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Season 2004 – 2005

faculty exhibition Barry Allikas POW
John Graham twenty visions Susan Brainerd Alain La mer
Anne Fish Beneath the surface Prudence and Ross Heward Figures and grounds
Carmen Ruschienski Figure-head Nadine Bariteau Éclipse; dans l’oeil du monde
Todd Munro Lascaux revisited Annual student show
Eric LeMÉnÉdeu Rain Expected at the End of the Day Anne Ashton garden of joy
Dorothy Stewart chimes Full Circle Mandala Project Meeting in the Middle for Peace in the Middle East

faculty exhibition

Vernissage: Thursday, September 9th at 6 pm
Exhibition: September 10 to October 2, 2004

Barry Allikas POW

Vernissage: Friday, October 8 at 6 pm
Exhibition: October 8 to 30, 2004
Artist’s talk: Thursday, October 14 at 7 pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new large-format acrylic paintings by Barry Allikas. The bold black, white and red paintings create a stark impact upon entering the gallery. Sharp geometric angles carve out directional zones on the canvases, suggesting a multiplicity of spaces in simultaneous existence at any one time.
The works in POW are influenced by Goya’s Disasters of War, while making reference to Andy Warhol’s Disasters series and Roy Lichtenstein’s paintings derived from popular war comics. The title of the exhibition simultaneously incorporates a nod to Pop Art, the sound and sense of an explosion and the acronym for “prisoners of war.”
Though ostensibly related to the idiom of ‘hard-edge’ painting in which Allikas has been working for several years now, the works mark a significant departure in both formal and conceptual terms. In the past, Allikas would begin with a relatively random situation, which he would then develop into an ordered rectilinear pattern. In the recent works this process has been reversed. An ordered linear ground is subjected to a randomizing digital process, effectively “exploding” the original organized grid into an angular, fragmented space – a suggestive ‘chaos’ of twisted planes and blasted shards.

Barry Allikas lives and works in Montreal. He studied Cinema at Dawson College and later taught in Studio Arts at Concordia University in 1997-98. Allikas has exhibited his work in numerous exhibitions in Canada, New York and Europe. He has recently presented solo exhibitions at Sylvianne Poirier art contemporain in Montreal, Arts Sutton, SAW Gallery in Ottawa and Pari Nadimi Gallery in Toronto, as well as group exhibitions at Fishtank Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and Artena Gallery in Marseille, France. In 2003 he completed a four-month residency at Point B in Brooklyn. Allikas’ work is included in the collections of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, the Musée du Québec, the Canada Council Art Bank, and many others including private collections. Barry Allikas is represented by Sylvianne Poirier art contemporain in Montreal.

John Graham twenty visions

Vernissage: Friday, November 5 at 6 pm
Exhibition: November 6 to 20, 2004

Exhibition Press Release:

Twenty Visions celebrates a decade of printmaking, from 1994 to 2004, in the career of artist John Graham.
Twenty works on paper, including etchings, lithographs and screen prints are featured as well as excerpts from many of the artist’s books Graham has produced over this period. Of particular interest are the watercoloured woodcuts and screenprinted texts from Graham’s most recent and ambitious book, Visions From the Tempest (2001), inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Drawing, in the form of sketches and figure studies, serves as the genesis of all Graham’s work in various print media. Much of his work portrays allegorical subjects infused with dramatic psychological intent. The artist writes, ”the alchemy between the circuit of our own thoughts, mythical representations and dream information are one of the most fulfilling ways in which we can enrich our perception of the world…In the very least, my work may be appreciated as a small homage to humanity’s elusive vulnerability to the forces of the imaginary.”

Born in Montreal, John Graham was first educated as an architect, and then as a visual artist. He received a BFA from Concordia University in 1986. He pursued his studies and received an MFA from the University of Oregon in 1999. John Graham currently lives and works in Guelph, Ontario where he is the Assistant Professor in Printmaking in the School of Fine Art and Music at Guelph University. He has received many grants and prizes in Canada, the US and Europe. In 2002 he received a Research Grant from the University of Guelph as well as a Visiting Artist-in-Residence Award from the University of Tasmania in Australia. Many of Graham’s artist’s books are included in public and private collections including the National Library of Canada in Ottawa, the National Library of Quebec in Montreal and the New York Public Library.

