologies with finer gilding craftsmanship, the works highlight Lahde and Brown’s collaborative experiences as 2023 Smokestack Analog Print Residency participants.

Lahde & Brown working with Master Printmaker, Laine Groeneweg, in the studio during their 2023 Smokestack Analog Print Residency

An interview between Kristiina Lahde, Adam David Brown and Smokestack Gallery Director, Tara Westermann, follows:

Tara Westermann (TW): The Smokestack Analog Print Residency in which you have both participated is the first time that you have undertaken a professional project together. What was it about fingerprints that presented as an ideal focus for your collaborative exploration?

Kristiina Lahde (KL): We were drawn to the idea of working with our fingerprints because they are literally representative of each of us individually. That was our starting point. We were also interested in the intimacy of touch; the mark, the overlapping of the finger prints and the smallness of gesture. Through abstraction, shifts of scale and layering, it was our intention to broaden how these marks could be understood as being elements within something larger, like ripples on water, or magnetic waves or the cycles of the moon…

As artists, we both want our work to connect with others, we like to open up familiar forms so that people can look at them differently and also bring their own reference points to them.

Adam David Brown (ADB): We meditated on the notion of ‘influence’, and we quickly determined that it would largely define our approach to this project – ‘influence’ as both a conceptual and physical impression, pertaining to distinctive marks, and their relation with each other. A mark made is singular, but when you place another similar mark on top, especially when we’re dealing with fingerprints, you get quadrilaterals, cross-hatching and other new patterns that emerge. What seemed to develop was a discourse. Not just between the opposition or combination of our unique fingerprint forms, but a discourse that takes place across a group of prints made of intersecting marks, which go beyond the edge of any one composition to intersect with another.

TW: Experimentation with materials and deeper consideration of their unique place in human culture and history has emerged as a defining focus for each of your conceptual-based practices. How have you approached exploration of the materials central to this project?

ADB: Working with fingerprints seemed like Ground Zero in a sense. They are a kind of mark or print that almost everyone knows. They’re on everybody’s phone, everybody’s screen…and though most people probably wouldn’t recognize their own fingerprint, it is a singular and identifying mark. A fingerprint visually signifies your unique identity. Historically, representations of touch, The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo for example, have signified contact with the supernatural, or the magical on some level. All of these ideas and associations became available for our exploration too.

KL: The medium of print and analog printmaking aligns itself so well to the fingerprint. The ability to overlap our ideas of influence and intent through the physical layering of imagery by the hand.

ADB: At its core, this work is about influence. Things take influence to be put into motion or stopped, be it the influence of gravity throughout the cosmos, ripples on the pond, or of each to another…

KL: It’s to do with connection and interconnectivity rather than singular identity. It’s not about a signature, or me, or us. It’s about translating something intimate and personal into a larger framework.

Kristiina Lahde has exhibited across Canada and the United States. Lahde has been the recipient of numerous grants from the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts and Toronto Arts Council and her works are represented in private collections and the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, BMO, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, Bell Canada and Microsoft among others. Adam David Brown has exhibited across Canada and internationally in the United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates. Brown has been the recipient of numerous grants from the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts and Toronto Arts Council. His works are represented in private collections and the collections of The Art Gallery of Ontario, Ryerson University, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, and the Ivey School of Business among others.

Lahde and Brown are both represented by MKG127, Toronto.

Kristiina Lahde & Adam David Brown from Wavelength suite [detail], silkscreen print, 22” x 30, 2023

Smokestack Gallery exhibits the work of artists who have produced their print projects in Smokestack’s Analog and Digital studios. The partnered operations between Smokestack Studios and Smokestack Gallery seek to establish a connection between the production of print works and their final presentation; to offer a greater understanding of the uniquely technical and creative processes involved in these specialized artistic disciplines.

The 2023 Smokestack Analog Print Residency and exhibition of artworks created by residency participants has been made possible with the generous support from the Ontario Arts Council. Exhibition support generously contributed by Superframe.

For more information:

Smokestack Gallery
Mill Unit #215, 270 Sherman Avenue N.
The Cotton Factory
Hamilton, ON
L8L 6N4
wheelchair accessible (with assistance)

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday – Friday: 10 AM – 4 PM or by appointment

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