Susan Schelle: Selected Works
Ana Barajas, Guest Curator
McMaster Museum of Art
January 2 – March 24, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 11, 6 – 8 pm
Artist and Curator’s Talk: Wednesday, March 7, 12:30 pm
Susan Schelle, a Hamilton native, has been making art since 1976. Practicing over decades has given her the opportunity to revisit familiar themes setting up a dialogue between works and often re-working elements over time. This exhibition, and its upcoming companion at Gallery Stratford, serves as a resting perch from which to survey a working life embedded in visual thinking. The continuity of ideas point to an open-ended search for the location of the self within an environment that is at times ominous.
Working with sculpture and photography, Schelle is interested in the “manipulation of the familiar: images that deal with the phenomenon of the physical world and the customs of a particular time and place.”
The element of water is at the centre of Schelle’s explorations. It appears in many forms and states, but it always affects the position of the viewer. Infinitely relatable, the concept of water weaves in and out of this selection of works and posits questions about our relationship to it, our usage and misuse, and our subjugation to its force. The image of the physical body, often absent from the work, is hinted to be a peripheral witness, both rooted in the moment and detached from its referent.
Susan Schelle: Selected Works celebrates a shift in the artist’s practice after twenty years as art educator; while recognizing the methodology of an artist deeply concerned with environmental phenomenology and its effects on the human environment.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Susan Schelle was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and currently lives and works in Toronto. She was an Associate Professor Emeritus in Visual Studies, J.H. Daniels Faculty, University of Toronto. She has completed a number of public art commissions, notably salmon run at The Rogers Centre Toronto, passage at York University Toronto, and laws of nature at Court House Square Park, Toronto. She has shown both nationally and internationally including The Cenci Gallery, Rome, Italy and The Freedman Gallery Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania. Her work resides in the collections of Air Canada, The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, McMaster Museum of Art, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Vancouver Art Gallery, and The National Gallery of Canada. In addition to her own work, Schelle has collaborated with Mark Gomes on several public commissions, most recently jetstream at Terminal One, Pearson International Airport, Toronto.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Ana Barajas holds a BFA from OCAD University in Sculpture/Installation. She received a MVA, Curatorial and a MA, Modern Art History from the University of Toronto. As the Director of YYZ Artists’ Outlet, a non-profit artist-run centre, Barajas has managed more than one-hundred exhibitions to date. Independent curatorial projects include It takes everyone to know no one in 2011 at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Art Museum, University of Toronto, The 19th Hole at Cuchifritos Gallery+Project Space, NY in 2014 and the group exhibition Disappearing Act at the Thames Art Gallery, Chatham-Kent in 2017.
MCMASTER MUSEUM OF ART
Alvin A. Lee Building
1280 Main St W
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6
Admission is Free
Museum Hours: Tue/Wed/Fri 11am-5pm, Thu 11-7, Sat 12-5