Susan Brainerd Alain La mer
Anne Fish Beneath the surface

Vernissage: Thursday, December 9 at 6 pm
Exhibition: December 10 to 23, 2004

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure gallery is pleased to present two exhibitions of paintings by Montreal artists Susan Brainerd Alain and Anne Fish. In the large gallery, Susan Brainerd Alain presents a new series of acrylic paintings on paper and canvas investigating the sea and the transformations it undergoes due to changing light, weather conditions and the seasons. Working from observation in Nova Scotia, Alain’s bold colours and simplified forms depict isolated views of water painted from a still position of contemplation.
In the small gallery, Anne Fish’s recent oil paintings reflect her curiosity with what lies beneath the surface of familiar subject matter such as buildings and boats. Her imagery, often old and worn, suggests past uses and frequently implies, without actually revealing, a human presence. The focus is on the play of light on surfaces textured by the application of many layers of paint.

Born in Montreal, Susan Brainerd Alain studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Montreal from 1962 to 1963 and then at the Academia di Belle Arts in Rome from 1963 to 1965. In 2002 she presented solo exhibitions at Petit Château and the Bibliothèque Municipale in France.

Born in Montreal, Anne Fish obtained a Master’s degree in Social Work from McGill University, followed by a Certificate in Criminology from University of Montreal. She completed a Fine Arts degree from Concordia University in 1990 and since then has participated in numerous group exhibitions and presented her first solo exhibition in 2002.

Prudence and Ross Heward Figures and grounds

Guest Curator: James D. Campbell
Vernissage: Thursday, January 6 at 6 pm
Exhibition: January 7 to 29, 2005
Lecture by James D. Campbell: Thursday, January 13 at 7 pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Canadian artists Prudence Heward and her nephew Ross Heward, curated by James D. Campbell. The exhibition will offer a unique perspective on the representation of the female figure and family ties.
Prudence Heward is recognized as one of the most important Canadian figurative artists of the 20th-century. Lesser known is the fact that her nephew Ross Heward pursues a lifelong creative practice as well, as a figurative painter working in the south of France. A major aspect of Prudence Heward’s creative process was the study of female nudes and paintings of women. Ross Heward makes large acrylic paintings of female nudes directly onto found patterned fabric. On one hand Ross’ work is far more unconventional than his aunt’s, characterized by his choice of bedspreads, dresses and shower curtains as supports for his paintings. On the other hand, the aunt and her nephew share a common concern with the integration of the figure into their environment, often using elements of clothing and pattern.
Two important paintings from the later part of Prudence Heward’s career, never previously exhibited, are accompanied by a series of charcoal drawings of female nudes. Twelve acrylic paintings and a selection of graphite drawings by Ross Heward are presented.
The exhibition is accompanied by a colour catalogue with a text by James D. Campbell.

Prudence Heward’s work is represented in the collections of most major cultural institutions in Canada, including the National Gallery of Canada. Ross Heward lives and works in Caderousse, France. He presented a solo exhibition of his paintings at Galerie Calligrammes in Ottawa in 2000.

Carmen Ruschienski Figure-head

Vernissage: Thursday, February 3 at 6 pm
Exhibition: February 4 to 26, 2005

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings by Montreal artist Carmen Ruschiensky. Over the past several years Ruschiensky’s paintings, hovering between abstraction and figuration, have represented diverse forms of accumulation: heaps of objects, signs, words, painterly marks, cumulative motifs evoking natural phenomena, convoluted surfaces or simple methodical repetitions. Her paintings suggest material and sensual excess or accumulations of redundant, humorous and contradictory information.
Both small and large format oil paintings are presented, from 2002 to the present. The more concentrated, singular figures of the small figurehead paintings are the artist’s most recent works. The forms bring to mind the contours of a face or head, but are radically distorted to monstrous proportions. Ruschiensky is interested in the multiple linguistic meanings and connotations of the expression figurehead (the ornamental figure or symbol placed at a ship’s bow; the bust of a famous person; a head or chief in name only). The paintings also speak of the contrast between traditional portraits that represent power, celebrity and influence and the grotesque facade that is the simulation of power, the nominal leader, the personnage purement décoratif.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Carmen Ruschiensky studied Studio Art at the University of Regina from 1987 to 1989. In 1989 she moved to Montreal and received a BFA from Concordia University in 1992. Ruschiensky recently presented her work in solo exhibitions at the Darling Foundry and Galerie B 312 in Montreal and in the following group exhibitions: Lines Painted in Early Spring, a travelling exhibition from the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Les Mars de l’art contemporain, Clermont Ferrand, France and Portraits-robots, Galerie Graff, Montreal. Her work is included in the collections of the Musée du Québec, Loto Québec and the Centre d’art de Baie-Saint-Paul.

