the slightest chemical taste | Solo Exhibition

John Kissick
the slightest chemical taste | Solo Show
Opening Reception Thursday, June 16 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm | RSVP via
On view till July 14, 2022, by Booked Appointment Monday – Friday 8:00 to 6:00 pm – Please Inquire by Email for Availability

We are excited to announce our first reception in two years.  Our Gallery House, stable John Kissick unveils his solo show the slightest chemical taste with a series of new works on canvas alongside five new paper works under the series title Dime store Vesuvius.

Please send us a note if you’re able to attend the opening night will consist of the following:
5:30 pm | Doors Open
6:30 pm sharp | Artist Talk
6:45 pm – 7:30 pm | Reception Continues

As a courtesy to our clients, and given that many are now returning from trips, we require that masks continue to be worn and practice social distancing.

We look forward to welcoming you!

the slightest chemical taste | John Kissick
Introduction by Reba Wilson

John Kissick traces the evolution of his practice to an ongoing dialogue with the history of abstraction. Kissick paints from exhibition to exhibition, considering each new show a distinct body of work. Each painting serves as a signpost for the next. Kissick explains: “for years I’ve been walking down this path hoping that it’s going to arrive somewhere.”

Whereas Kissick’s early works invoked irony and “cut and paste” aesthetics referencing aspects of suburban living, his recent body of work is his “most painterly” in years. Kissick still draws on use of dot ornamentation reminiscent of colour blindness tests, but his new paintings invoke a more spatially organized field of vision and contravene the artist’s tendency towards visual excess. “My paintings are historically quite noisy, clangy things, somewhere between a black whole – where they’re sucking the energy out of a place – and exploding” says the artist. Kissick relishes this “visual convulsion,” but after creating a space that looked like the surface of a curtain on one piece in the series, he was inspired to spatially reconsider his compositions. 

The result is a series of beautiful, slightly unnerving works that unfold to the viewer slowly. As with previous works by the artist, these paintings are in a critical dialogue within the conventions of abstract painting. “I’d like these pieces to walk a very fine line between being incredibly beautiful and unsettling, even ugly,” Kissick says. These works aim at the question of what constitutes authenticity in painting as well as reflecting back on themselves. 

Kissick’s paintings tend towards the large-format, referencing both the body and the history of mid-century abstraction. They suggest both surface and object. Kissick’s works are supremely textured, a result of the artist’s relentless tinkering and re-editing of initial decisions. They are thick in some places, having been layered and covered over repeatedly, and thinner in others. The result is a surface which points to a kind of jittery decision-making and an insight into the creative process. Kissick often works on 3 or 4 at a time and paints both against a wall and on the floor, considering each piece as “an artifact of its own making.” This new body of work also includes some works on paper (Dime store Vesuvius), for the first time in almost a decade. Kissick is also known for a separate body of work he calls his remix paintings, where the artist purposefully reworks and reconsiders older pieces.

Kissick is an artist, published author and professor of art based in Guelph, Ontario. He earned his MFA from the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University, following completing his BFA at Queen’s University. Kissick was Professor of Art at Penn State University from 1987-2000, Dean of the Faculty of Art at the Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto from 2000-2003 and the Director of the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph from 2003-2014, where he continues to teach.  

Kissick has become a fan-favourite for his unusual combinations that create a visual cacophony that comes together through closer study. His works have a freshness and authenticity that allow them to be somehow both disarmingly spontaneous and deliberate. 


Gallery House is unlike any commercial gallery in the world. We deliberately partner with commercial galleries and work with curators at institutions on behalf of our artists. We have garnered attention from some of the top institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art – New York, Bristol Arts Museum – United Kingdom and numerous partnered galleries in over fifteen countries and growing.

Gallery House artists assume an ambitious presence at the following art fairs each year: Art Toronto, Hamptons Art Market, AAF Battersea, AAF Hampstead, AAF Amsterdam, Art Amsterdam, Scope Miami, Art Belgium, Art Stage Singapore, Art Fair Tokyo and more.