Maya Kulenovic: Vestiges

A pop-up event presented by James Baird Gallery


Private Viewing: Friday November 8th, 5-9pm
Public Show: Saturday November 9th, 12-6pm

Please RSVP for private viewing to

21 Wade Avenue, Toronto (Lansdowne station)



Since 1993, Maya Kulenovicā€™s works have been presented in twenty seven solo exhibitions and more than forty group shows and art fairs in the USA, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey. She is represented by galleries in The Netherlands, USA and Canada, and her paintings can be found in significant collections around the world. Vestiges is Kulenovicā€™s first exhibition in Toronto since 2002.

Maya Kulenovicā€™s artistic development, as a painter working with representational imagery, has followed a path echoing that of art history: as it has shaped its own story and seen its potentials redefined. Her inspirations range from Rembrandt to 19th century daguerreotype photography, damaged motion pictures, and 20th Century painters Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. From these she has forged a unique repertoire described as ā€œunlike the work of any other artist of her generation.ā€

Whether with portraits, which she terms ā€œfacesā€, architecture, referred to as ā€œbuildā€ works, landscapes or still life images, Kulenovicā€™s focus is to capture an ambience or psychological state. She deliberately explores ambiguity, and in her approach to the painted surface she works in glazed layers as well as destructive techniques to create images evoking a particular atemporal context that invite the viewer to linger, and thus invest of themselves in her world. Despite the removal of particular narrative references to place, time, or human drama, it is not unusual for viewers to make strong personal identifications with her compositions. Her works remind us of the historical without depicting. Instead, there is a compelling evocative power to her imagery that reaches viewers emotionally and viscerally, which can be both fascinating and challenging. In her paintings there is a dialogue with memory and culture, and a subliminal mechanism driven by the seemingly familiar and representative, in contrast with the uncanny. This process can be understood as reflecting a distillation of art history into contemporary forms that raise questions about our world of images, their doubles, and the future: about how we recognize the language of art historical imagery in a world where almost all imagery now comes to us in a secondary, usually virtual form, and where we should place ourselves amidst this duel for preeminence.

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Image credits:
Top: SPECTRAL, 2018, oil on canvas, 27″ x 24″
Bottom, left: VEIL OF RAIN, 2013, oil on canvas, 32″ x 28.5″
Bottom, right: GRASSLANDS / LOCUS, 2018, oil on canvas, 32.5″ x 67.5″
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