Click here for the online catalogue of the exhibition







At the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut
June 26, 2012 – August 1, 2012

Doorkeeper #1 – #10
spray paint on 2″ x 2″ wood
40″ x 30″ x 1.5″ each

acrylic and stain on plywood, 24″ x 24″, 2012

Jason de Haan
Lauren Hall
James K-M
Mac McArthur
Iriz Pääbo
Holly Ward

April 30 – June 4, 2011
Reception: Saturday, April 30, 7 PM

Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre | 21 A Queen St. | Kingston, Ontario

With Paleofuturity, Modern Fuel will be filled with a group
exhibition that turns the space into a time machine transporting
viewers into the futuristic past. Or the prehistoric future? Curated
by Michael Davidge, Paleofuturity draws together artists from
across the country and from a wide a range of disciplines
including painting, sound installation, photography, video and
sculpture. The exhibition opens hypothetical spaces for the
contemplation of the effects of technology on the consciousness
of time, and, potentially, vice versa.

Left: I Opener, Locus SolusOne Hand Watches The Other
Centre: Question and Answer and StarsCloud 8
(Lauren Hall, upper left; Jason de Haan, middle)
Right: Self Defensive
(Lauren Hall, left; Mac McArthur, right)

Excerpt from the exhibition essay by Michael Davidge:

Although they may appear to be the least futuristic looking works in the exhibition, the paintings of James K-M were the main inspiration for this investigation of paleofuturity. 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. The paintings express a metaphysics related to the end of the Mayan calendar, which occurs at the winter solstice of 2012. The implication is that if society continues to run the same course it has taken for millennia then certainly the end for us is nigh. K-M’s paintings attempt to short-circuit any self-fulfilling prophecy by establishing new patterns for thinking that break with old identifications. K-M has described his paintings as “contemporary pictographs” that “point to a non-rational language beyond mind.” A painting like I Opener (2007), for example, not only puts forward a notion of the artistic process as perceptual and not conceptual, but also intimates that the ultimate point of reception is the annihilation of the self. K-M’s practice is certainly at odds with the reigning “Vancouver School” of thought, whose clerical photo-conceptualism is ultimately conservative. K-M finds a more kindred spirit in the work of the Canadian West Coast Hermetics, like Gregg Simpson and Gilles Foisy, who have been marginalized since the ’70s. The concise, almost rudimentary, statements made by K-M’s paintings are prolegomena to further explorations of arcane subject matter, outside of time and after the end of time. As K-M says about his painting Question and Answer and Stars (2007), “When you ask a question of the unknown you have to ask it in a way that can be understood.” The answer will invariably be a reflection of the question.

More than speculative fictions, the works in Paleofuturity do not simply demand a suspension of disbelief. Rather, they elicit the buoyancy of belief. Belief proffers the levitation required for an out-of-this-world experience. Whether or not the future is utopian or dystopian, it will be important to remember that salvation is usually understood to lie in something altogether other, completely foreign and outside ourselves. Threshold experiences of worlds beyond that the works in Paleofuturity evoke introduce us to the previously unknown and offer opportunities for the intense imaginings of other arrangements.

The complete exhibition essay by Michael Davidge here: Paleofuturity Essay.pdf

Recent Paintings by James K-M
September 9 – November 27, 2010
Opening Thursday, September 9, 6-8 PM

293 Columbia Street,
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6A 2R5

In the past several years, Vancouver’s public and independent galleries have worked to revive the abstract in art. Relatively new to the Vancouver art scene, the Gastown-located Baron Gallery has a New York sensibility with a strong appreciation of abstract painting and its history.

“James K-M’s paintings not only evoke the history of abstract painting but point to a metaphysical interpretation,” says Baron. “I’m particularly happy to be presenting over 35 paintings of James’ recent work over the past two years that have not been previously exhibited.”

For the last 30 years K-M has worked with geometric, hard edge, colourist and Kabbalistic abstraction. The paintings in this exhibition are all square, 24″ x 24″, stain and acrylic on plywood.

“I see my paintings as contemporary pictographs and abstract icons of energetic fields,” he says. “Like many artists, my paintings are made in isolation and I am very happy for the opportunity to share so many of my recent paintings together at Baron Gallery.”

