Kristina Kudryk's LAB exhibition uses the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria as the basis for three large format paintings that address notions of history, collecting, picture making, and the emergence of cross cultural forms.
To produce this show, the artist worked from source material gathered during a visit to the Gallery in 2009. During this trip, Kudryk searched the AGGV's archives, vaults, library, and data bank creating her own personal collection of photos, sketches, and photocopies documenting the gallery. Treating this secondary collection as fodder for her work, the artist further strips these sources down, pulling out visual information and cues and then finally reordering and reworking these fragments on the canvas. The result is a set of paintings that highlight and tease out the nature of picture making and the role of the institution as bastion of taste, aesthetics, and power. These three canvases will be presented in the Lab space alongside the source material that was used in their creation.
My work is a product of the culling and subsequent displacement of found images through repetition and exaggeration, and it evolves from the relationship between perception and the way perception is structured in painting. These paintings isolate and recombine traditional elements and tropes of painting - painterly gesture, figural tableaux, the optical space of hard-edges and colour field abstraction, the iconic or graphic sign - and in the process simultaneously flatten and construct fictional and often absurd spaces that house elliptical narratives. Informed by the baroque, history painting, Japanese prints, decoration and the way these things exemplify excess, hyperbole and visual invention, my work manifests the idea of a picture as both a screen for projection and material and social artifact. I am interested in the instability and flux of images through time as they appear and are read in successive contexts, including here the idea of painting, itself, reconstituted in my work from fragments.