Michael Kuczer: Abstract Arrangements

Exhibition Celebration: Saturday, July 16 at 1:00 p.m.

Canada’s history with abstraction can be traced back to the mid-1920s, with artists such as Doris Heustis Speirs and Isabel McLaughlin creating semi-abstract works in Toronto that were met with mixed response. By 1953, artists were eager to subvert their viewers’ experience of the world through abstraction, however the public was still unsure of what to make of the vibrant canvases. By the time Canadians had begun to embrace abstraction, Michael J. Kuczer had been exploring the style for almost twenty years.

Michael J. Kuczer was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and grew up surrounded by music and art. Whether it was a violin bow or a paintbrush in his hand, Kuczer was able to make magic happen, and before the age of twenty, he sailed overseas to study music at the Royal College of Music in London.

Kuczer returned to Canada in 1949, settling in Toronto. It was here that he met Jock Macdonald, a member of Canada’s first abstract art collective, Painters Eleven, and a life-changing friendship began. The pair lived and painted alongside one another, which presented opportunities for Kuczer in the Canadian art market.

Whether he worked with acrylic or oil, Masonite or canvas, Kuczer was able to play the pigments like a fiddle to create striking works that encourage visitors to pause and follow the curve of each line, the blend of each colour. We are pleased to present this selection of paintings from the estate of Michael J. Kuczer and invite the you to engage with the Abstract Arrangements!

Guest Curated by Erin Messier


A poem from the Town of Cobourg’s Poet Laureate Jessica Outram

Abstract Arrangements


I walk into the space

an exhibit just opened

vibrant conversation

pieces of temperature

shapes defined by layers

story lines interrupted

by circles of fire

phosphorescent icebergs


and i hit one

cracking open along

a bold brushstroke

acrylic rocks above

beyond wonder and meaning

to feeling with words

I don’t have


emerald moss

mint lime

jade forest

untitled spills of red

lost senses to grief

climbing up, not pouring down


I remember the nameless

voice, choking on shards of canvas

dancing rage on masonite

praying for relief and order


blues from the ocean

melting cubes of sea and lake

rivers of falling hope

form on wings of play and puddles

gilding orbs of yellow, another yellow

red rolls west until im trapped

an orange breathless box


and i sit here among abstract

arrangements of the unknown

knowing comfort in being lost

spotting fragments I never understood

on the inside, now on the walls

outside of the body

turned into


to watch

just watch



maybe you’ll see inside too


By Jessica Outram

July 16, 2022


Art Gallery of Northumberland

Abstract Arrangements Exhibit

Michael J. Kuczer



On View


July 9, 2022


September 4, 2022


Artist: Michael

J. Kuczer

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