James K-M’s most recent painting exhibitions were at the Simon Fraser University Teck Gallery (2008) and at the Council Of Fine Arts Gallery in Camagüey, Cuba (2009/10). Both exhibitions featured catalogue essays on K-M’s work.


  • Artist talk: Where Does Art Come From?, Sat., Sept. 18th, 2 – 4 pm
    Art comes from the primal, carries paradox and gestures beyond itself. I will show examples of paintings I made starting in 1977 while still a student. I recall the sensation of these paintings, in a way, making themselves. This began a conscious relationship with a primal force, seemingly outside myself, that I have honoured ever since. I do not believe that there can be any art that doesn’t come from this relationship. Real art cannot ultimately be about anything else. To summarize differently, art is the convergence of profound metaphysics with profound materialism, that is, the meeting of the primal relationship with the inherent language of our materials. Yes, this is a paradox and one of many that art carries. In the end, I see my paintings as contemporary pictographs and abstract icons of energetic fields, which means that they are about and point to something beyond themselves, to an abstract non-rational language beyond mind.
  • Artist talk: The Contemporary Pictograph, Sat., Nov. 13th, 2 – 4 pm
    In his 2nd artist talk for the exhibition COLOURING James K-M will focus on his current work and its relationship to primal and Kabbalist forces that sustain creative life. He will relate his current work to the notion of an art after-the-fact, and working backwards through his past work, show how his paintings are contemporary pictographs and abstract icons of energetic fields.

293 Columbia Street,
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6A 2R5

Group Exhibition of Contemporary Art
Featuring Vincent Dumoulin, James K-M, PEETA, Greg Swales
May 29th – July 24th, 2010

“In my paintings, cross-cultural appropriation can allude to Native beadwork, old floor tiling, post New York school abstraction or minimalism, a board game without pieces (since the work moves without them), a Navaho blanket, or Aztec or Mayan sacred geometry. These aspects represent appropriated traditions that don’t usually coexist and a collision of cultures that are somehow resonant with each other. These are metaphysical appropriations beyond the gestural and ironic and collide to reveal a sentient conscious unknown. Yet my work remains within the realm of Western abstract painting, constrained by a square piece of plywood (24″ x 24″), interacting with its stained grainy surface, superimposed by a contemporary abstract figure.”
– James K-M, 2010

Newman Ruminals (Yellow, Sienna, Black, Red, Blue)
Stain and acrylic on plywood
24″ x 24″ each, 2008 (Titles by Jasa Baka)
(Order changed during show to: Sienna, Black, Red, Blue, Yellow)

James K-M (Canada), Joel Jover Llenderrosos (Cuba), Osmany Soler Mena (Cuba)
December 18, 2009 – January 18, 2010
Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas, Camagüey, Cuba
Curated and catalogue essay by Pavel Alejandro Barrios Sosa
The Artist Magicians essay.pdf

“The Artist Magicians form a human conscience, revealing universes that are concentric or chaotic, silent or resounding; they are devotees whose occupation is to reveal or to make possible things that have never been, things that will be, or things that will continue to be. The primordial magic art has not changed; the change is only in our way of perceiving. That limitation in perception leads to tedium and confusion until the evidence is accepted. The magic is there still, with the same simplicity which Benedetto Grocce indicated when he stated that the search for art is to look for a concept that everybody knows. The search for art is not necessary, it is self-evident. It is simply not understood that it is understood.”
~ Excerpt from the exhibition catalogue essay by Pavel Alejandro Barrios Sosa

All works by James K-M are acrylic on paper, 24″ x 24″, 2009
The Artist Magicians (collaboration), acrylic on canvas, 52 3/4″ x 91 1/8″, 2009

The task is to give birth to the old in a new time. ~ C.G. Jung

A proposition must communicate a new sense with old words. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

That which is oldest is most young and most new. There is nothing so ancient and so dead as human novelty. The “latest” is always stillborn. What is really new is what was there all the time. ~ Thomas Merton, Zen and Birds of Appetite

Layering the open, light-emitting heart, day and night, the conscious and unconscious, upon the unevolved, as a creative act. ~ James K-M, 2010

Minus Space (New York)

The Cuba Project