Reception for 2016 Summer Exhibitions

Gary Evans speaks about his exhibition Farther Afield
Gary Evans, Two, 2015, oil on canvas, 107 x 137 cm. Photo Hailey Mulhall
IAIN BAXTER&, Dialogue, Jasper National Park, Alberta, 1969, printed later, chromira print, 49.5 cm x 72.4 cm. Photo: Andre Beneteau
Laura Moore, one man's junk, installation view from Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus, Denmark, 2015, dimensions variable. Photo: Paul Cimoroni
Lucius O’Brien, Doon, Ontario, 1891, watercolour on paper. Gift of Helen and Arch Brown, 1995. Photo: Andre Beneteau
Henri Robideau, Hand and Loaf, Vancouver, B.C., from 12 Little Giants, 1973, printed 1980, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist

Please join us as we celebrate our summer shows!
Thursday, July 7, 2016
7:00 to 9:00 pm
Remarks at 7:15 pm
Exhibition tours at 7:30 pm

Gary Evans
Farther Afield
July 2 to October 30, 2016
Janice Laking Gallery and the Carnegie Room
Curators: Renée van der Avoird and Stuart Reid
Reception: Thursday, July 7, 7 to 9 pm
Master Class: Acrylic Painting with Gary Evans, August 27, 10 to 3 pm
Artist Talk: September 23, 12:15 to 1 pm, Rotary Education Centre. Admission free

Regional artist Gary Evans is widely recognized for his distinctive painting practice that spans two decades. This summer, the MacLaren presents a survey of the artist’s celebrated oil paintings from the mid-2000s to the present, complemented by a selection of recent collages.

Evans’ vibrant paintings challenge traditional notions of perception and our experience of the landscape. His inventive approach references historical painting—Arcadian subjects and lively Baroque brushwork—as well as contemporary themes such as consumerism and urban sprawl. Layered with dense colours and shifting points of perspective, Evans’ paintings challenge us to view the world around us from an alternative vantage point, accelerated by movement through space and time.

Further emphasizing the visual impact of our increasingly technological culture, Evans’ collages arrange excised imagery from fashion magazines into carefully constructed spatial collisions. Decontextualized, these fragments depict abstracted formal structures that echo the mysterious and furtive energies of his paintings.

Gary Evans was born in Weston Super Mare, England and lives in Alliston, Ontario. With a career spanning more than two decades, his numerous solo exhibitions include Seeing Things: The Paintings of Gary Evans, which toured across Canada, as well as Station, a survey of paintings presented at the Art Gallery of Windsor. He has participated in group exhibitions across Canada and internationally at venues including Humber Arts and Media Studios in Etobicoke, ON; Deluge Contemporary, Victoria, BC; the Tina B. Biennial, Prague, Czech Republic; and the Kaoshung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan. Evans is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and is the Coordinator at the School of Design And Visual Art, Georgian College, Barrie, Ontario. He is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto. 

Road Trip
IAIN BAXTER&, Deanna Bowen, Jason Brown, Rafael Goldchain, April Hickox, Justin Newhall, Jeff Thomas
July 7 to November 6, 2016
Gallery 3
Curator: Emily McKibbon
Reception: Thursday, July 7, 7 to 9 pm

When Jack Kerouac mused that “the road is life,” he captured a popular ethos that an open stretch of highway embodied a certain opportunity for personal myth-making in North American culture. In this group exhibition of Canadian and international artists, drawn largely from the holdings of the MacLaren Art Centre, each body of work demonstrates some uniquely Canadian aspect of this ostensibly all-American pastime.

IAIN BAXTER&’s and Jason Brown’s work addresses the provincial highway systems that mark the Canadian landscape. BAXTER& takes a deliberately banal approach to the street signs and highway stops that cater to travellers, while Brown’s series Alone Together provides a careful record of the expansion of Ontario’s Highway 69. Conversely, Justin Newhall’s project Northern Studies takes Glenn Gould’s The Idea of North as its inspiration, with Newhall travelling by train to Churchill, Manitoba. Like many other towns so far north, this centre for military, ecological and other research exists outside of the highway systems crisscrossing Southern Canada. Jeff Thomas’s series, Indians on Tour, represents a different take on the road trip: for Thomas, a self-described “urban Iroquois,” it is in the city and not in the wilderness where he—and his plastic figurines—discover themselves. Rafael Goldchain’s series, Nostalgia for an Unknown Land, presents a road trip the artist took through Latin America, demonstrating the ways in which hyphenated Canadian identities are enmeshed in our origin stories and homelands. Deanna Bowen’s sum of the parts: what can be named is a deeply personal case study of the African diasporic movement. In this performed oral history, Bowen traces her family’s history from their first documented appearance in Clinton, Jones County, Georgia in 1815 to the near present in Toronto. April Hickox’s Rose, Winds and Other Stories presents a different kind of travel: filmic in scope, the series highlights a retreat inwards, a journey within.

