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Season 2010 – 2011

Russell T. Gordon Over Easy Rick Leong The Wilderness
Barbara Palca Dickstein Licence Richard Deschênes Les atomistes
Andréanne Fournier Chi & Chi Marc Dixon, Celine Ronc et Sébastien Wornsnip Neither to stay nor to follow
Fiona Annis The after-image (SwanSongs) Annual Student Exhibition 2011
David Blatherwick Aqueous Humour Linda Swanson

Rusell T.GordonOver Easy – Métaphores en séri

Guest Curator: Maurice Forget, C.M.
Exhibiton : Septembre 10 to October 2, 2010
Vernissage : Thursday September 9 at 6 pm
Table-ronde with curator and artist : Thursday September 16 at 7 pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery opens its fall season with the exhibition Over Easy – Métaphores en séries featuring the paintings of Russell T. Gordon. For over thirty years, Russell T. Gordon has been pursuing what he calls “the art of forming rather than form itself… work that shows my process of thought, the transformations of how I think and feel into visible form.” Gordon’s paintings resonate with subtle tenor within a very personal language of colour, shape and motif.

In conjunction with the Stewart Hall Art Gallery in Pointe Claire, the McClure Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Over Easy – Métaphores en séries, curated by Maurice Forget, C.M. This dual venue exhibition celebrates Gordon’s extensive and prolific career as a visual artist. While Stewart Hall features works from the mid-1970’s to the present  – a survey that bears inspiring witness to the artist’s visual capabilities in both figurative and abstract – the McClure narrows its focus to the more recent work from approximately 2000 onwards.

Gordon’s art practice has been richly influenced by jazz, in particular the music of Thelonious Monk with its “angular melodies and dissonant harmonies.” The artist’s use of juxtaposition and synthesis that allows movement away from the expected or linear, underlie his early figurative drawings no less than the later abstract geometries, such as the series Elysian Fields. As the artist’s marks, patterns, gestures and motifs echo from one canvas or series to another, they evolve, transform and mutate into hybrid fusions, allowing the artist’s pursuit of an ongoing interaction of the self with the world. The result is a body of work characterized by both a sense of introspection and unrelenting emotional force.

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Russell graduated with an MFA from the University of Wisconsin and taught at the University of Utah, and the University of California (Berkeley) before coming to Canada in 1974. He taught painting and drawing in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University until his retirement in 1998. Gordon has an extensive exhibition record and his work is in major public, corporate and private collections in Canada and the United States.

A catalogue accompanying the exhibition includes over 40 colour images, a text by the curator, Maurice Forget, as well as an in-depth interview with the artist.

Rick Leong The Wilderness

Exhibition: October 8 to 30, 2010
Vernissage: Thursday, October 7 at 6 pm
Artist’s Talk: Thursday, October 14 at 7pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by artist Rick Leong. The Wilderness features both medium and large format paintings in ink, watercolour and oil. Considered in the context of the artist’s past exploration of the landscape tradition, this new body of work shifts its gaze from terra firma to the outer universe – spacescapes, cosmic phenomena and constellations.  The artist’s interest remains the same: a representation of “the unknown and even unknowable.”  His paintings speak to the way in which nature’s unpredictability and mystery impact human experience and how we seek to reconcile ourselves to such mystery through imaginative interventions.

Rick Leong’s interest in investigating notions of the “unknown” began with his explorations of mist or negative space in classical Chinese landscapes.  His investigations continued through western representations, as in his depictions of deep woods and enchanted forests marked with a fantastical reinvention of geography and nature.  In this exhibition, the artist takes what he considers the next frontier – “space … the great unknown of our age” – and while evoking a sense of its distant cosmic otherness, Leong lays human claim to that otherness through the act of painting itself.  Titles such as Hic Sunt Dracones (Here be dragons), Aurora Ursa or Orion the hunter reference humanity’s penchant for projecting ourselves into the world, to quantify it but, more to the point, to make sense of it and “our place within it.”  Leong’s poetic interpretations of nebulae, meteors and supernova on view at the McClure are emptied of extraneous detail or his celebrated, richly elaborated imagery.  We are offered instead a reduced inventory of shapes, the most minimal markings floating in a depth of monochromatic pictorial space.  As with all Leong’s work, these paintings provoke a sense of wonder, reflection, memory and surprise.

Rick Leong is a young Canadian artist living and working in Montreal. He completed his MFA in Studio Arts at Concordia University in 2007 and since, has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions. His work is part of public and private collections such as the Montreal Musuem of Fine Arts, the Canada Council Art Bank and Aldo Group. He has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council. He is represented by Parisian Laundry in Montreal and RH Gallery in New York.

