Allen Ball & Kim Sala: InterCity

September 10-October 30, 2016

The paintings in InterCity record real, imagined, felt, and remembered ideas of the city. Edmonton artists Allen Ball and Kim Sala engage in conversations about contemporary urban life through painting, a medium which, by the act of making marks on a canvas, combines subject matter with physicality.

Sourced from her encounters and surroundings, Kim Sala paints captured moments from her daily life. Urban stimuli, such as construction sites, street sounds, and graffiti, effect the artist’s perception of the city in the moment and in her memories, and is absorbed into her constructed images.  

Sala’s work identifies and unifies differences, highlighting the striking contrasts of the urban environment: structure and randomness, authority and freedom, order and chaos. Technically, this is achieved by pairing random marks and fluid passages with rigid geometry and intentional forms. The surfaces of the paintings are layered and manipulated and Sala’s edits evidence an interest in creation and destruction and how forms change.

Whereas Sala’s work explores the ambient and sensory experience of the city, specific locations in space and time are portrayed in Allen Ball’s work. Ball uses source images that represent a place with a history of change and destruction. His paintings are “…based on the peregrination of a gift of four Kodak Kodachrome slide transparencies given to me by my brother Anthony in 1975. We know this because the text, “January 1975”, is printed directly on the slides themselves.”

These photographs were taken from his brother’s third-floor bedroom window at Number 70, St. Agnes Place, Kennington, London. St Agnes Place is known as a squatted street in south London, which resisted eviction orders for more than 30 years. It was a street of mid-Victorian terraces built through the middle of Kennington Park for the servants of Buckingham Palace. The Victorian creation of the street and transformation of Kennington Common into a fenced park is seen as a strategic effort by authorities to erase this historic site of radical activity. The houses were declared to be unfit for human habitation and were torn down in 2007.

As you experience the artists’ work combined in this exhibition, consider how the different styles of painting speak to each other. How do they visually represent tension between imagination and memory, history and the present moment? How does it relate to your experiences in your city?  

 Opening Reception Thursday September 15, 7-9pm