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Undying Hope for this Dangerous World: Bertrand Russell in perspective
Curated by the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, McMaster University Library
May 26 – December 21, 2018
This exhibition will explore the life of Bertrand Russell, one of the foremost public intellectuals of the 20th century, through artwork, artefacts, photographs, and his own personal papers with a particular focus on his political activism and personal relationships.
The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Archives at McMaster University.
Bruce Barber: The Bertrand Russell Reading Room
Tomlinson Gallery | September 13 - December 21, 2018
In conjunction with the McMaster Russell Archives 50th anniversary exhibition, the Museum invited Nova Scotia College of Art and Design professor Bruce Barber to develop an artist project.
For the Museum, Barber has devised a reading room environment. The key gallery element is a constructed simulacrum of the Brixton prison cell, where Russell spent six months in 1918 for prejudicing “His Majesty’s relationship with the U.S.A". It is furnished with a bed, writing desk, stool and a quote from Russell, realized in neon: “War does not determine who is right – only who is left.” Other Russell quotes will be positioned on the perimeter walls of the gallery space, with two Barber-produced videos relating to Russell, his life and times, and images of the present to raise awareness of Russell’s life and work and continuing relevance in today’s world; the complex ethical issues that surround forms of oppression, terrorism and “war responses” affecting the lives of people globally.
Bruce Barber was born in New Zealand and has worked internationally across performance, installation, film, video and photography since the early 1970s. His artwork has been exhibited internationally at the Paris Biennale, Sydney Biennale, 49th Parallel Gallery NYC, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NYC, Walter Phillips Gallery, and more and is represented in various public and private collections. Curators Stephan Cleland and Blair French summarized Barber’s work as “developing propositional and situational works that engage and question social and political regimes of power.” (From Bruce Barber Work 1970-2008, Artspace, Sydney and Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Manukau) www.brucebarber.ca
READING ROOM EVENT
Tuesday September 18, 12:30 – 1:20 pm
Artist Bruce Barber in conversation with McMaster University faculty and members of the public about key themes relating to the exhibition including, but not limited to:
- Pacifism and its continued relevance in today’s globalized world.
- Feminist Approaches to Bertrand Russell’s philosophy.
- Academics, Public intellectuals and Political Activism.
Virginia Aksan, Professor Emeritus, Department of History
James Ingram, Professor, Department of Political Science
Neil McLaughlin, Professor, Department of Sociology
Ursula Johnson: Mi’kwite’tmn (Do You Remember)
Organized by Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery
Curated by Robin Metcalfe
McMaster Museum of Art | September 13 – December 8, 2018
PUBLIC PERFORMANCE: Sept 20 – 21, 11 am – 3 pm and Sept 22, 12 – 3 pm
an endurance performance by the artist in the gallery
Ursula Johnson’s practice ranges from fine craft and traditional Indigenous art forms through performance and installation. Mi’kwite’tmn (Do You Remember) examines ideas of ancestry, identity and cultural practice. Johnson deconstructs and manipulates the function and image of Mi’kmaw basketry, using traditional techniques to build non-functional forms.
In Mi’kwite’tmn, Johnson creates three distinct spaces. A “Museological Grand Hall”, “Archive Room” and “Performative Space”.
Ursula Johnson is an Interdisciplinary Artist from Nova Scotia with Mi’kmaw Ancestry. She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design with a BFA and is currently based out of Eskasoni Nation. In 2017, Johnson won the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s biggest contemporary art prize.
The exhibition was produced by Saint Mary's University Art Gallery, Halifax, in collaboration with Unama'ki College and with support from the Government of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts. The artist wishes to acknowledge support from Arts Nova Scotia.
Image: Ursula Johnson, Upmetuk, O’pltek Form, 2012. Black Ash, Maple Wood, Sweetgrass, 21 x 15 x 15 cm, Courtesy of the Artist. Photo: Wendy McElmon
Gentleman, Soldier, Scholar & Spy:
The Napoleonic era maps of Robert Clifford
From the Collection of McMaster University Library
Curators: Gord Beck and Jason Brodeur
May 26 – September 1, 2018
Public Lecture: Frederick C. Schneid and Gord Beck. Details & RSVP info
While the Honourable Robert Clifford (1767-1817) was an officer in Dillon’s Regiment of the Irish Brigade serving Louis XVI of France, he acquired training in the most advanced methods of military science and cartography of the age. This knowledge of the inner workings of the French military, coupled with the maps of fortifications he smuggled out of France while narrowly avoiding the guillotine, proved to be of great value to his English countrymen.
