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Season 2014 – 2015

 

Cécil Ronc Le pays où l’on n’arrive jamais
Virginia McClure Ceramic Biennale Caméléon
Renée Duval Gods and Monsters
Ben Klein Generator
Karilee Fuglem
Dennis Ekstedt Megalopolis
Maskull Lasserre Pendulum
Annual Student Exhibition 2015
Jennifer Hornyak The Figure Revised
Sue Rusk Ephemera

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Cécile Ronc Le pays où l’on n’arrive jamais

Exhibition: Septembre 5 to 27 2014
Vernissage: Thursday September 4 at 6 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present the work of Cecile Ronc in the exhibition Le pays où l’on n’arrive jamais. With these large format oil paintings, the artist realizes the kind of pictorial space she has been searching for: a landscape marked by diverse impressions and reminiscences of places both lived and dreamed.

The recent direction of Ronc’s work emerged out of an attempt to make visible her memories of Iceland’s lunar landscapes, seen on a recent visit to that country. « In this ‘palimpsest’ country », she notes, « the history of the land is naked, its’ wrinkles evident; the traces of erosion, of irrigation as well as the continually changing patterns of hollows and forms are like the veins and breath that nourish the human body. » The influence of this unique and strange landscape led Ronc to engage with a more fluid manner of painting, allowing the paint to flow naturally, leaving room for the play of accident. This approach came closer to satisfying her desire to mirror, in the very process of painting, the way nature itself creates.

Le pays où l’on n’arrive jamais is the country that resists the determined quest of the characters in a novel by André Dhôtel and which they never reach. It is the country of memories, dreams, lived experiences, ideas accumulated from a thousand places. It is the country of childhood, of our first gaze upon the world. It is a view that does not seek to explain itself but rather is content to see things as they are. It is also the Promised Land whose sole purpose is to provide something to lean towards. Ronc’s process – her slow, patient, painterly explorations in one stready direction – in a sense resembles the characters’ search for the country that is never attained. Arrival eludes her, stretching further ahead as she strives towards it. The artist writes, “It is through such meandering twists, turns and quicksands that I come to stop, by chance, on occasion, to admire the view and finally see that which surrounds me.” The exhibition at the McClure Gallery represents a halt, a moment of repose in the inexhaustible quest for the country that can never be reached.

Originally from France, Cécile Ronc has been living in Canada since 2005. She studied at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and also completed a three-month residency at Casa de Velázquez in Madrid in 2009. She has recently enjoyed solo exhibitions at Galerie d’art d’Outremont (January 2014), the Maison de la culture du Plateau Mont-Royal (May 2012), Elissa Cristall Gallery in Vancouver (September 2012) as well as Galerie Premier Regard in Paris (February 2010).

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Virginia McClure Ceramic Biennale CAMÉLÉON

Susan Collettt, Neil Forrest, Rory MacDonald, Linda Sormin
Curator: Jean-Pierre Larocque
Exhibition:October 3 to 25, 2014
Vernissage : Thursday October 2 at 6 pm
Lecture: Friday October 3 at 7 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present Caméléon, the inaugural exhibition of the Virginia McClure Ceramic Biennale. The exhibition, curated by Jean Pierre Larocque, features four outstanding Canadian artists from outside Quebec – Susan Collett, Neil Forrest, Rory MacDonald and Linda Sormin. Their work underlines the themes of adaptation, reinvention and metamorphosis within the field of contemporary ceramics. They question and deconstruct the material, its history and traditions and reassemble them in novel, provocative and poetic ways, reminding us of clay’s profoundly chameleon-like nature.

Jean Pierre Laroque is one of Canada’s foremost ceramic artists with an extensive and in-depth knowledge of the field. As guest curator, he was given free rein to shape an exhibition of his choice that speaks to the mandate of the biennale: to celebrate excellence and innovation in contemporary ceramic art. Through the discipline of ceramics, these four artists explore issues of memory, personal and cultural identity, narrative, ceramic history, as well as its interface with architecture and its role in public craft. In Susan Collett’s new series Maelstrom, fragile constructions of paper clay, only vaguely echoing of the vessel form, resemble a kind of elemental choreography made visible. In Transits, Neil Forrest explores ideas about representation, culture and modernity in a series of ships he refers to as nomadic architectural structures that echo of place and history. Rory MacDonald’s use of powdered chalk to decorate the surface of his clay forms, be they vases or floating islands, also speaks to the idea of the nomadic and impermanent, challenging the idea of the ceramic object as a time resistent archive. Lastly, Linda Sormin creates ‘on site’ a free flowing structure that integrates pieces of former work − Neverhole − with new artifacts from the local environment into a unqiue colonization of the gallery space that meanders from floor to wall to ceiling.

