Ian Mackay’s paintings are open-ended investigations of how mark making shapes aesthetic experience. His practice reaches into the history of Western painting to recuperate aesthetic models of the past. Mackay suspends notions of traditional still-life painting by combining observed depiction, modernist abstraction and encoded language systems. His paintings may be simultaneously read as information and experienced as visual phenomena, pointing to a logic of both, but also neither. Depicting tableaus of coloured blocks, complete with realist shadows and reflective surfaces, his paintings push toward the illusory, while the patterning of his arrangements pull toward a symbolic, coded, and emblematic reading, occupying a neutral position within possible modes of aesthetic reception.
Ian Mackay is a Canadian artist living in Toronto where he maintains his studio. He completed his AOCA at Ontario College of Art in 1980 with studies in Photo-Electric Arts. At OCA Ian co-founded the punk rock band The Diodes and the musical performance space "The Crash n Burn" at the Centre for Experimental Art and Communications. Upon graduation, Ian balanced career and vocation, including positions at Delrina Corporation, Symantec Corporation and IBM Platform Computing where he focussed on software architecture and user-centred design. In 2009 he completed a BFA at OCAD in Curatorial Studies and Integrated Media. Since 2009 Ian has concentrated exclusively on his painting practice and his work can be found in numerous private collections.