Canan Tolon is primarily interested in “landscapes of absence.” Her paintings study the conceptualization of space filtered through multiple dimensions including imagination, memory and time. Though her technique of repetitious gestures that scrape and slice oil paint across slick surfaces may initially present as pure geometric abstraction, a longer gaze will uncover transient urban scenes and sprawling constructions resembling photographs of places and events. The effect is as if viewing a time-lapse simulated reality through the lens of a kaleidoscope. They are paintings that are like something else, becoming an exercise in perception suspended between truth and illusion, stasis and flux.
Born in Istanbul, Canan Tolon has lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. She has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Berlin and in both Istanbul and Ankara, where she has a devoted following. Her work is included in the public collections of the British Museum in London and Istanbul Modern in Istanbul. Educated in Germany, England, and at UC Berkeley, Tolon has exhibited with the gallery since 1997.