Katie Lyle: The weather in the room

June 22 - August 12, 2017

Drawing on her recent showing at The Loon, Lyle continues to engage a rehearsal-like process; her figurative subjects are reworked and repeated, scrutinized by way of erasing, overdrawing, overlaying and cutting away. Like a passing fog or mist, Lyle’s revisionist actions both clear and cloud bodies from the depths of her canvases and her muscle memory, forming compositions that fluctuate between clarity and ambiguity. 

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Working through figuration and its possibilities, Lyle has been conducting movement research alongside dance artist Shelby Wright. Participating in these physical exercises, Lyle attempts to understand the body’s range and qualities, its wholeness and its individual parts. From these movement based undertakings, Lyle approaches her paintings by pressing self-awareness and material (gesso, oil paint, pastel and pencil crayon) onto paper and canvas as an extension of what it feels like, and what it looks like, to have a physical human capacity— a skull that may be uneven, a spine that protrudes, shoulder blades that are pronounced, a sacrum that is deep, hips that are narrow, a strained IT band that rotates the right knee further outward than the left. In producing a practice where one can more closely meet their own joints, muscles and tendons, Lyle registers the body’s unrest, the adjustments and realignments needed to find composure, marking the passage from body to figure to image, through painting.

Sensibility is not only articulated through Lyle’s studies, but also in the way she has devised their presentation. She revisits earlier paintings, snipping away at particular moments within them that compel her. She cuts away heads and corporeal shapes, lifting and reassigning them to a foam material using sewing push pins and aluminum grommets— delicate fasteners that lightly fix the fragments into position, like a body that settles into a surface so that it may come closer to observing itself.


Katie Lyle works in painting, drawing and performance. Selected projects include: aceartinc. with Shelby Wright, Winnipeg; The Loon, Toronto (both 2017); G Gallery with Bridget Moser, Toronto; Evans Contemporary, Peterborough; Forest City Gallery with Shelby Wright, London ON (all 2016); Erin Stump Projects, Toronto; Model Project Space, Vancouver; Garden Gallery with Shelby Wright, Toronto; and The Nanaimo Art Gallery (all 2015). Lyle received her MFA from the University of Victoria (2009) and her BFA from Concordia University (2005). Lyle’s works can be found in the collection of RBC and numerous private collections. Lyle lives and works in Toronto.

Lyle is represented by Erin Stump Projects, Toronto. Daniel Faria Gallery would like to thank Erin Stump for her support of this project.

Lyle gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

Click link for text by Hanna Hur.