This blog post comes from the desk of Senior Curator, Linda Jansma.
It has been an exciting journey to be involved in the development of Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form. As the “spiritual home” of Painters Eleven, it was natural for the RMG to be part of this collaboration with the Vancouver Art Gallery and Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Many of the 26 works by Macdonald in the RMG’s permanent collection are featured in both the exhibition and publication, as are other paintings from major public holdings across the country, as well as from private collections.
The exhibition presents important new research: a previously unknown diary that Macdonald kept while he and his family lived in Nootka, a remote community on Vancouver Island, correspondence from Jock to British Surrealists Dr. Grace Pailthorpe and Reuben Mednikoff, and a selection of 86 previously unknown works housed in the archives of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. The latter represents a link between Macdonald’s early forays into abstraction, and his fully realized automatic works and a number are included in the exhibition.
This wonderful photograph of Macdonald, taken at the opening of a Jack Bush exhibition in 1958 at Toronto’s Park Gallery, is also a recent discovery and a 2014 addition to the RMG’s important P11 archives. We are grateful to the Feheley family for their generous gift of this material.
Image – Jock Macdonald, 1958 Park Gallery Opening, Gift of the Feheley Family, 2014