Volume 36, Number 3: Painting

September 2017

Border Crossings’ Issue on ‘Painting’ is our most widely anticipated issue of the year. We have been present over the years to witness the predicted demise and rebirth of the medium. Today ‘Painting’ exhibits a new sense of experimental freedom. In this issue we talk with two artists who look to history to structure the endeavours of their conceptual pursuits.

For Canada’s 150th, we mark the complicated anniversary with an in-depth interview with Indigenous artist Kent Monkman. Monkman, of Cree and Irish ancestry, works in a variety of media from painting, film and video work, to installation. By reimagining and recasting Canada’s historical narrative, Monkman subverts the Eurocentic straight gaze and authorizes an experience largely expunged from the canon of art history. Through the use of his primary character, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, Monkman cleverly poses some challenging philosophical questions. How do Canadians reconcile their own history with its colonial past? And how do we reform the structures of that inequitable system that remain in place today?

In our interviews, Border Crossings also features the work of New York-based artist, Lisa Yuskavage. Yuskavage played an influential role in the establishment of a new genre of figuration. Her figures are voluptuous and encompass a complete cast of edge-dwellers and outsiders. Yuskavage utilizes a spectrum of historical techniques from imprimatura (underpainting), to grisaille, to cangiantismo (a rainbow colour effect) that created the quality of the supernatural in the works of the old masters. Yuskavage asserts that making art is a form of protest against what has already existed while simultaneously embracing vestiges of the past.

In this issue we also feature interviews with six young contemporary artists who all employ paint as their primary artistic medium. We look at Toronto-based artist Patrick Cruz, Brenda Draney who lives in Edmonton, Benjamin Klein from Montréal, Los Angeles-based Sojourner Truth Parsons, Julie Beugin in Berlin, and John Eisler in Toronto.

In our articles, James D. Campbell discusses episodic voyeurism in the art of Harold Klunder, Benjamin Klein looks at the experimental and improvisational elements in the word of Leopold Plotek, and John Kissick takes a sideways look at two portrait exhibitions featuring New York-based, young Canadian artist Sascha Braunig and Diego Velázquez in, “Looking in Your Eyes and Seeing Nothing.”

Also in this issue:

We feature a Borderview with the legendary Chris Kraus who has just released her book called After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography published by Semiotext(e). A full online edition of the interview can be found here.

Included in this issue are the stunning poems of Susan Musgrave.

Border Crossings’ Crossovers include reviews on Canadian-born Shannon Bool, Brazillian artist Lygia Pape, Nunavut artist Itee Pootoogook, Italian sculptor Marisa Merz, Algerian Adel Abdessemed, a review of the Vollard Suite, “Picasso: Man and Beast” at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and much much more…

Table of Contents


  • Say, Bird: A Consideration of Interspecies Romance Meeka Walsh

  • Close Encounter of a Biographical Kind Chris Kraus on ‘After Kathy Acker’
  • Lights, Kamias, Action
  • Blanket Approval

  • The One Who Signs Cronos, The Devil’s Backcone, Pan’s Labyrinth, directed by Guillermo del Toro Robert Enright

  • The Incredible Rightness of Mischief An Interview with Kent Monkman Robert Enright
  • Lisa Yuskavage Musings of an Edge-of-Towner Meeka Walsh, Robert Enright
  • Optimistic Hybridities States of the Art of Painting 2017 Robert Enright

  • Looking in Your Eyes and Seeing Nothing A Sideways Look at Two Portrait Exhibitions John Kissick
  • Eyes Wide Open Episodic Voyeurism and the Art of Harold Klunder James D. Campbell
  • A Shifting Sort of Seeming The Pleasurable Difficulty of Leopold Plotek Benjamin Klein

  • The Broken Bottles Our Lives Are 3 Poems by Susan Musgrave Susan Musgrave

  • Shannon Bool Diana Sherlock
  • Lygia Pape Georgia Phillips-Amos
  • Abdel Abdessemed James D. Campbell
  • Deirdre Logue Terence Dick
  • Marisa Merz Shannon Garden-Smith
  • “It’s All Happening So Fast: A Counter-History of the Modern Canadian Environment” Tracy Valcourt
  • Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 Arni Haraldsson
  • “moving in every direction. Environments - Installations - Narrative Spaces” Dagmara Genda
  • Reinhard Reitzenstein John K Grande
  • Annie Hémond Hotte Edwin Janzen
  • “Picasso in Canada” and “Picasso: Man and Beast” Alison Gillmor
  • Jaan Poldaas Earl Miller
  • “Fabrications” Gary Pearson
  • Itee Pootoogook Robin Laurence
  • Lili Huston-Herterich Ben Portis
  • Alex Livingston Matthew Reichertz
  • “Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet” Jasmine Reimer
  • Ed Atkins Clare Samuel
  • Will Gorlitz Carling Spinney
  • “This Must be the Place (Home Pt. 2)” Courtney R Thompson