Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form is a travelling exhibition, organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and celebrating the artist’s life and exhibiting many previously unknown works. The exhibition begins with Macdonald’s early painting career in Vancouver, surveys his move toward abstraction and his extraordinary automatics, and concludes with the later abstractions he produced as part of the Toronto-based collective of abstract artists, the Painters Eleven.
A pioneer of postwar abstraction in Canada, Jock Macdonald was a key figure and influenced not only his peers, but also future generations of Canadian painters. The exhibition traces the artist’s practice and shows the dramatic transformations he underwent throughout his development. Influenced by spirituality and Surrealist thinking, Macdonald believed that the artist’s task was to “break out of the tangible reality of daily existence to realize the highest planes of art expression”. (Pg 15, Thom, The Early Work: An Artist Emerges) His career was an artistic journey in a perpetual state of evolution and growth. As a founding member of Painters Eleven, Macdonald’s contribution to abstract painting in Canada is seminal.
Evolving Form is the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in over thirty years and is a fresh look at the influential artist’s career.
A special project website detailing the artist’s life with an interactive timeline, drawing tool and gallery of artworks accompanies the exhibition. Click here to launch jockmacdonald.org
This project is accompanied by a major book co-published by the three art galleries 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.
The exhibition is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, and is curated by Ian M. Thom, Michelle Jacques and Linda Jansma.
This exhibition is generously supported by the Government of Canada through the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.