Laura Moore
one man’s junk
July 7 to October 16, 2016
Massie Family Sculpture Courtyard
Curator: Emily McKibbon
Reception: Thursday, July 7, 7 to 9 pm

one man’s junk is a series of hand-carved limestone sculptures modelled after computer monitors artist Laura Moore found abandoned in front yards and alleyways throughout Toronto. The works are presented piled on a custom wooden base, recalling both the museum plinth and the recycling pallet. Moore chooses to work with traditional materials to document contemporary subjects, noting that stone is the material of “the monuments that tell our history.” At a 1:1 scale to their subjects, these intimate pieces remind us of our comfortable but transient relationship with technology. Presented in the garden courtyard, the sculptures pose as stealth future relics of the contemporary past.

Laura Moore is an emerging multidisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture. Moore received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and her MFA from York University. She has shown her work internationally, most recently at Sculpture by the Sea in Aarhus, Denmark; the Indianapolis Art Centre; the Cotton Factory, Hamilton, Ontario; and the Art Gallery of Windsor. Moore resides in Toronto, where she is represented by Zalucky Contemporary.

This exhibition is accompanied by an online publication featuring an essay by Toronto-based writer Adam Lauder. 

Lucius O’Brien
The Art of Conservation
July 7 to October 30, 2016
Joan Lehman Gallery
Curator: Emily McKibbon
Reception: Thursday, July 7, 7 to 9 pm

When Lucius O’Brien painted Doon, Ontario, 125 years ago in 1891, he could not have anticipated the ways in which light, fluctuations of temperature and humidity, atmospheric pollutants and a backing board of unpurified woodpulp would deteriorate this intimate work over time. The MacLaren Art Centre holds nine watercolours by O’Brien in its Permanent Collection, and have been working to conserve these delicate works in a three-year project culminating in a major exhibition in 2017. This preview highlights the first conserved work, Doon, alongside documentation of the conservation process, demonstrating the high level of care that we bring to artworks in our holdings.

Lucius O’Brien was born in 1832, in nearby Shanty Bay. A significant Canadian painter in the Victorian era, he was the founding president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists. Best known for his travels throughout Canada, documented in the two volume Picturesque Canada (1882-1884), O’Brien was a seminal figure in the early Canadian arts movement. Lucius O’Brien died in Toronto in 1899.

The Henri Robideau Gianthropological Resource Centre
July 7 to October 9, 2016
Molson Community Gallery
Curator: Emily McKibbon
Reception: Thursday July 7, 7 to 9 pm
Artist Talk: September 30, 12:15 to 1 pm, Rotary Education Centre. Admission free
Art for Lunch: The Gigantic in Contemporary Art with Christina Mancuso: September 9, 12:15 to 1 pm, Rotary Education Centre. Admission free

In 1973, self-proclaimed “gianthropologist” Henri Robideau set out to document the outsized statuary of North America in a series of pseudo-scientific “digs.” The MacLaren is proud to inaugurate the Henri Robideau Gianthropological Resource Centre, an exhibition-turned-reading-room intended to explore themes from Farther Afield and Road Trip. Robideau’s series, The Pancanadienne Gianthropological Survey, highlights the ways in which Canadian artists have critically and conceptually interrogated the landscape tradition from the 1970s onwards. With photographic postcards and bookworks from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection, this exhibition highlights the contribution of Vancouver-based photographer Henri Robideau to this evolving form.

Henri Robideau is a senior Canadian photographer. His work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Robert Frank Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Surrey Art Gallery. Recent exhibitions include grunt gallery (2015) and Presentation House Gallery (2012) in Vancouver. Robideau taught at Emily Carr University from 1979 to 2015.