Paint Heavy: Kim Dorland, Joseba Eskubi, Lisa Ivory

May 18 - June 21, 2023
    Mepaintsme is pleased to present Paint Heavy, a group exhibition featuring the paintings of three international artists — Lisa Ivory (UK), Joseba Eskubi (Spain) and Kim Dorland (Canada) — whose distinct and personal approach to painting is underscored by a visceral fascination with the materiality of paint. 
    The oil paintings of Lisa Ivory are intimate in every sense - their diminutive scale draws you close, to be enveloped in a warm, earthy pallet and luscious paint. They imbue romance — elevating familiar moments to theatrical allegories (Thorn in Foot, Correspondent) and spinning heartfelt narratives between nudes and majestic beasts (Laurels, Cherish). In her works, one can feel at home in the darkness, welcoming equestrian apparitions (Horse Whisperer) and the spirits they carry (Death and the Wildman).
    On the other hand, the paintings of Toronto-based artist, Kim Dorland, are intimate only in subject. Preferring a larger scale, aggressive application of paint, and moments of intense, vibrating color — the works are full of energy, life and disruption. But one can't let this extroverted approach be a distraction from the overtly personal, naked truth that is the subject of his highly autobiographical work. Honest and direct, we see dual portraits of the artist and his wife, Lori (Self Portrait, LJS/48), and landscapes imbued with the sincere beauty of the sun's daily movements, despite mankind's follies (Lit, Dawn Parking Lot, Untitled).
    We find a less familiar world in the work of Spanish artist Joseba Eskubi, cerebral and surreal, the artist's figural and amorphous forms occupy invented landscapes, suggesting a narrative that feels otherworldly. Curious creatures emerge from behind fractured planes of earth, Godly beings rise from bulbous formations and cloaked figures surface from the oily seas of the underworld. The organic and inorganic meld, creating a visual language that straddles our world and one from beyond.
    Each of the three artists in Paint Heavy are engrossed in a practice that is deeply receptive to the paint's ability to direct the artist into unknown territories —pushing the boundaries of both real and imagined representation through an exploration of their material.
  • Lisa Ivory Horse Whisperer, 2023 oil on panel 4 x 6 in / 10 x 15 cm

    Lisa Ivory

    Horse Whisperer, 2023

    oil on panel

    4 x 6 in / 10 x 15 cm

  • "I move between painting with oil on gessoed panels-where the paint slides around in a sensuous smear-to stretched linen-where the oil paint scumbles softly, staining into the grain. My studio is a small space, so inevitably my work tends to be relatively small. However, I enjoy that intimacy of scale and how a little picture space can draw the viewer in, like peeping through a keyhole."


    - Lisa Ivory

  • Joseba Eskubi Untitled, 2021 oil on paper 15 x 18 in / 38 x 46 cm

    Joseba Eskubi

    Untitled, 2021

    oil on paper

    15 x 18 in / 38 x 46 cm

  • "I like to work in a frontier territory where the form might suggest a figure, but at the same time continues maintaining its intensity as something abstract, that causes an immediate sensory reaction. The scenic device of my painting tries to build a feeling that everything is real but all of this story is simultaneously decoded by gestures and strokes that cancel a concrete and figurative reading of the image."


    - Joseba Eskubi 


  • Kim Dorland Lit, 2023 oil on linen 14 x 11 in / 35.5 x 28 cm

    Kim Dorland

    Lit, 2023

    oil on linen

    14 x 11 in / 35.5 x 28 cm

  • "The thickness is one of many approaches I use all highlighting the fact that my paintings are painted. In the super-thick portraits the thickness works differently in that the paint actually becomes a kind of flesh of its own."


    - Kim Dorland, Beautiful/Decay, June, 2009


    BORN 1974, Alberta, Canada

    Driven equally by his fascination with the materiality of oil paint and his interest in exploring his own life experiences, Kim Dorland creates both quietly reflective and boldly visceral sculptural paintings. Dorland builds up his images from multiple layers of thickly applied paint, sometimes adding mixed materials, like feathers, glass, string, and wood. 

    Kim Dorland has exhibited internationally, including shows in Milan, Montreal, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Solo exhibitions have been presented in prestigious institutions, such as the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Canada), the Contemporary Calgary (Canada) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (USA). His work has been featured at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Canada); Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (Canada); Vancouver Art Gallery (Canada); Sander Collection (Germany); Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (USA); Blanton Museum of Art (USA); The Glenbow Museum in Calgary (Canada); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (USA), and can be found in many private and corporate collections.


    born 1966, London, UK

    A recurring motif in Lisa Ivory’s work is a Wildman, beast or wild person: a hairy/furry Other that occasionally interacts with a human figure. As a child, Ivory wanted to grow up to be an animal. Her work attempts to connect her creature self with her human self—to be “hairy on the inside,” as Angela Carter would have it. Ivory is interested in the odd, the liminal, the ambiguous, chimeras and creatures. Her processes include painting, drawing, printmaking, collage and making objects. They are a conversation between opposing ideas: the feral and the tamed, the included and the outsider-and how it all co-exists on this spinning ball of mud.


    BORN 1967, Bilbao, Spain

    Joseba Eskubi is interested in the sensoriality and evocative capacity of painting, creating forms open to multiple analogies. He usually combines certain figurative readings with others that reveal the abstract sense of the work. This kind of metamorphosis provokes a sensation of estrangement between the narrative allusions and the painting's own material configuration. He often employs different techniques (painting, collage, digital ...) to expand the possibilities of expression with complementary processes.


    Joseba Eskubi graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of the Basque Country, Spain, where he currently teaches as a professor in the Department of Painting.