O'Born Contemporary


At Night All Cats Are Grey

John Monteith, Solo Exhibition

June 6 – July 26, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, June 6, 6 – 9 PM

View Works From Artist Catalogue



O'Born Contemporary is pleased to present "At Night All Cats Are Grey," our third exhibition by Berlin-based Canadian artist John Monteith. As an interdisciplinary artist, John Monteith's drawing and painting practice looks beyond its own abstract neo-formalism to the architecture of our shifting and evolving urban spaces. Drawn from his extensive image archive of these urban locales, transit points, interstitial territories and "architectural voids," Monteith creates drawings and paintings of collapsed three-dimensional space.

With a focus on the method of construction-evocative of a Constructivist approach to image making-Monteith's works are descriptively simple, yet the simplicity of each piece is simultaneously belied by its own complex internal structure.

Working in layers and with single shapes that grow in multitude, Monteith draws on his acute and intuitive sense of tectonic space and scale. Articulated in this geometric vocabulary, his drawings and paintings grow organically, consistent with utopian philosophies of urban development. Monteith's overall approach to art making can be traced back to the concept of using architecture as a referent of the simplest means of articulating time and space. His practice has deep connections to ideas of "urban relativity" as suggested by Constant Nieuwenhuys, Guy Debord and Asger Jorn: Their critique of sectors of a city describes them as being decipherable, yet their meaning remains subjective.

"At Night All Cats Are Grey" is set within a vocabulary of strict formal constraints, resisting the pictorial narrative while addressing Monteith's personal interests and subject matter. Applied painstakingly with wax and black pigment, these works maintain a multi-dimensional, vibratory, dynamic tension augmented by the inclusion of a minimalist sound piece composed by Robert Steenkamer.

about the artist

John Monteith was born in 1973 in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada and graduated in 2008 from the MFA program at Parsons the New School for Design. Monteith's work has been represented internationally in a number of collaborations, solo, and group exhibitions at the Tate Modern, X Initiative, PS 1, The DUMBO Art Center and San Art among other venues.

In 2011 Monteith was the resident artist at CAT Cologne, in Cologne, Germany and will be a resident fellow this year at Kunsthalle Roveredo.

Monteith's work is featured in a number of international private and corporate collections including the TD Bank Canada, the I3 Investors Group, and The New School in New York. His press and publications include Art In America, Charley, C Magazine, October 135, The Huffington Post, K-48, Petit Mort: Recollections of a Queer Public, The New Yorker, www.disorientations.com, and Toronto Life.

Monteith has been awarded grants from The Canada Council for the Arts and the Toronto Arts Council. He lives and works in Berlin, Germany.