Over the course of the 20th Century, art movements such as Surrealism, Cubism, De Stijl and Colour Field, have put forward their interpretations of abstraction. Contemporary artists working with Abstraction today largely derive their styles and techniques from these and other historical movements. Over the last 100-plus years, abstraction has proven to be one of the most durable, adaptable, and powerful forms of contemporary art.

Hugh Kearney’s new body of work is influenced by a combination of historical abstraction, West Coast modernism, the urban landscape, and his Maliseet heritage. The strong graphic forms in the work are most closely tied to the organic abstract works of Miro and Calder, combined with the curvaceous forms of Coastal BC indigenous art, with the pill-shaped, cross-hatched elements referencing the Maliseet art of weaving.

But Kearney’s works are more than the sum of their parts. The techniques he uses produce paintings of visual complexity and interest, with form, rhythm, colour and line creating dynamic abstract paintings that connect with the viewer on an emotional level. In this collection of work he has created art that is singular and of its’ time, built on a foundation that incorporates both the history of abstraction, and his own personal history and heritage.

Hugh Kearney, The Elephant Tent
55"x70", mixed media on paper on canvas