While each individual artist pursues a signature methodology and aesthetic, collectively their works share in helping to invent and articulate a ceramic language that playfully shifts the ground. The exhibition catalogue offers insightful texts by Jean-Pierre Larocque and Victoria LeBlanc as well as reproductions of the artists’ works.

cover_biennale_webCaméléon

76 pages (51 color reproductions)
french / english
ISBN: 978-0-9865933-9-0
McClure Gallery, 2014
available: McClure Gallery
$ 24,95 + tx

The Virginia McClure Ceramic Biennale honours the Visual Arts Centre’s historic roots in ceramics. It began in 1946 as a clay collective – the Potters’ Club – which played a significant role in the development of ceramics for over four decades. Five biennales will be held between 2014 and 2022 through a generous endowment from the late Virginia McClure, a ceramic artist in her own right and a pivotal figure in the Centre’s history from 1955 to 2012.

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Renée Duval Gods and Monsters

Exhibition:October 31 to November 22, 2014
Vernissage: Thursday October 30 at 6 pm
Artist’s Talk: Saturday November 1st at 2 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present the recent work of Renée Duval. The exhibition, Gods and Monsters, includes ten large format oil paintings on canvas executed over the last four years. Images of trees, singularly and lusciously recognizable as trees, are at one and the same time iconic forms, palpably filling the gallery space with an enigmatic beauty and sense of contained urgency. It is an honour to house them, to linger in their presence and no less to celebrate the artist who painted them.
Renée Duval’s recent paintings are as beautifully rendered and painterly as they are layered and complex. Trees and sky, the most central and recurring leitmotifs of the artist’s oeuvre, continue to exude their evocative power as they push towards an iteration increasingly imaginative, theatrical and hyper-real.
In Gods and Monsters, the use of the mirror image with its echo of sacred geometries along with the titles of gods and goddesses suggests we are being called upon to pay attention to something more equivocal and enigmatic than heretofore. Imagination and nature entwine, pull apart. Through the allure of these paintings − the sensual colour, agile brushwork and compositional finesse − the artist challenges our perception as she challenges her own. What is being given voice here is an unprescribed and open-ended painterly quest where threat and beauty seem delicately poised.

We are equally pleased to publish a catalogue, which includes works in the exhibition, earlier paintings as well as a transcribed conversation between Renée Duval and fellow artist David Elliott. The exchange, provoked by David Elliott’s astute comments and queries, allows us to hear directly from the artist regarding her ongoing preoccupations and passionate engagement with paint.

Cover_DuvalGods and Monsters – Renée Duval

57 pages (33 color reproductions)
french / english
ISBN:978-192649200-1
McClure Gallery, 2014
available: Amazon.ca
$ 24,95 + tx

Renée Duval was born in Vancouver B.C. in 1963. She graduated with honours from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver and received her M.F.A. from Concordia University in Montreal. She has exhibited throughout Canada as well as in the U.S. and France and she has a number of works in both public and corporate collections. Duval has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts as well as the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Her work was included in the publications Carte Blanche Vol. 2 − Painting (a survey of contemporary Canadian painting) and in RBC Canadian Painting Competition: 10 Years. Renée Duval lives and works in Montreal and is currently the Gallery Exhibitions Director of the McClure Gallery of the Visual Arts Centre.

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Benjamin Klein Generator

Exhibition:November 28 to December 20, 2014
Vernissage : Thursday November 27 at 6 pm

We are pleased to welcome Benjamin Klein to the McClure Gallery for this exhibition, Generator. The exhibition includes approximately ten oil paintings on canvas, all executed over the last two years. The work is part of a duo venue exhibition at the McClure and the Joyce Yahouda Gallery and is accompanied by a catalogue.