This exhibit presents a selection of maps from the Clifford collection, some on public view for the first time since they were acquired in 1969.
Rebecca Belmore: MARCH 5, 1819
From the collection of McMaster Museum of Art
May 10 – August 18, 2018
Since 1987, Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmore has addressed history, place, and identity through her consistently powerful and provocative multi-disciplinary works of art.
March 5, 1819 is a recently acquired video work that considers the frantic final moments before Demasduit, a young Beothuk woman (later renamed Mary March) is captured by colonists at Red Indian Lake in Newfoundland. Her husband Nonosabasut dies trying to save her.
Belmore’s re-enactment of this historical moment in contemporary dress, places the viewer into the middle of the event – as both witness and perpetrator – effectively bringing the historical struggle of Indigenous peoples in Canada viscerally into the present.
Rebecca Belmore (Anishinaabe/Canadian) is internationally recognized for her performance and installation art. Belmore was Canada’s official representative at the 2005 Venice Biennale, received the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Art in 2013, and was awarded the 2016 Gershon Iskowitz Prize.
The Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Project
Organized by the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery
Principal Investigator and Artist/Researcher: Donald Lawrence
Curator: Josephine Mills
Artists: Dianne Bos, Lea Bucknell, Ernie Kroeger, Holly Ward and Kevin Schmidt, Carsten Wirth, and Andrew Wright
May 10 – August 18, 2018
During summer solstice 2015 in Dawson City, Yukon, the Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Festival brought together an international group of artists and other researchers interested in cameras obscura and related optical phenomenon as a meeting place of art and science, cultural and wilderness settings, learning and play.
Curated from the results of the festival, this exhibition includes one of the actual cameras obscura; images projected by several of the devices; documentation of the event; and new work produced by the artists in response to the initial research.
Gordon Bennett, Be Polite
Organized and circulated by IMA Brisbane
Levy and Tomlinson Galleries | January 11 – May 12, 2018
CURATORS’ TALK by Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh from the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia: Thursday, January 11, 12:30 pm
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, January 11, 6 – 8 pm
Drawn from the Estate of Gordon Bennett, the exhibition presents a selection of works on paper including drawing, painting, watercolour, poetry, and essays from the early 1990s through to the early 2000s. Though rarely seen in exhibition contexts, Bennett’s drawing and script form the foundation of his practice. Paper is the site where imagery, words and ideas often found their first expression before being combined into the large-scale conceptual paintings for which Bennett is known. Despite their intimate scale, works in Be Polite embrace rich layers of Western and Australian Indigenous art history and contemporary politics, a direction Bennett played a leading role in developing throughout the 1980s and continued to explore in his successful career. As noted by the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, in their press release for their presentation of Be Polite in summer 2017, “the shared colonial histories with Canada and in particular the plight of local First Nations are set in dialogue across continents. Issues, events and histories are given compelling voice in these provocative and often disturbing images.” In his 1996 text “The Manifest Toe” Gordon Bennett wrote:
I abhor violence, and I have little compulsion to glorify it in any case, so I thought of the depiction of violence as a way to disturb firstly the complacent acceptance of Australia’s sanitized history, and secondly, through the shock of that disturbance, to “jolt” the spectator “out of accustomed ways of perceiving the world” and perhaps foster empathy and understanding of contemporary issues that affect all of us as human beings.
Gordon Bennett (1955–2014) was of Aboriginal and Anglo-Celtic descent and one of Australia’s most visionary and critical artists. He has been the subject of major solo presentations and retrospectives at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (touring, Europe), 1999–2000, Griffith University, Brisbane (touring, Australia), 2004–2005, and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (touring, Australia), 2007–2009. International recognition and attention for Bennett’s work has been growing with his inclusion in the acclaimed dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel in 2012, and the 8th Berlin Biennale in 2014.