Barbare Palca Dickestein License

Exhibition: November 5 to 27, 2010
Vernissage : Thursday, November 4 at 6 pm
Artist’s Talk : Thursday, November 11 at 7 pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works by artist Barbara Palca Dickstein. Licence features approximately twenty-five works on paper drawn from the live model. They range from the quick black and white sketch to more elaborated pastel paintings completed in the studio.  As a body of work, these drawings are lean, exacting, full of probing lines and a brilliant, often edgy use of colour.

The exhibition’s title, Licence, references the relationship or connection Dickstein seeks with her chosen model: a permission, exemption, freedom, a disregard of conventional rules to achieve a certain effect as in poetic licence.  While on the gallery walls we see models familiar to the Montreal artistic community, Dickstein’s ability to render the human figure realistically is but the starting point of her investigations.  She draws and draws out. The models rendered here are themselves and yet other.

The artist’s chosen medium is the pastel stick, a tool which gives her the ability to both draw and paint at the same time. She notes, “You have the immediacy of drawing with the color of painting, moving from drawing line to painting shape in a flick of the hand.” Much of the singularity of the work arises from the way in which these two aspects of pastel are used almost contrapuntally. Line, for instance, describes the model in the language of representation. Most notably in the rendering of the head and gestures of hands, and the particular use of negative space, the drawings reveal an interiority. Works such as Jean Pierre with Pink Doll or Tango Shoes, Véronique, for instance, propose an emotional place of longing, desire or loss.  Conversely, colour foresakes description for a suffusion of mood in an intense register of brilliant hues:  cadmiun orange, vermillion, cobalt blue, violet, acid yellow.  In works such as White Light (Véronique), rather than contouring form, colour sensually drenches the picture plane.   Dickstein’s use of colour widens out the narrative, inflates meaning.  As a body of works, these are at one and the same time fragile and enigmatic drawings.

Barbara Palca Dickstein received her Honours BA in Art and Archaeology from the University of Toronto. She continued her studies at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts with Arthur Lismer and Gentile Tandino, at the Saidye Bronfman Centre with John Fox and at Concordia University where she pursued lithography with Bob Bigolow. The artist has taught at Concordia University and has been on faculty for the last thirty years at the Visual Arts Centre. Dickstein has exhibited widely in Canada and is represented in private and public collections.

Richard Deschênes Les atomistes

Exhibition: December 3 to 22, 2010
Vernissage: Thursday December 2 at 6 pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to feature the paintings of artist Richard Deschênes in the exhibition Les atomistes.  Using a reduced palette of pale, almost white tones, and flirting with elements of representation, Deschênes proposes a body of work – mostly large format – of intricate, complex compositions. The works bear witness to a practice deeply anchored in the particularities of  “process”, which have evolved into a unique artistic language.

Richard Deschênes’ interest lies in atomism, a theory propounding a universe composed of matter and emptiness.  The artist is specifically interested in the idea that we perceive the world through a visual image of matter rather than matter itself.  This play of perception is translated visually through works that are slightly out of focus, ephemeral tracings executed in the palest of tones.  The works in Les atomistes propose an aesthetic in which both representational and abstract sensibilities combine in recurringly organic ways, referencing both human and animal forms and suggesting a complex and inventive psychology.  Microscopic and macroscopic shapes confront each other in a world that seems to pull further and further away from the real towards the imaginary – a world in which all manner of natural and scientific curiosities find themselves recontextualized.



Richard Deschênes lives and works in Montréal.  His work has been exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in Québec as well as in Shanghai, Barcelona and New York.  His works can be found in numerous public collections such as the Musée du Québec, the Canada Council Art Bank, Hydro-Québec and Loto Québec as well as in private and corporate collections such as the National Bank of Canada and Caisses Populaires Desjardins.  Deschênes has been the recipient of many grants from both Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Canada Council and his work has been the subject of several publications.

Andréanne Fournier Chi & Chi

Exhibition: January 7 to 29, 2011
Vernissage: Thursday January 6 at 6 pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to open its 2011 program with Chi & Chi, an exhibition of works by artist Andréanne Fournier. Through a unique language and a juxtaposition of several artistic media, such as video animation and sculpture, Fournier invites us to reflect upon the esthetics of nordicity. The exhibition features her latest body of work, completed in 2010 as the result of a three month winter stay in Sulva (Vaasa), Finland.