Benjamin Klein’s recent body of work takes its impulse from fantasy, adopting the microbial universe of the ladybug and other attendant insects as a site from which to explore the act of painting. With their sensuous, expressive brushwork and strident colour, Klein’s canvases delineate an alternately luminous and darkly foreboding universe, an odd and irreverent world that speaks boldly of quotidian hallucinations, allegory, myth and the power of paint to articulate the allusive, the liminal.

The exhibition title reveals the artist’s intent – painting as generator, as an act of regeneration. The catalogue essays by John Bentley Mays and Ashley Johnson address Klein’s rejection of inherited aesthetic formalism, his preference to plunge headlong into ‘dreamtime’, a space and place that honours embodied experience, where surreal and real merge to reveal new ways of meaning-making relevant to our times. In the service of his imaginative forays, the artist avails himself of all manner of painting strategies – from landscape and narrative to figuration and abstract. As Mays notes, these works are “strong, intelligent, urgent.”

BenKlein_CoverGenerator – Benjamin Klein

54 pages (30 color reproductions)
french / english
ISBN:978-192649201-8
McClure Gallery, 2014
available: McClure Gallery
$ 24,95 + tx

Benjamin Klein was born in Chicago and grew up in Montreal. In 2005 he received his BFA from Concordia University, where he graduated with great distinction and was awarded the Guido Molinari prize in Studio Arts. He completed his MFA in the summer of 2013 at the University of Guelph. He is represented by the Joyce Yahouda Gallery.

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Karilee Fuglem January light, so light

Exhibition: January 9 to 31, 2015
Vernissage : Saturday January 10 at 2 pm
Artist’s Talk: Thursday January 15 at 7 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to feature the work of Karilee Fuglem in the exhibition January light, so light. Known for her large site-specific installations, the artist continues the trajectory of her investigations in which she “draws” in space with transparent materials, light and movement. The result is work that is at once ethereal and interactive, provoking in the viewer an attentive awareness and experience of space and time.

For over two decades, Karilee Fuglem has explored the subtlety of the visual world as a way of addressing embodied perception. Her recent work emerges out of an ongoing fascination with the way light is reflected through transparent or translucent materials and how our corporeal presence causes subtle displacements in the movement of air such that the viewer becomes a critical component of each piece. The installation in the McClure consists of almost weightless polyester film cut in strips and discs, suspended from walls and ceiling, some in front of screens that are back-lit to create shapes and shadows that shift in myriad combinations throughout the space.

The atmospheric shifts evoked by the viewer’s movement through the gallery are unpredictable, surprising, at times almost imperceptible. Fuglem speaks of making art, “to be seen through the body, in the manner of Merleau-Ponty’s ‘secret visibility,’ the physicality of the visual world felt as an echo in our own physicality.” The work makes visible what is normally invisible; it elicits an awareness of what is “here, now.” The title, January light, so light, underlines that even in the dark of winter, the most minimal of light can affect our sense of the world around us. The deeply experiential aspect of Fuglem’s installation emerges precisely from our perception of light and shadow as an almost visible whisper; it offers us a poetic moment embodied in ourselves in relation to our lived world.

Originally from British Columbia, Karilee Fuglem has made her home in Montreal since 1989, during which time she has presented solo exhibitions here and across Canada. Her work takes the form of installations, drawings, photographs and artist books. Recent group exhibitions include Apprivoiser l’espace, at Circa, Montreal, and Circling the Inverse Square at Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery in 2013; Anima at FOFA Gallery and the Biennale de Montréal in 2011 (as well as 1998), and Chimère/ Shimmer at the Musée des beaux-arts du Québec in 2010. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the National Gallery of Canada, and a permanent installation at the Cirque du Soleil headquarters. She is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain. The artist would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts for their support in the production of

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Dennis Ekstedt Megalopolis

Exhibition: February6 to 28, 2015
Vernissage : Thursday February 6 at 6 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to feature the recent paintings of Dennis Ekstedt in this exhibition, Megalopolis. Included are approximately fifteen works on canvas which confront the viewer with evocative images of glimmering illuminated cities. While not landscapes so much as earthscapes, the works negotiate nonetheless landscape’s traditional quest to identify humanity’s relationship to nature. Dennis Ekstedt’s paintings investigate and celebrate, through a palpable beauty, a contemporary version of that query. The works are visionary as they undertake to establish how we might feel and see ourselves in a world where the terms of co-habitation must necessarily be redefined, where the natural and the virtual, the human and the sprawling nervous systems of our invented technologies co-exist.