Nadine Bariteau Éclipse; dans l’oeil du monde
Todd Munro Lascaux revisited

Vernissage: Thursday, March 3 at 6 pm
Exhibition: March 4 to 26, 2005

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present two exhibitions of prints by Montreal artists Nadine Bariteau and Todd Munro. In the large gallery, Nadine Bariteau presents a dozen large-format silkscreen prints using digitally manipulated stills from her own videos. Blurred sequences manipulated at slow speeds allow the artist to seize a gesture, focusing on the transient nature of the human race. Eclipse; dans l’œil du monde traces how we react in light of the staggering changes that are taking place in the natural and urban environments surrounding us.
In the small gallery, Todd Munro presents Lascaux Revisited, a series of prints (lithography and monoprint) based on the cave drawings of Lascaux, France that date back some 15,000 years. In Munro’s works, the images of bison, horses and other animals are replaced by the automobile. Munro’s crudely drawn images are accented by scratchings and hand prints similar to those of the cave drawings.

Nadine Bariteau received a BFA (print media) from Concordia University in 1999. She is the recipient of several grants and prizes including the Large Format Print Biennale hosted by Atelier Circulaire in Montréal, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (both in 2002) and the Best of original print award (2003). In the summer of 2003, Bariteau participated in the International Contemporary Print Biennale in Trois-Rivières, Québec. Nadine Bariteau wishes to thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for their support.

Todd Munro received a BFA from York University in 1994. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including a recent solo exhibition at Transit Gallery in Hamilton (2004) and group exhibition at Warringah Printmakers Studio in Sydney, Australia (2004). He also participated in a residency at Imago printmaking studio in Moncton, NB (2003). Munro has been an active member of Atelier Circulaire print studio since 1995.

Annual Student Show

Vernissage: Thursday, March 31, 6 pm
Exhibition: April 1 – 23, 2005

Exhibition Press Release:

Students registered in the School of Art’s winter session are invited to exhibit their work in our Annual Student Exhibition. The exhibition, which includes hundreds of works in a wide variety of media, gives students the experience of seeing their work in the context of a professional gallery. It also provides an opportunity for students and public to see the great diversity of creative activity that takes place at the Centre.

Eric Le MÉnÉdeu Rain Expected at the End of the Day

Vernissage: Thursday, April 28 at 6:00 pm
Exhibition: April 29 to May 21, 2005

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by Montreal artist Éric Le Ménédeu. Rain Expected at the End of the Day combines oil paintings of varying sizes created since 2001, with a series of recent charcoal and oil drawings, rapid studies based on memory.
For the last several years, Éric Le Ménédeu’s painting practice has focused on the representation of cloud-filled, moving expanses of sky above thin bands of landscape. Loosely inspired by photographs taken during his travels – discreet moments gathered in passing – the works often recall the plains and rivers of his homeland.
The fluidity of the elements of air and water and their ungraspable, perpetual movement become symbols of transition, change and exile, a metaphor for the passage of time and childhood nostalgia. Waiting for the rain implies a hope for renewal, for regeneration. Through his paintings, Éric Le Ménédeu gives us an occasion to stop and contemplate. This is his calm and slow response to the world that surrounds us.

Éric Le Ménédeu was born in Paris, France in 1962. A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), he has lived and worked in Montreal since 1994. He was the recipient of the 2001 3rd Annual New Canadian Painting Competition for Eastern Canada. His work can be found in several important corporate collections including those of Alcan, Gildan and Royal Bank. Éric Le Ménédeu is represented by Mira Godard Gallery in Toronto.