Deeply touched by Finnish culture and altered by the months of winter darkness, the artist explores emotions and intuitions related to this experience of north, along with its resonating impact on our bodies: the cold, the dark, the adaptation to the rhythms of polar night. She addresses issues about resilience, the ways in which we instinctively prepare ourselves to confront the hostile persistent cold, silence and roughness of winter. For Andréanne Fournier, staying in a Nordic territory represents an act of resilience in itself. Animal presence, the stark contrast of black and white, the feeling of textile and texture – all evoke and render visible this extreme experience and the courage of adaptation. During the persistent darkness of winter, the artist notes, light and energy emerge from within.

Andréanne Fournier lives and work in Montreal where she completed a BFA and a MFA in arts visuels et médiatiques at Université du Québec à Montréal. Her work has been shown in numerous individual and collective exhibitions in Québec, Canada, Finland and United-States. Recently, she exhibited her work at the gallery Oeil de Poisson of Québec city. This winter she will continue to pursue her research.

Marc Dixon, Celine Ronc et Sébastien Wornsnip Neither to stay nor to follow

Exhibition: February 4 to 26 2011
Vernissage: Thursday, February 3 at 6 pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Neither to stray nor to follow, featuring the paintings of Mark Dixon, Cecile Ronc and Sébastien Worsnip. The title is taken from a Chinese maxim and references landscape and the elements of nature as a primary source of artistic inspiration. The maxim well represents the artists’ approach to painting, all of which tend towards abstraction without, however, completely abandoning an evocation of landscape.

In preparation for the exhibition, Dixon, Ronc and Worsnip met regularly to exchange ideas, report on their works in progress and to engage in and provoke a more profound reflection on an art practice that focuses on a theme as ancient as painting itself. The artists have sought in their works to evoke more than to represent, to question the illusory nature of pictorial space as well as to permit the co-existence of several visual languages. They also sought to bring particular attention to the tactile aspect of paint and colour as expressions of the link between landscape and the inner life of the psyche.

Originally from Fredericton (NB), Mark Dixon received his MFA from Concordia and has continued to reside in Montreal. Recipient of several awards and distinctions, he has had many solo and group exhibitions.

Originally from France, Cecile Ronc has been living in Montreal since 2005. She received her Diploma in art from the École nationale superieure des Beaux Arts de Paris. She recently exhibited at the Galerie Premier Regard in Paris and obtained a residency grant for three months at the Casa de Velazquez in Madrid in 2009.

Sebastien Worsnip is a Montreal painter who has exhibited both in Canada and internationally since 1995. Among others he has recieved the Brucebo scholarship for a residency in Sweden, in the Baie St. Paul Symposium for New Painting and has been artist in residence at Bateau Lavoir of Paris in Spring 2000. He is represented in Montreal by the Joyce Yahouda Gallery.

Fiona Annis The after-image (SwanSongs)

Exhibition: March 4 to 26 2011
Vernissage: Thursday March 3 at 6 pm
Artist’s Talk: Thursday March 10 at 7 pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to feature the work of artist Fiona Annis in the exhibition The After-Image (SwanSongs). Annis’ work is a research and creation initiative, which she situates at the cross-section of experimental photographic documentary practices and nomadic biographical mapping. As a Romantic Conceptual act of recollection, The After-Image (SwanSongs) reflects a crossing of disciplines and a crossing of time.

The expression ‘swan song,’ is derived from the Greek myth that swans are mute, but burst into song just before they die.  Over the ages the legend was embraced by poets and came to mean a person’s last eloquent words or performance: a final farewell appearance. In the context of Annis’ current cycle of work, she is exploring the swan songs of a sequence of historical or otherwise atypical artists and intellectuals such as Virginia Woolf, Bas Jan Ader, Walter Benjamin and Shannon Jamieson, who produced remarkable final works which were intimately connected with their deaths.

The body of work is realized as a cycle of photographic encounters with the landscapes and architectural sites connected to particular swan songs, selected for their poetic and political resonance. In this sense, The After-Image (SwanSongs), seeks to record echoes etched in landscape, and acts to engage the physical locations of these swan songs as a point of departure for a sustained meditation on final acts and their sites of articulation.