Our vantage point in Ekstedt’s paintings is sky. We are at times far away, looking down upon the shining cities of light. Alternately, the perspective suggests we approach earth’s dark horizon from an off-kilter angle, as if on a plane, circling, in search of safe landing. The sense of distance is mediated by what we gaze upon — in some ways a mirror of our own being. These are not abstract constellations of stars but rather webs of light resembling a living organism or the patterned arteries and manifestations of human design. Light becomes a braille we interpret as evidence of our presence. Several of the most recent works in the show bear the title Lodestar — “something or someone that leads or guides a person or group of people.” If light is our guide, we are asked to recognize not, as the artist notes, a particular city, but any city, any community, and by inference, our collective existence. As in life, the perspective of distance, be it in time or space, can be redemptive. Ekstedt’s paintings, in both form and content, surely are.

An accompanying catalogue includes an essay by John K. Grande and more than 30 color reproductions.

DennisEkstedt_CoverMegalopolis – Dennis Ekstedt

55 pages (38 color reproductions)
french / english
ISBN:978-192649202-5
McClure Gallery, 2015
available: McClure Gallery
$ 24,95 + tx


Dennis Ekstedt lives and works in Montréal, Canada. He received his Diploma in Fine Arts from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C and his M.F.A from Concordia University in Montréal. He was the Eastern Canada winner of the RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2002 and his paintings are included in many public, corporate and private collections. He has exhibited in Canada, U.S.A. and France and has received numerous artist grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. His work is included in the publications Carte Blanche Vol 2-Painting (2008) and The RBC Painting Competition: 10 years (2008).

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Maskull Lasserre Pendulum

Exhibition: March 6 to 28, 2015
Vernissage:
Thursday March 5 at 6 pm
Artist’s Talk: Thursday March 12 at 7 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present their first exhibition of artist Maskull Lasserre’s sculpture. Pendulum features new work that continues to develop themes that have characterized the artist’s oeuvre over the last 10 years. The exhibition is accompanied by an 80 page catalogue, including over 40 works and a text by writer Rachel Anne Farquharson.

Lasserre’s sculptural forms are precisely crafted and beautifully engineered. Ironically, such meticulousness serves to undermine certainty. A chair, piano, grenade, and fallen tree bow are all finely wrought to take on new identities. Slippage between form and meaning renders much of what we know tenuous, and certainty – impossible. Categorization and conclusion are exchanged for an experience that is at once haptic, aesthetic, and deeply ambiguous.

Lasserre’s work is subtly autobiographical. From his childhood in Africa, to experience as a musician, boxer, and war artist in Afghanistan, he conflates, with uncomfortable elegance, things which should not ordinarily coexist: war and art, the lyrical and the macabre, a speed bag and the deep sonorous notes of the piano. Yet the trespassing of such boundaries both belies the work’s allure and ignites it. Lasserre’s is an understanding that announces depth of perception, humility of being, and a respect for the materials that abide his handiwork. There is a gravity and accountability here, and true relevance can be found among his hewn objects.

Maskull Lasserre was born in 1978. He holds a BFA in Visual Art and Philosophy from Mount Allison University, and an MFA in Sculpture from Concordia University. Lasserre has exhibited internationally, including at the Museum of Art and Design in New York, and the Museum Villa Rot in Germany. He has held visiting artist positions with the Canadian Armed Forces, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and at the California College of the Arts. His work appears on Canadian coinage, and is represented in both private and public collections including those of the Montréal Museum of Fine Art, and the Government of Canada.

MaskullLasserre_CoverPendulum – Maskull Lasserre

80 pages (72 color reproductions)
french / english
ISBN : 978 – 1926492-03-2
McClure Gallery, 2015
available: McClure Gallery
24,95 $ + tx

 

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Annual Student Exhibition

Vernissage: Thursday, April 2 at 6 pm
Exhibition: April 3 to 18, 2015

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.

