The quiet, visual intimacy of Chris Kline’s painted surfaces has been consistent in his work, and consistently oscillatory. The Dividers series of 2011-12, for example, revealed the slender, straight wooden cross-bars of the stretcher underneath translucent poplin, which was painted with minimal vectors of colour only perceptible enough to interrupt the voyage into the depth of the canvas. The effect is paradoxical: the untreated poplin and evidence of its supporting structure allowed no such imaginative leap, and yet it did. Perhaps this spatial paradox – between illusionism both painted and dreamt and a relatively unaltered materiality – is where one can begin to unravel the tension that ensues from viewing Kline’s work.
[…]The series Local Condition, 2012-14, does not exert this pull of a perceptual center. Here, the surface of the canvas is brushed with nuanced gradients of sky-like colour. If the framing of squares plays with focus and focal points, this deployment of vertical rectangles plays with peripheral vision and infinity. By zooming in we can graze their highly tactile surfaces but such part-by-part looking is only a reaction to the enigmatic openness the paintings present. Given the topological emptiness of the surfaces, their physical boundaries seem arbitrarily set, as if literally excerpting a piece of sky from the earth’s atmosphere. Here our position is unresolved, yet-to-be-determined, and euphorically in-process.
Born in Ontario, Chris Kline attended Queen’s University (B.A. Honuors) and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Kline has been a semifinalist in the RBC Painting Prize, and long-listed for the Sobey Art Award. Kline’s 2012 solo exhibition, Bright Limit, organized by Oakville Galleries also toured to the Southern Alberta Art Gallery. His work was also featured in the 2011 Quebec Triennial. His work is in the collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, the Musée d’art contemporain, Montreal, and the Musée d’art de Joliette, Quebec, as well as private and corporate collections. He currently lives and works in Montreal, and is also represented by Galerie René Blouin.