Touching the Sky: The Metaphysical Quest of John Clark, curated by Jeffrey Spalding, and organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, highlights the figurative painting of British-born John Clark, an artist and educator who lived and worked in both eastern and western Canada, and who passed away 25 years ago, but left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of the country. Drawn from the Clark estate and public collections, the works in this exhibition provide an overview of the artist’s remarkable career.
Tom Forrestall: A Car for all Seasons, curated by Nick Webb, and organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, showcases the veteran realist painter’s vintage 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300 SD, albeit transformed into a highly unique work of art. The project emerged from a conversation about the artist’s car, and the concept of “a car for all seasons,” revolving around the seasons (a familiar enough subject in Forrestall’s painting) for a German car that had so admirably weathered the Canadian climate, gradually took form. Forrestall invites viewers to reconsider the status of the automobile and our relationship with them. This car continues to fulfill the primary function for which it was made, but it now carries an art identity – it is both car and painting; and a Forrestall painting at that.
With a specific interest in printmaking’s historic relationship to representation, Nicole’s artwork gestures to humans’ role in constructing and idealizing landscape. Her most recent installations feature series of handbound accordion books that expand to create large-scale panoramic images. Each book contains text by her collaborator, Devon Wootten, who excises language from climate change reports to craft poems. The works function as both images and texts, using the book as a site for recording and preserving ecologically fraught landscapes. Referencing 19th-century panoramas as well as the Romantic painting tradition, this work nods to a period when humans’ relationship to landscape was rapidly transformed.
Salmon’s paintings are part of a realist tradition long entrenched in Atlantic Canada, which continues to ask critical questions and to reveal the importance of observation in art. Interestingly, realism is a difficult genre to define today as it has grown to encompass many aesthetics and styles. Salmon’s engagement with realism challenges traditional notions of the landscape genre and analyses the reality of the landscape with precision and complexity.
A number of the works depict the rusted, broken bodies of cars as they decay on the land. Salmon is actively engaging with this subject matter. He is not simply relaying visual information to the viewer; it becomes a discussion about land, its use and concerns relating to human intervention. Undulating between more traditional landscape imagery and these images from salvage yards, Salmon creates a tension between what the viewer expects from landscape paintings and what is actually there. His work captures the beauty of the banal all the while emphasizing this question of land and its use. Preoccupation with land use is at a critical juncture on a world-wide scale, but has a particular resonance with the current economic prospects in New Brunswick.
High Tide: Paintings from the Atlantic Collection, as selected from the permanent collection by Gallery Director/CEO and Chief Curator Terry Graff. This exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to view a cross-section of some of the best-loved paintings from the Gallery’s extensive reservoir of Atlantic-based works, and allows each individual work to speak for itself. Presented are paintings by Mary Pratt, Tom Forrestall, Molly Lamb Bobak, Fred Ross, Miller Brittain, Jack Humphrey, Christopher Pratt, and others.
Produced in partnership with Coleman Lemieux and Compagnie, the video projection, OutSideIn , is a 55 min. looped stereoscopic film divided into five chapters: earth, wood, flower, stone, water. Each section explores a different elemental environment. It is a visual exploration of the continuum between the inner motions and structures of the human body and those of the natural environment. Working in 3-D allows the artist a new way of exploring her concerns with form and volume on screen and augments the visceral aspects of movement/dance. Troake’s creative approach encourages new ways of thinking about performance and movement and provides new perspectives on our relationship to the landscape. The award-winning dancers in the video are Carol Prieur and Bill Coleman and the music is by composer, John Oswald. OutSideIn has been selected to represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2015 Venice Biennale.
Opening Reception: Friday April 10 at 6PM
In the Marker Drawing Series, ink is drawn through layers of stacked paper, creating an image using gravity, the fibres of the paper and the chemicals in the markers. Each individual drawing is a still frame of fluid motion and time.
Good tangled up like hair in evil, a title taken from Clarice Lispector’s Agua Viva, is an exhibition of painted and collaged works by Sarah Cale. Continuing her exploration of subverting conventional figure ground relationships, these new paintings use discarded collage fragments to reconstruct new compositions from older works. Cale’s recent work investigates the history of transcendence in abstraction, where paintings appear as a meditation on abstraction’s history rather than a literal reenactment. Through an expressive remove, works slowly and manually construct the painterly gesture by capturing it through collage.
For The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery Division’s first interdisciplinary residency, Canadian visual artist Tanya St-Pierre produced a new body of digital collages drawing upon her extensive research carried out in The Rooms Provincial Archives. Exploring women’s work during the first and second world wars in Newfoundland and Labrador, this new series of research-based works is concerned with notions of digital heritage, the rupturing of historical context, and the rendering of poetry within new ideas of narrativity.
John Greer: retroActive is a project celebrating over four decades of inspiring and enlightening production from one of Nova Scotia most important artists. This exhibition offers insight into Greer’s artmaking from the late-1960s to the present day, featuring works from the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s Permanent Collection, key loans from outside sources, and new pieces created by the artist to be displayed publicly for the first time. The artist’s profound influence and diverse production are thoroughly explored in John Greer: retroActive and within a fully-illustrated, hardcover book that accompanies this presentation at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Highlighting major works from the collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, this exhibition draws from the series The Blind Spot by Lyne Lapointe, created from 1996 to 2002. Born in Montreal in 1957, Lapointe’s career dates back to the 1980s, when she quickly made a name for herself as one of the most remarkable artists of her generation. Her use of uncommon, carefully chosen images and motifs draw from the artist’s longstanding interest in popular and historical sources, and her fascination with animal imagery and geometric figures. The notion of metamorphosis then seems to emerge as a fundamental element of meaning, exploring the complexity of knowledge. As part of the Momentum Series,circulating works from the Collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Opening Reception: 6-8 pm, Friday June 26, 2015. Everyone is welcome. Artists Blundell and Ward will be in attendance
Resulting from the collaborative workshop hosted by the CBU Art Gallery in partnership with the Cape Breton Miner’s Museum, Mining Legacies will present the work of artists Victoria Ward and Gary Blundell alongside a group community exhibition on the subject of mining history in industrial Cape Breton.
As a counterpoint to Mining Legacies, Heather Sparling’s Canary in the Mine exhibit explores how songs document a history of mining disasters, their ability to tell how disasters affect families and communities, the impact of the news media and music industry on disaster songs and the significance of benefit and anniversary concerts.