The exhibit « Passages, entre figuration et abstraction » was inspired by William G. Kinnis’ transition between figurative and abstract art. A change which was easily made, step by step, spread over a period of 30 years through many groups and solo exhibits in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada.
This exhibit is a retrospective of his work, composed of about twenty creations of medium and large formats selected from the artist’s production between 1980 and the year 2000. A large part of his work which is mixed techniques takes a look at the important steps which punctuated the professional and artistic course of Kinnis. Opulent and studied collages show the experimentation and research which the artist did in quest of his own style, constantly pushing the limits of creation.
Born in Trail British Colombia in 1921, William Gilbert Kinnis studied at the School of Fine Arts in Vancouver under such artists as B.C. Binning and Jack Shadbolt. He obtained his diploma in drawing and painting in 1943. After his position as illustrator-graphic designer at the National Film Board of Canada in Ottawa, he moved to Montreal in 1947 where he met the artist and draftsman Louis Muhlstock and became great friends. His activities also lead him to work with artists such as Jacques de Tonnancour, Arthur Lismer and Goodridge Roberts.
Later on, he settled down with his spouse Gladys in Baie-Saint-Paul in the Charlevoix region. This gave him free rein towards his creation as a landscape painter. Charmed by the beauty of the premises, they decide to build a rustic home. In 1958, the Museum of Fine Arts in Ontario honors him with the prestige award of C.W. Jeffery. In 1961 and 1964, he presented solo exhibits at the Club of fine-arts in Montreal where he had exhibited in 1950. His career was teaching drawing and painting during several years at the YWCA / YMCA and Concordia University. He also worked as a graphic designer for The Gazette. He was represented by the Gallery of Contemporary Art of Montreal.
The work of William G. Kinnis figures amongst important private collections in Canada, in the United States, in England and in Australia. They are also part of many public collections such as the Loto-Québec collection.
Opening reception will be held on Sunday the 18th of June at 2 p.m.