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On June 13, The Untitled Space held an evening reception to present “hence living, hence magical,” a solo exhibition of paintings by Toronto-based artist Katrina Jurjans. Curated by Indira Cesarine, the exhibit will be on view at the Lispenard Street gallery through June 22. Art lovers, critics, and collectors assembled in Tribeca on a beautiful summer night to sip on chilled white wine and celebrate Jurjans’ big opening, where she revealed a site-specific installation and chatted to guests about her origins and inspirations. 

Artist Katrina Jurjans with curator Indira Cesarine, The Untitled Space Gallery, New York, photo by Jeffrey Grossman 

Jurjans’ first solo show in the United States, “hence living, hence magical” features a selection of acrylic on canvas paintings, along with an accompanying floral installation. Jurjans’ artwork feels dream-like and magical, with patterns and colors swirling and overlapping. Each piece explores memory, transition, and the ephemerality of life, while calling back to themes of magical realism and femininity. The energy in the gallery matched the energy of Jurjans’ gorgeous, dynamic paintings, buzzing with glowing compliments on the artwork well after the exhibition’s opening ended at 8 p.m.

Artwork by Artist Katrina Jurjans, The Untitled Space Gallery, New York, Photo by Ryan Chen

Beyond the fantastical hues of magical realism present in her work, Jurjans’ art is inspired by emotional narratives and spatial, temporal, and bodily boundaries. Her paintings are laden with symbolism, and are anchored both in the physical world while merging into the world of memories, dreams, and hallucinations. In her work, Jurjans touches on themes of poetic multiplicity and ambiguity, as well as the wider concept of feminist thought within contemporary art. 

In her artist statement, Jurjans said: 

Critically responding to historical female representation within the canon of Western art history, where women – predominantly painted by men – were represented as polished, contained, and separate from their surroundings – I instead paint women fully immersed in both their physical and emotional environments. Sometimes flesh and blood, other times ghostly outlines – they become the fuzzy, porous boundary between foreground and background; past and present; memory and dream.” 

Artwork by Artist Katrina Jurjans, The Untitled Space Gallery, New York, photo by Jeffrey Grossman 

Primarily a painter, Jurjans is a founding member of elsewhere, a transdisciplinary arts collective. She graduated with honors from Concordia University in Montreal, with a BFA in Art History and Studio Art. Her work has been generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts. Previously, she has exhibited solo at Coldstream Fine Art, Toronto and Artscape Youngplace, Toronto, and in group shows at Nuit Blanche, Toronto, Design TO, Toronto, and Shin Gallery, New York. Her works has been featured in contemporary art fairs including SPRING/BREAK Art Fair in Los Angeles and The Other Art Fair in Los Angeles and Brooklyn.

Photos by Jeffrey Grossman and Ryan Chen for The Untitled Magazine 

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