Russna Kaur: it is not easy to find a dark place when the sky seems four times greater
Russna Kaur’s creative process often begins with writing, rearranging words on a page much in the same way she manipulates paint on a surface. Working between digital sketches and physical media, Kaur combines multiple paintings to create large-scale modular compositions. Rather than approaching painting as a fixed, singular object, Kaur’s works are unbound, expansive and adaptable.
Event/Exhibition meta autogenerated block.
November 4, 2022
Kaur’s formal approach reflects her ideas about painting as a way of observing the world. She uses colour to variously conceal or reveal, line to connect or sever relationships within a composition, and texture to unite otherwise contradictory surfaces.
For her project at Remai Modern, it is not easy to find a dark place when the sky seems four times greater, Kaur extends her painting onto the museum wall. Located in the Level 2 elevator alcove, the painting breaks through the frame and challenges the restriction presented by the edge of the canvas.
Moving between minor details and broad views, Kaur’s multilayered works are embedded with diverse references including the spectacle of amusement parks, flea markets and religious spaces—sites of overstimulation, observance and illusion. Growing up as the eldest daughter in a Punjabi household, her study of biology, work in the Indian wedding industry and commercial surface and textile design also influenced her way of looking and making. Kaur describes her paintings as “abstractions of real life, exploring how a surface can reveal a narrative that addresses complex personal and cultural histories.”
The annual RBC Emerging Artist Series provides funding to support an emerging artist at Remai Modern.
Celebrate the launch of the exhibition with an artist talk from Russna Kaur on November 3, 7 PM.
Russna Kaur (b. 1991, Brampton ON) is an artist living and working in Vancouver. Kaur is the recipient of the Takao Tanabe Painting Prize (2020) for emerging painters in British Columbia and the IDEA Art Award (2020). She was awarded the Gathie Falk Visual Arts Scholarship (2019), the University Women’s Club of Vancouver Graduate Scholarship (2017), and an Audain Faculty of Art Graduate Teaching Fellowship (2018). She has been an artist-in-residence at the Burrard Arts Foundation (2020) in Vancouver which concluded in a solo exhibition, Suddenly her lips sharpened – it was splendid. Kaur received the Centrum Emerging Artist Residency (2020) in Port Townsend, Washington.
Her work is a part of several collections including the Audain Art Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery and the Surrey Art Gallery. She holds an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2019), and a BA (Honours) with a studio specialization from the University of Waterloo (2013).
Tarah Hogue, Curator (Indigenous Art)