Anne Ashton garden of joy

Vernissage and Gala Evening: Thursday, May 26 at 6 pm
Exhibition: May 27 to June 18, 2005
Artist’s Talk: Thursday, June 2 at 7 pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of recent oil paintings by Montreal artist Anne Ashton. Ashton’s work explores the strange and mutable beauty of the natural world. Garden of Joy was a jazz and blues club in 1920’s Harlem. The botanical paintings in this exhibition were inspired in part by the music of that era, and the flowers’ somewhat suggestive shapes have been renamed using the vernacular of the Dirty Blues.
The paintings depict flowers and plants both out of context and out of scale, and are rendered with many layers of translucent oil paint and much detail. Ashton paints on small wooden panels that often incorporate vintage frames. The frames are not always able to contain the imagery, which tends to push its way beyond the confines of the painting. The flowers are portrayed in various stages of bloom, while insects wander here and there.
Ashton seeks to incite the viewer to look more closely both at the paintings and at the natural world itself, including those elements that are often dismissed as useless, unlovely or dangerous. By emphasizing individual peculiarities, she hopes to offer a way of looking at our planet’s systems and inhabitants with a more open, curious and compassionate eye.

Anne Ashton was born in San Diego, California and studied visual art and literature at San Diego State University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. She has worked at the San Diego Museum of Natural History and at the National Film Board of Canada. A founding member of Montreal’s Galerie Clark, she has had solo exhibitions in Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland, Alberta and Arizona, most recently at Oboro in Montreal in 2004. Her work is part of public collections including the Musée des beaux-arts du Québec, the Tom Thompson Memorial Art Gallery and the Canada Council Art Bank, as well as corporate and private collections in Canada and the U.S. She lives and works in Montreal.

Dorothy Stewart chimes

Vernissage: Wednesday, June 22 at 6 pm
Exhibition: June 23 to July 16, 2005

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition that celebrates nine years in the career of Montreal born artist Dorothy Stewart. The exhibition features eight large acrylic paintings on canvas along with smaller works on paper, produced between 1995 and 2004. Stewart’s work references interior and exterior space, resulting in evocative poetic compositions that bring together large colour fields with forms that recall cubist investigations of the still life.
Dorothy Stewart writes, “Today, we are so attuned to non-objective art that we are geared to looking not for meaning in the recognizable, but reading feeling and then making associations with what the abstract artist has set down. Colour ascribed to particular shapes should then sharpen a viewer’s response or even strike an ambiguous note…It’s all to do with relationships.”

Dorothy Stewart was born and raised in Montreal. She graduated with honours from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where she won scholarships for Best Woman Painter and First Prize, Painting. For the first half of her career she lived and worked in Montreal. In the late 1970’s, Dorothy moved to New York, where she spent 20 years painting and exhibiting. She participated in numerous group shows as far afield as Japan, United Arab Emirates, and Spain. Recently, she returned to Toronto where she continues to paint.

Full Circle Mandala Project Meeting in the Middle for Peace in the Middle East

Vernissage: Thursday, August 4 at 6 pm
Exhibition: August 5 to 27, 2005

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present a mixed-media exhibition in collaboration with the Montreal Dialogue Group and the Full Circle Mandala Project that features the collective works of Jews and Palestinians/Arabs who are actively engaged in finding the human in the “other”.
Meeting in the Middle for Peace in the Middle East is an exhibition based on an intercultural exchange with an emphasis on peace, through mutually supportive Arab/Jewish relationships. The project is meant to bring awareness to spiritual, humanitarian and social issues through the participants’ personal stories told in writing, painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media.
A group of Montreal Jews and Palestinians/Arabs, some artists, some not, collaborating for the first time, created a collective artwork in the form of mandalas (symbols of sacred and structural unity). The mandalas are constructed from a wide variety of materials, including paper made from Israeli and Palestinian newspapers, newspaper clippings, family photos, mementoes and bits of journals. The participants also cast their hands and faces to create sculptures that express the immediacy of their physical and emotional involvement in the stories they have recreated.

This project was initiated by Helga Schleeh (artist, director of the Full Circle Mandala Project and Visual Arts Centre faculty member), and Nada Sefian and other members of the Montreal Dialogue Group.
With special thanks to Engrenage Noir, the CRB Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts for their generous support.

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