150 PORTRAITS: THE RECLUSE
Born in Lacombe, Alberta, Kevin Sonmor completed his MFA at Concordia University in Montreal in 1991. Since then, he has exhibited widely across Canada, the US, and more recently, Europe. Sonmor has had solo exhibitions in several public galleries and museums, including University of Waterloo, Mendel Gallery in Saskatoon, Art Gallery of Mississauga and most recently, Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts in Quebec. Sonmor's iconic work pushes the boundaries between the historical conventions of landscape painting and the contemporary aesthetic of the abstracted landscape. An inspired student of Flemish painting, his creations are dark and atmospheric, yet filled with familiar still-life objects. In his series, An Evening Constitutional, Sonmor focuses on large scale, often life sized, paintings of horses. He's looking at ways to animate the paintings without allowing the paint itself to be the vehicle of animation. By searching for it in the figures themselves and the properties of the subject, whether it be their expressions, gestures, movements or weight, these qualities are asking to be even more conscious of some formal elements of the paintings. Musing on the effort required to construct and maintain a myth, contemporary or otherwise, Sonmor faces competing vested interests and the rapid flow towards cultural homogeneity. His earnest subjects seem intent on living up to their appointed status and expected image.