Beyond Measure, exhibition view, MKG127

For her recent solo show at MKG127, Kristiina Lahde tests the limitations and possibilities of measurement, pattern, and chance in her work. In cutting and reconfiguring measuring tapes and rulers, she playfully repurposes these practical tools toward more conceptual ends. Her similarly well-crafted paper pieces reveal the surprisingly ordered outcomes that result from random initial conditions. Whether working in collage, sculpture or drawing, Lahde imbues her work with the visual wit and perceptual pleasure of an oscillating Escher, but without the encumbering kitsch. Tightly controlled in its execution, her work ranges freely between spatial qualities of flatness and depth, positive and negative, and straightness and curvature, even as it explores tensions between form and function, order and randomness, and visual/conceptual languages.


Untitled (triangles)2011, altered paper


Metric system (white green and blue)2012, altered measuring tapes


Golden Rule2012, altered rulers, varied edition of 6


Bent ruler, 2012, altered ruler


Compilation2009, altered telephone book

In earlier works, Lahde deploys the pattern-oriented eye and manual piecework precision of an expert quilt-maker as well. However, in using disposable materials such as newspapers and telephone books, and experimenting freely with shapes, spacing, and shadows, Lahde exploits the visual properties of various source materials (and the information they convey) while referencing self-organizing tendencies within nature in order to reconfigure the ubiquitous and banal – not into blankets, but into objects of unexpectedly expressive beauty.


Caution, 2009, newspaper collage, private collection


Statistics2009, newspaper collage and detail


An Uncertain Future2009, newspaper collage


FREE2010, newspaper collage

See more work by Kristiina Lahde on the artist’s website

See more information on Beyond Measure at MKG127’s website
(Beyond Measure was MKG127’s last show at their Ossington Avenue location. Next up is a summer group show at their new location on Dundas West, curated by Germaine Koh and titled Toolkit.)