Audain Art Museum Acquires Large-Scale Painting by Russna Kaur

They Were Midway

Russna Kaur, 'They are midway between the sun and the moon,' 2020. Acrylic, cold wax, sand, cut canvas and pastel on wood panel, canvas, raw silk and cotton. (Image courtesy Russna Kaur)

By Perrin Grauer

Posted on October 04, 2021 | Updated October 06, 2021, 7:50AM

The large-scale, mixed-media work was created by Russna during a 2020 residency at Burrard Arts Foundation.

A 2020 painting by Russna Kaur (MFA 2019) has been acquired by the Audain Art Museum, marking yet another high-profile acquisition in recent months for the artist and ECU faculty member.

The large-scale, mixed-media work, titled They are midway between the sun and the moon., was created by Russna during a 2020 residency at Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF) and exhibited as part of her solo show there. It was the largest work created during that residency, and is made up of 13 panels covered in different materials, including wood, canvas and raw silk.

This large-scale, multi-panel approach continues an inquiry Russna began as an MFA student at Emily Carr University, Russna notes in a video published by BAF in 2020.

They Are Midway Detail

Russna Kaur, They are midway between the sun and the moon, (detail), 2020. (Image courtesy Russna Kaur)

“I’m drawn to the multi-surface approach to painting because I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity to play with the painting and experiment,” Russna says in the Insight video. “For me, it’s really important that my paintings don’t become these fixed objects and that they can always be shifted or altered through the process.”

The acquisition is one of several noteworthy engagements for Russna over the past year, including a solo show at Wil Aballe Art Projects and a six-month public art installation of the 2021 print-work Burnt away in layers of clouds, they fall slowly…suspended in air, free as a gift, at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Wash.

Learn more about Russna’s process in a pair of outstanding essays published by BAF in 2020: In Conversation: Russna Kaur by Ada Dragomir and Insider Series: Russna Kaur by Mitra Kazemi. You can also watch BAF’s Insight video and Russna’s 2020 virtual artist talk to hear her speak directly about the residency, and about They are midway between the sun and the moon.