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SEFIROT

Paintings by James K-M December 6, 2012 - January 6, 2013 The Sidney and Gertrude Zack Gallery Vancouver, British Columbia


SEFIROT Paintings by James K-M December 6, 2012 - January 6, 2013 It occurred to me recently that we rarely, if ever, ask the question: “Where does abstraction lead?” It has been said of T.S. Eliot that he refined himself out of existence. I would say the same of Clement Greenberg. The answer to my question could be that abstraction leads to non-existence. This may be a frightening prospect for most of us, but it seems apparent to me that non-existence exists and has presence. To express the essence of that paradox is the present and future of my art. Each painting, uniformly sized at 24” x 24”, stain and acrylic on plywood, expresses an assemblage or convergence of one or more of the 10 sefirot, or spheres of divine attributes that compose the Tree of Life. These paintings are not literal or symbolist. Their ideas or inspiration are abstract in themselves and come as if from waking dreams or Kabbalist receptivity. They often appear to me as only clues to follow before the image can be fully discovered, seen and painted. The 10 sefirot, or spheres of divine attributes of the Tree of Life are: 1. KETER - Crown and emanation of divine light and will 2. CHOKHMAH - Wisdom 3. BINAH - Understanding 4. HESED - Mercy 

 5. GEVURAH - Judgement or power 6. TIFERET - Beauty 

 7. NETZACH - Endurance 

 8. HOD - Glory 9.YESOD - Foundation 10. MALCHUT - Kingdom In my paintings, art and metaphysics converge to carry a tradition cultivated by many Jewish abstract painters before me. Many were located in New York and Washington in the 1950’s and 1960’s including Barnett Newman, Anni Albers, Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb and Morris Louis. In my work over the past 35 years and like these artists, or any poet, I have also sought to name the unnameable by discovering a visual language for it. In other words, I paint to express poetic absolutes and the metaphysical patterns that attempt to explain ‘everything’. The sefirot or spheres of divine attributes do the same and therefore the title of this exhibition, Sefirot. James K-M December, 2012


Amphigestic, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


Inside Out, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


Homer, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


Horizon, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2012


Fire Sign, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


The English Painting, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


Temperature With Light, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


Light With Temperature, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


HQ, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


World Wind, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


Withinwith, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


Butterfly, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


Chants, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 48”, 2011


Alienesque, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


Day of the Blue, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


Day of the Red, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


Day of the Yellow, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


Alter, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


Cross Talk, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


Extracticate, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


Earthquaker, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


Lines of Fire, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


Efacing, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


Reflectory, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


Inchoate, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2012


Yeast, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2010


Love and War, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


Kafka-McLuhan, stain and acrylic on plywood, 24” x 24”, 2011


About James K-M Vancouver painter James K-M’s prolific recent work is abstract, geometric and metaphysical. Since returning to painting in 2006, his solo exhibitions include Colouring (Baron Gallery,Vancouver, BC, 2010), Free Rain Mural (Edmonton, Alberta, 2009), and Cave Paintings (Simon Fraser University Teck Gallery,Vancouver, BC, 2008, and the Kootenay Gallery of Art, Castlegar, BC, 2007), with work in recent group exhibitions Paleofuturity (Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, Kingston, Ont., 2011), Group Exhibition of Contemporary Art (Baron Gallery,Vancouver, BC, 2010) and Los Artistas Magos, (Council Of Fine Arts, Camagüey, Cuba, 2009/10). An accomplished teacher and presenter, K-M has given artist talks and panels at the SFU Teck Gallery, Baron Gallery, the Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver), Camagüey Council of Fine Arts, and the International Symposium on Electronic Art (Montreal and Amsterdam). In 2012 K-M was artist-in-residence at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Bethany, Connecticut. Contact: http://jameskm.wordpress.com http://facebook.com/alienesque And how does this art of decoration differ from the tattoo? Or is this the etymology of tattooing? Of course the paint makes it possible to see the bones as sculptural artifacts instead of as old bones once living. They have new life as retrieved clichés– now archetypal. Eric McLuhan, 2012 With an economy of means, relatively simple geometric patterns painted with acrylics and stain on plywood, K-M has been working through permutations of a code whose implications could be apocalyptic. Michael Davidge, Director, Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, 2011 The fact that the artist doesn’t appear to know or is not interested in reading about the meanings of symbols and the preexisting conventions of certain anthropological and mythological characteristics of the geometric and numerical expressions perceived in his works doesn’t mean that his perceptions are not valid. Many of these perceptions show that James’ abstract painting is directly linked to the ideographical and esoteric tribal arts, for magical and metaphysical symbols live within it. Pavel Alejandro Barrios Sosa, Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas, Camagüey, Cuba, 2009 Out of extremely objective systemization comes extreme subjectivity. Bill Jeffries, Director, Simon Fraser University Gallery, 2008

SEFIROT by James K-M  

Catalogue for SEFIROT, an exhibition of paintings by James K-M, Dec. 6, 2012 to Jan. 6, 2013, at the Sidney and Gertrude Zack Gallery, Vanco...

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