2019 Spring Exhibitions


Tammi Campbell
Double Remove
March 21 to June 23, 2019
Janice Laking Gallery
Guest Curator: Renée van der Avoird
Reception: Thursday, March 21, 7 to 9 pm
Art for Lunch Gallery Tour with Tammi Campbell: Friday, March 22, 12:15 to 1 pm

Saskatoon artist Tammi Campbell’s highly technical paintings hover between abstract and real, complete and incomplete. Employing Modernism as an investigative tool, Campbell recasts ordinary materials into new forms through innovative studio processes. Double Remove features works from the past five years that expand the perceptual and conceptual possibilities of paint.

Works in Progress (2014) is a series of acrylic paintings on paper inspired by tropes of hard-edge minimalism. These seemingly unfinished grey-scale studies, lined with trompe l’oeil masking tape, reveal the artist’s interest in materiality and process. Also on view are Monochromes (2016), radically reductive abstractions whose surfaces mimic packing tape, bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard. These meticulous works address their own making and, ultimately, raise questions about the role of painting today.

Tammi Campbell received a BFA from the University of Saskatchewan. She has exhibited her works at the Esker Foundation, Calgary; the Remai Modern, Saskatoon; the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto; Mercer Union, Toronto; and the Galerie de l’UQAM, MontrĂ©al. Her work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Remai Modern, Saskatoon; the Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina; and the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina.

The Clean Shape
Janet Jones, Rita Letendre, Doris McCarthy
March 16 to June 16, 2019
Gallery 3
Curator: Emily McKibbon
Reception: Thursday, March 21, 7 to 9 pm

In 1964, Abenaki and Quebecois artist Rita Letendre began to experiment with what she called “the clean shape.” Inspired by her public artworks—murals that bisected the brutalist streets of downtown Toronto with vivid swathes of hard-edged colour—she began to pursue similar forms in her paintings. Violating long-standing taboos in abstraction with illusionist references to light created with airbrush technology, Letendre’s paintings represented a major breakthrough for this already significant artist.

Drawn from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection, The Clean Shape presents two recently conserved artworks by Letendre alongside paintings by Doris McCarthy and Toronto-based artist Janet Jones. McCarthy’s work, made contemporaneously with Letendre’s, depicts the Canadian landscape rendered in simplified, geometric forms. Jones’ works are architectonic, depicting the hybrid spaces of the globalized world through a conceptually rich, feminist framework. Essential to each are the clean, hard edges of geometric abstraction, achieving the “vibration” of forms that Letendre intended in her earliest experimentations.

Janet Jones has exhibited across Canada as well as in New York, Los Angeles, England, Germany, France and China. A Professor of Painting in the Department of Visual Art and Art History at York University in Toronto, she has served as Chair of the Department of Visual Art and Director of the MFA Graduate Program in Visual Art. Jones received her MFA from York University and her PhD from New York University in art theory and criticism. Her touring survey DaDa Delirium, presented at the MacLaren in 2010, was accompanied by a full-colour catalogue with essays by Stuart Reid and Nell Tenhaaf as well as an artist interview by Georgiana Uhlyarik.

Rita Letendre is a senior Toronto-based artist of Abenaki and Quebecois descent. She initially trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal before leaving the school for more informal studies with Paul Émile Bourduas and the Automatistes. Letendre’s illustrious career spans six decades of production, and comprises generative periods working in expressionist, lyrical and hard-edge abstraction. Significant public commissions include public murals at the University of California, Long Beach (1965), the Neill-Wycik residence in Toronto (1971) and an immense stained-glass work in Toronto’s Glencairn Station (1978). In 2010, Letendre was awarded the Governor General’s Award in Visual Arts; she has also been awarded the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, and the Orders of Canada, Ontario and QuĂ©bec.

Doris McCarthy was born in Calgary in 1910, and moved to Toronto shortly afterwards. McCarthy studied at the Ontario College of Art under Arthur Lismer and J.E.H. MacDonald. She took a position at Toronto’s Central Technical School shortly after graduating, and taught art there for forty years. McCarthy’s work has been collected extensively, and her work is represented in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the MacLaren Art Centre. A recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto, Scarborough is named in her honour. She passed away in 2010; her beloved home and studio Fool’s Paradise is now the site of an artist residency administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust.

Allyson Clay
March 16 to June 23, 2019
Joan Lehman Gallery
Curator: Emily McKibbon
Reception: Thursday, March 21, 7 to 9 pm

Slapchartreuse (2013) by Vancouver artist Allyson Clay is a riotously-coloured painting exploring action-oriented descriptions of abstract works. Clay employs phrases from textbooks—most notably Roald Nasgaard’s Abstract Painting in Canada—to demonstrate how masculinist language limits our understanding of art history as a whole.

Allyson Clay received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, and a MFA from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Clay has exhibited throughout Canada and internationally, with solo exhibitions at Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff; Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria; Dunlop Gallery, Regina; and Numark Gallery, Washington DC. Her work is represented in the permanent collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Clay lives in Vancouver and teaches at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.

Image credits: Tammi Campbell, Works in Progress (Studies), 2013, acrylic on museum board, 29 x 29 cm. Private Collection. Photo courtesy the artist (left); Rita Letendre, Morning Glow, 1975, acrylic on canvas, 153 x 204 cm. Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre. Gift of Beverley Zerafa and Boris Zerafa, 2002. Photo: André Beneteau


About the MacLaren Art Centre
The MacLaren Art Centre is the major public art gallery in central Ontario serving the residents of Barrie, the County of Simcoe and the surrounding area. The Gallery presents a year-round programme of innovative world-class exhibitions, education activities and special events.

The MacLaren Art Centre gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of its Members, Patrons, Donors, Sponsors, Partners, the City of Barrie, the Ontario Arts Council, the Government of Ontario and the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, the Elizabeth L. Gordon Art Program of the Ontario Arts Foundation and exhibition sponsor Pratt Homes.

Gallery Location
37 Mulcaster Street, Barrie, Ontario, L4M 3M2, 705-721-9696 www.maclarenart.com
From Toronto: From highway 400 north, 90 km north of Toronto, take the Dunlop Street East exit to Mulcaster Street and turn left. The MacLaren is one block north on the right hand at the intersection of Collier Street and Mulcaster Street.

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Closed Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Victoria Day

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