This winter we’re offering an in-depth learning series about the artist and educator Jock Macdonald.
Over 60 years ago, Alexandra Luke organized The Canadian Abstract Exhibition for the YWCA in Oshawa, giving birth to abstraction in Ontario and a collective of artists who would go on to call themselves Painters Eleven. Jock Macdonald, a member of this illustrious group, is regarded as an early visionary, leading the way in automatic and abstract painting in Canada.
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is thrilled to present Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form, the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in over thirty years and the only venue to host the exhibition, east of British Columbia. The exhibition provides a fresh look at Macdonald’s artistic practice and includes for the first time, previously unknown Automatics, discovered in the archives of The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art by the RMG’s Senior Curator Linda Jansma.
Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form
3 February, 2015 – 24 May, 2015
RMG Fridays, 6 March 2015, 7-9pm
Talk and Tour with Pete Smith and Linda Jansma, Curator of Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form
Sunday 1 February, 1-3pm
ArtLab artist in residence Pete Smith will discuss his relationship to abstraction and the development of his recent ArtLab installation. Senior Curator, Linda Jansma will share the story of her discovery of the previously unknown Macdonald works, followed by a guided tour of Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form.
Abstraction in Canada: The Legacy of Jock Macdonald
Saturday 7 March 2015, 10am-4pm
Lunch and refreshments included. Registration required $20 / $15 students
Free for RMG Members.
This one-day symposium will explore the life and work of Canadian painter Jock Macdonald, including postwar abstraction in Canada and Macdonald’s influence on the last century of Canadian art. This event is held in conjunction with Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form —the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in over thirty years. The day will include an in-depth tour of the exhibition, a light lunch and refreshments and presentations from art historians, researchers, students and curators.
Call for proposals
The RMG invites diverse session proposals that contribute to our understanding of postwar abstraction in Canada, including the work of Jock Macdonald and Painters Eleven.
Session proposals may cover history, theory and criticism, museum and curatorial practice, contemporary work, and artistic practice. Please submit your CV and a 300 word abstract to Elizabeth Sweeney at [email protected].on.ca by January 15, 2015.
In conjunction with Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form the RMG is proud to launch www.jockmacdonald.org – a special exhibition website detailing the artist’s life with an extended timeline, live drawing tool and interactive gallery of artworks. This is the first time the artist’s work has been available online in an interactive, web-based format.
Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form is accompanied by a major book co-published by The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and Black Dog Publishing, featuring texts by each curator, an essay by scholar Dr. Anna Hudson, excerpts from Macdonald’s correspondence and a diary the artist kept while living in Nootka Sound from 1935 to 1936. Available at the RMG shop.
School Enrichment Programs
February 2015 – May 2015
This comprehensive school enrichment program includes an interactive tour of Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form, proving an easy and engaging introduction to the world of abstraction. Students will also visit the studio and experiment with watercolour and ink to create an abstract artwork inspired by the exhibition. Visit the Teachers Corner on our website to learn more.
OPG Second Sundays!
12 April: Amazing Abstractions We are letting our imaginations loose! Inspired by the Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form exhibition, we create watercolour paintings, unique abstracted pinwheels, silly sculptures and a collaborative abstract floor art. Free.
Top image: Jock Macdonald, Untitled, 1954 (Detail), Collection of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery