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Carrying lace and soil

Exhibition: February 4 to 26, 2022
Virtual Artist-Guided Tour: February 3 at 5 pm
Art Hive with Chantal Khoury (online): February 26, 10:30 am to 1 pm

Through her paintings, Chantal Khoury acknowledges the gap in Lebanon’s recorded history and the impulse to offset cultural withdrawal. She approaches meaning and methodology by threading Lebanese historiography with techniques of erasure in the studio. In the exhibition Carrying lace and soil, Khoury reimagines inherited family objects brought to Canada through immigration. Her paintings of functional objects such as bowls and cloth have meaning beneath their surface. In removing paint, she creates ahistorical forms separated from their referents, focusing on forming rather than the form. Khoury regards the process of erasure as a productive metaphor for identity-forming within displacement.

Lebanese artist and writer Jalal Toufic plays a crucial role in the images Khoury builds. In citing Toufic’s ideas on withdrawal in post-war societies Khoury catalyzes the legacy of erasure in painting toward a transnational framework, widening the scholarship beyond Western citations to allow other dialogues. The paintings originate from experiences of dislocation and meditate on history and memory. They aim to resurrect culture yet sustain the awareness of that impossibility and display cultural signs loyal to the diaspora’s experience.

Chantal Khoury is a Canadian artist of Lebanese descent and was born on the unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kmaq First Nations/New Brunswick. She currently lives and works in Tkaronto/Toronto and was previously based in Tiohtia:ke/Montreal for thirteen years. She received her MFA from the University of Guelph (2021) and her BFA with Distinction from Concordia University (2012). Solo exhibitions include the McClure Gallery (2022), Birch Contemporary (2021), the Beaverbrook Art Gallery (2020) and the University of New Brunswick (2014). Group exhibitions include the Beaverbrook Art Gallery (2020) and the Orillia Museum of Art & History (2018). Khoury’s work is included in the collections of the Royal Bank of Canada, the Art Gallery of Guelph, the University of New Brunswick and numerous private collections in Canada and Lebanon. Khoury’s commitment to art education spans several years, and she most recently worked as a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Guelph.

“Chantal Khoury would like to acknowledge the generous funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.”


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