John Monteith portrait

John Monteith

Canada 1973

Photography, Abstract Art, Painting, Drawing

John Monteith
John Monteith
July 16, 2015
Bojan is an author for Widewalls. He is particularly interested in English linguistics and culture. Bojan is also interested in Photography and Digital Art.

John Monteith is a Canadian artist best known for his paintings and drawings which focus on his observation of architectural space and scale. His distinctive style of painting and drawing consists of layers of smaller shapes that, when merged, give a larger unit.

Education and Inspiration

John Monteith was born in Newmarket, Ontario in 1973. In 1997, he graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design. He received his MFA degree from Parsons the New School for Design, graduating in 2008 in New York. In 2011, he was a resident artist at CAT Cologne in Germany, and he also partook in the Kunsthalle Roveredo residency program in Switzerland three years later. Monteith’s inspiration stems from Andreas Huyssen’s ideas of a palimpsestic approach to the urban sphere. He also cites Guy Debord, Constant Nieuwenhuys and Asger Jorn, and their concepts of “urban relativity” as his source of inspiration.

Style and Technique

Monteith uses a variety of media including oil paint and wax and pigment pencil. He works on numerous shapes and layers, puts them together, out of which emerges a whole entity. There is a note of an energetic, vibrant tension in his works. When it comes to photography, Monteith employs a different kind of layering, with the same results of vibrancy. He takes multiple shots of a same subject over a certain time period and mixes them, thus capturing any physical shifts and movements, forcing the viewer to make a connection in communication with the subject.The newly formed image emerges as the single shots are layered together, producing the effect of time and inter-relation.

Movements in Photographs

John Monteith - Brendan Fernandes #2
John Monteith – Brendan Fernandes #2

Memorial Day Exhibition

Memorial Day exhibition took place at O’Born Contemporary Gallery, Toronto, in 2012. It featured two concurrent and conceptually inter related bodies of John Monteith’s work: his paintings and photographs. The first consisted of eight neo-formalist abstract paintings from Monteith’s 2012 (de)Construction, (re)Construction works – oil paintings that are layered on drafting film.This series presented works in different hues of grey, olive, blue, pink and brown colors. Radiant, these paintings emit a certain kind of glow from within.

(de)Construction, (re)Construction Series

John Monteith - (De)construction (Re)construction 7, 12 and 14, 2013 - Copyright IdeelArt
John Monteith – (De)construction (Re)construction 7, 12 and 14, 2013

The second part of the exhibition was comprised of nine photographs taken in four cities: Pyongyang, Berlin, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh – all depicting empty spaces. They were all made in Monteith’s distinctive style, combining one hundred shots in composite taken over a period of time, showing subtle movement, changes and the play of light and shadow, while emitting a particular vibrancy.

At Night All Cats Are Grey Exhibition

2014 At Night All Cats Are Grey was Monteith’s third exhibition at O’born Contemporary gallery. Here, Monteith created drawings that collapsed three-dimensional space. Even though the drawings appear simple at first glance, they are meticulously drawn and incredibly complex.

Exhibition View

John Monteith - At Night All Cants Are Grey Exhibition, 2014 - Photo Credits O'born Contemporary Gallery
John Monteith – At Night All Cants Are Grey Exhibition, 2014

Other Exhibitions and Shows

John Monteith has exhibited in a number of exhibitions, both solo and group. Some of his more notable solo exhibitions include Lost Highway (2010) and Grace (2011). Group shows and collaborations Monteith participated include the 2010 No Soul For Sale exhibition at the Tate Modern, London with K-48 Kontinuum, Alpina Huus, House of Deep Transformation in 11 Acts and the Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin and 10×10 in 2012 (the exhibition celebrates LGBT artists who have contributed to the community in Canada).

Memorial Day Exhibition

John Monteith - Memorial Day Exhibition, O'Born Contemporary Gallery, 2012 - Photo Credits the Artist and O'Born Contemporary
John Monteith – Memorial Day Exhibition, O’Born Contemporary Gallery, 2012

He is represented by O’Born Contemporary Gallery in Toronto, Wenger in Zurich and as of 2015, IdeelArt. His works are also displayed in numerous collections, both private and corporate. Monteith has been awarded many grants, including the Canada Council for the Artist grant in 2003, the Toronto Arts Council grant in 2005, and a Ontario Arts Council grant in 2014.

Find here an interview with John Monteith on Ideelart

John Monteith currently resides and works between Halifax, Canada and Berlin, Germany

All images are copyright of the artist, courtesy of the IdeelArt Gallery

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015UpcomingSpace Station Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2015UpcomingMarra.tein, Beirut, LebanonGroup
2015Stories ToldO’Born Contemporary, TorontoGroup
2014At Night All Cats Are GreyO’Born Contemporary, TorontoSolo
2014New AssociationsSALTS, Basel, SwitzerlandGroup
2014ReconstalationPrak-sis N3w M3edia Art Festival, ChicagoGroup
2014Vector Issue 5Schau Fenster, Raum für Kunst, BerlinGroup
2013The Assemblance of PresenceGalerie Wenger, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2013Echoing NostalgiaSan Art, Ho Chi Minh City, VietnamGroup
2013Under New ManagementODD Gallery, The Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Dawson City, CanadaGroup
2013TranslationO’Born Contemporary, TorontoGroup
2012Memorial DayO’Born Contemporary, TorontoSolo
2012Up Against ItMunch Gallery, Manhattan, NYGroup
201210x10The Gladstone Hotel, TorontoGroup
2011GraceThe Artlog Loft, Brooklyn, NYSolo
2011Petit-Mort: Recollections of a Queer PublicForever and Today, Manhattan, NYGroup
2011B-B-B-B-BadAnna Kustera Gallery, Manhattan, NYGroup
2011City Speaks; A Conversation at the Dinner Table, Atelier Oliver KunkelCologne, GermanyGroup
2010Lost HighwayO’Born Contemporary, TorontoSolo
2010No Soul For Sale, K-48 KontinuumThe Tate Modern, LondonGroup
2010NY Art Book Fair “Straight To Hell Outpost,”PS1 Long Island City, NYGroup
2010131O’Born Contemporary, TorontoGroup
2010Geometry and GestureElga Wimmer Gallery, Manhattan, NYGroup
2009River’s EdgeDumbo Art Under The Bridge Festival, Brooklyn, NYSolo
2009No Soul For Sale, K-48 KontinuumX-Initiative, Manhattan, NYGroup
2009OverlapElga Wimmer Gallery, Manhattan, NYGroup
2009Paper In the WindThomas Jaeckel Gallery, Manhattan, NYGroup
2009Summer Camp; Like a Moth to the FlameExile, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2008ZwischenGalerie Stefan Ropke, Cologne, GermanyGroup
2008K-48John Connelly Presents, Manhattan, NYGroup
2008O CanadaGallery MC, Manhattan NYGroup
2008Parsons MFA ExhibitionThe Kitchen, Manhattan NYGroup
2007UndercurrentsXEXE Gallery, TorontoSolo
2007Art With HeartThe Carlu with Ritchies Auctioneers and Appraisers, TorontoGroup
2007Signs of Life141 North 7th St, Williamsburg, NYGroup
2006(Re) constructing LoveXEXE Gallery, TorontoSolo
2006GlocalCanadian Art Foundation, TorontoGroup
2006Art In The WorkplaceTorontoGroup
2005Concealed WeaponGalerie Accidentelle, MontrealSolo
2004am: After MidnightXEXE Gallery, TorontoSolo