Jennifer Hornyak The Figure Revisited

Exhibition: May 1 to 23, 2015
Vernissage: Thursday, April 30 at 6 pm
Artist’s Talk: Thursday, May 7 at 7 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to feature a new body of figurative work by Jennifer Hornyak in the exhibition, The Figure Revisited. Approximately 30 oil paintings completed between 2014 and 2015 are included. The canvases depict the human form alone or in groups and a series of smaller portraits that resonate with a dark poetics all their own. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, with text by gallery director Victoria LeBlanc.

Over the last two decades Jennifer Hornyak’s focus has been, almost exclusively, an expressive exploration of the still life genre. We immediately recognize the signature mark making, rich colour harmonies, a raw and passionate painterliness that distills, in ever-recombinant forms, the lyrical and fleeting quality of her subject. The figurative works in this exhibition represent not so much a new foray as a circling back, a retrieval of a theme she explored earlier, throughout the 80s. The recent paintings reveal the artist in her prime, wielding paint and vision towards unsettling truths about the human condition but, more precisely and more personally, towards the definition of a self-realized through the act of painting and the material of paint itself.

Hornyak speaks of wanting to capture a certain “pathos and frailty which exists in the human condition.” Indeed, the works speak of a profound sense of human solitude, as figures wander through parks and public spaces, disconnected witnesses isolated by their interiority. In the small portraits Hornyak renders isolated faces against monochromatic backgrounds in thick viscous layers of paint. Indeed, the profound emotional impact of the works emerge from the fertile meeting of conflicting impulses: the painterly desire to let paint itself convey meaning – Hornyak strives for increasing abstraction in her work – and the refusal to abandon the burden of the image – the human form. The artist successfully creates a liminal space between figuration and abstraction where poetic meaning and optic pleasure resonate.

Jennifer Hornyak was born in England where she studied at the Grimsby School of Art before coming to Canada. Over the last forty years, she has enjoyed an extensive exhibition career in both Europe and North America. Her work can be found in both private and public collections. She is represented in Montreal by Galerie de Bellefeuille.

JenniferHornyak_CoverThe Figure Revisited
– Jennifer Hornyak

54 pages (37 color reproductions)
french / english
ISBN : 978-192649203-2
McClure Gallery, 2015
available: Amazon.ca
24,95 $ + tx

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Sue Rusk Ephemera

Exhibition: May 29 to June 20, 2015
Vernissage: Thursday, May 28 at 6 pm
Artist, Curator, Dancer | An Exchange: Thursday, June 4 at 7 pm

Ephemera, Sue Rusk’s exhibition in the McClure Gallery, includes approximately thirty works created in the artist’s Vermont garden over the last three years. Executed in watercolour, acrylic, charcoal and conté on Mylar and hand-made paper, the works combine the immediacy of spontaneous gesture drawing with the thoughtfulness of long and considered looking.

The subject – flowers – has long held the artist’s attention; she repeatedly returns to the theme. However, the works in Ephemera open up a spacious new ground. Earlier concerns are not so much abandoned as honed towards a visual poetics that speaks of embodied experience, felt truth and a profound awareness of life’s mutability. The artist chose to privilege drawing over painting for its capacity to lay bare. “I wanted to simplify things, to eliminate anything not essential and drawing, which has always been important to me, was what I needed.” As the most elemental of art disciplines – drawing allows Rusk to sustain an immediate experience of and response to her subject. Inherent throughout the series is a feeling of movement, metamorphosis. Nothing is anchored down, rooted. Things tilt, bend, fall, lean, dance; several titles are directly borrowed from dance: En l’air, Dénoument, Plié, Pas de chat. A sense of things about to dissolve or disintegrate – as if the petals are detaching from the bud, the leaves from the stem – echoes throughout the work. Against such a feeling of dissolution and vulnerability, Rusk posits a poetics that repeatedly locates beauty within the cyclical, eternal dance of change. The quick, tremulous, questing lines capture the movement perceived at the heart of nature.

Sue Rusk notes that this body of work is about “how I would like to feel.” Ephemera offers the artist and the viewer a poetic salve to the spirit, an invigorating lack of closure and an intimate communion with the natural world, not in spite of, but through its mutability.

Sue Rusk was born in Montreal. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, France, Brazil, Israel, Spain and in the United States. Her works can be found in many major corporate, public and private collections nationally and internationally.
Sue Rusk taught drawing and painting at the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts and developed, directed and taught at the School of Creative Arts for Children in Montreal. She continues to teach art workshops in her Montreal studio.

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