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Simple Shapes: Art by Erin MacKeen

A painting of pink geometric forms on a raw canvas backgroundUncertain (it's okay), acrylic on raw canvas

Erin MacKeen is a Toronto-based painter and artist who works in a bright style of geometric abstraction. Erin’s paintings lend personality to simple shapes, and the artist has recently been branching out into installation and works on paper.


A painting of a blue shape and a yellow shape on a blue backgroundThis is a picture of my soul, acrylic on raw canvas


I adore Erin’s painting style. She tends to create her works on canvases, each centering on a large figure, usually a slightly rounded polygon with colored lines intersecting it. The artist treats her geometric shapes like figures, with the bright colors seeming almost to denote different personality traits. The large, vaguely bulbous shapes are contrasted with sharp, narrow lines to create great visual interest.


The gallery of installation works in Erin MacKeen's portfolio websiteErin's gallery of installation works


Erin’s portfolio also offers up a gallery of her installation works. Most of these recent works are paper-based constructions, such as folded paper cubes. What might seem like a relatively basic project becomes a fascinating conceptual exploration as Erin experiments with different forms and interpretations for these very simple, accessible constructions.


A photo of a small sculpture by Erin MacKeenHow to Build a Quiet Place to Cry, hand-folded paper construction (installation view at Kadbanu for DO Design in Dundas, January 2017)

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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