Fiona Annis is a Montréal based visual artist and researcher whose interdisciplinary practice includes photography, installation, and various forms of mark-making.  In 2008 she completed a master’s degree at the Glasgow School of Art and she is currently pursuing a practice-led PhD at Concordia University.  Fiona has exhibited and lectured in national and international contexts, including: ISEA2009 (Belfast, Ireland), Goldsmith’s University (London, England), LowSalt Gallery (Glasgow, Scotland), and The Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada).  Her collaborative image and text composites have further been published in FRONT: Contemporary Art & Ideas, Les Fleurs du Mal, /Seconds, and Imagining Science, winner of the New York Book Show Award.

Annual Student Exhibition 2011

Exhibition: April 1 to 21 2011
Vernissage: Thursday, March 31 at 6 pm

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.

David Blatherwick Aqueous Humour

Exhibition: May 6 to 28, 2011
Vernissage: Thursday May 5 at 6 pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to feature the work of painter David Blatherwick in the exhibition Aqueous Humour. Aqueous humour refers to a thick watery substance filling the space between the lens and cornea of the eye. It provides nutrients to the lens and its pressure maintains the convex shape of the cornea. In terms of seeing it does nothing but provide the circumstances under which vision occurs. For Blatherwick, it also offers an analogy for how painting operates in the visual world, as a transition point between inner and outer realms.

The body of work, Aqueous Humour, is a sequence of large to small sized paintings realized in 2010-2011. For the last few years, Batherwick has been interested in and collected images from a world invisible to the naked eye, be they microscope images of radiolaria or x-ray images of thermo-magnetic eruptions on the sun’s surface. These phenomena fascinate and frighten him in equal measure. ‘’We don’t see them directly; understand them marginally, yet they influence our lives in a multitude of ways so as to take on a semi-mythical status in our imaginations.’’ Blatherwick makes paintings that emerge from both the known and speculative of what we call nature on it’s largest as well as smallest scale. However, he works far outside a mimetic tradition. Beginning with “a simple geometric construction that underlies most of what later appears organic,” he uses colour, composition, invention, and a sense of play to create a purely fabricated painterly world that hints at nature’s invisible realms. In the end, he tells us, it is the act of painting itself he relishes along with paint’s potential to afford the viewer “some form of pleasure in being.“

David Blatherwick is currently living in Elora Ontario. He has exhibited widely including solo exhibitions at the Musée des beaux-arts de Québec, Stock 20 in Tai Chung,Taiwan and La Cité Internationale in Paris and is represented by Paul Kuhn Gallery in Calgary and Art Mûr in Montreal where he has shown on numerous occasions. His work has also been included in many group exhibitions of which the 2009 KWAG Biennale, the 2002 Montreal Biennale,“Video Naive” at Musée des beaux-arts de Nantes, Métamorphose et Clônage at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, “The Hand “ at the Power Plant in Toronto and ” Partly Human” at the Museo de arte moderno de Guadalajara are a few. He has many published reviews, essays and publication projects to his credit, has himself been the subject of frequent reviews, and received numerous grants including the Pollock Krasner Grant for painting.

Linda Swanson

Exhibition: June 3 to 25, 2011
Vernissage: Thursday,June 2 at 6 pm
Artist’s Talk: Thursday, June 7 at 7 pm

Exhibition Press Release:

The McClure Gallery is pleased to feature the work of ceramic artist Linda Swanson. In spite of our ability to explain the natural world, a certain mystery persists as to how matter takes form, seeming to be at first one thing, and then becoming another. Light things become dark, soft things become hard, solid things begin to flow. Such transformations open onto questions of our own being and becoming, and how we find ourselves in a world in flux. These questions are at play in the exhibition In Formation, a series of installations in which Linda Swanson explores the phenomenon of metamorphosis through both raw and kiln-fired ceramic materials. In retrieving a naturalness from industrially refined and even synthetic clays, salts, and mineral compounds, the artist reveals an ambiguous dimension of artifice that allows us to reflect upon both nature and ourselves.

Linda Swanson is an artist whose interests are grounded in the metamorphic nature of ceramic materials and processes. Her work engages the enigmatic properties of matter at an elemental level, and our capacity of wonder in order to question how and what we know.

Linda Swanson has lived in Montreal since 2008 and originally comes from California. Her work has been exhibited in Montreal, Paris, New York and across the United States receiving awards from the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, the Cattaraugus Arts Council, and NCECA. Her work has been supported with grants by the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Saltonstall Foundation and Concordia University. Linda Swanson studied ceramics at Tekisui Museum in Japan and earned a BA in Art History from UCSB, a BFA in ceramics from CSULB and an MFA from Alfred University. Since graduating in 2005, she has taught ceramics at Alfred University, the Kansas City Art Institute and Concordia University.

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