Gordon Bennett, Be Polite is organized and circulated by the IMA, Brisbane where it was first presented in October 2015 and toured to the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2016. Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, and McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton are the sole Canadian exhibition partners. The exhibition is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, Australia Council for the Arts, Ministry of Communications and the Arts through Visions of Australia, The Estate of Gordon Bennett, Milani Gallery, and Sutton Gallery.
Image: Gordon Bennett, Notes to Basquiat: Boogie Man, 1998, acrylic on paper, 120 × 80 cm. Collection: The Estate of Gordon Bennett, Brisbane. Photography: Carl Warner © The Estate of Gordon Bennett.
TH&B, a creative partnership of Hamilton-based artists Simon Frank, Dave Hind, Ivan Jurakic and Tor Lukasik-Foss, have produced a new work of art for the McMaster Museum of Art’s Artist Garden. The installation is titled Basin and its foundation is a metal structure with forms of the Great Lakes on it. The artists will add a mix of plants to this to reflect contrasting elements of the geography that we share and occupy.
“Our plan is for the Great Lakes billboard to function as a trellis. Over two seasons we essentially want to see it grown over and integrated into the garden site as if it had always been there—a modern ruin,” says Ivan Jurakic.
April 5 – 28, 2018
Guest Curator: Paul Cvetich
Graduating McMaster BFA Student Exhibition (aka SUMMA 2018)
ARTIST TALKS: Wednesday, April 11, 12 noon
RECEPTION: Due to #onstorm last weekend, McMaster's Graduating BFA student celebrations have been rescheduled. Join us Saturday, April 21 for exhibition visits at the Museum from 1-2:30 pm followed by Reception & Awards in Togo Salmon Hall Flex Studio 2:30-4 pm.
D. Clarke Blake, Emerald Bruce, Ruth Cioban, Sabryna Correa, Colline Do, Amanda Dreise, Emily Gaudet, Dina Hamed, Emily Hamel, Kai Jacobs, Clara Laratta, Priscilla Loo, Tiffany Mulholland, Abby Nicholson, Sheetal Prasad, Sarah Sproule, Chantelle Stringle, Christina Ugge
Over the past four years, the Class of 2018 have spent many long hours working together in the Fitzhenry Studios, learning new techniques, refining skills across a wide range of media, and preparing for the art world outside of an academic context. The SUMMA exhibition is the culmination of that hard work. It is an opportunity for the emerging artists to publicly showcase their art and celebrate a significant milestone.
Flux, the exhibition title, represents the continuous change, development, and growth that the students experienced during their time at McMaster University.
PREVIEW: For each week leading up to the exhibition opening at the Museum, @mcmastersumma2018 will be taken over by two artists to showcase their work and see what they are up to in the studio.
shining light on the Native Indian/Inuit Photographers’ Association, 1985 – 1992
January 2 – March 24, 2018
Curated by Rhéanne Chartrand
Featuring works by founding NIIPA members:
Simon Brascoupe, Dorothy Chocolate, Rick Hill, Martin Akwiranoron Loft, Tim Johnson, James (Jimmy) Manning, Yvonne Maracle, Murray McKenzie, Brenda Mitten, Shelley Niro, Greg Staats, Jeff Thomas and many more.
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, January 11, 6 – 8 pm
PANEL DISCUSSION: Thursday, February 8, 6 – 8 pm. Details tba
In 1985, a group of Indigenous image-makers came together to form the Native Indian/Inuit Photographers’ Association, or NIIPA, with the core objective to promote a positive, realistic and contemporary image of Indigenous peoples through the medium of photography. They felt that, for far too long, Indigenous peoples had been portrayed through someone else’s lens, and that it was time they took control of the image in order to contest and demystify stereotypical representations of Indigenous peoples.
As a member-based organization, NIIPA played a significant role in training and advocacy for Indigenous photographers. Aside from the Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry (S.C.A.N.A.), which actually incorporated the same year as NIIPA, the organization provided technical training and networking opportunities for Indigenous photographers at a time when there were few, if any, supports for Indigenous image-makers. Photography was still a relatively new medium of artistic expression in the mid 80s, and few institutions were actively collecting or exhibiting photography, much less photography by Indigenous artists. NIIPA filled a much-needed gap by providing a network and platform for Indigenous photographers to show their work and support each other’s art practice.
NIIPA’s founding demonstrates that Indigenous artists are equally adept at adapting to and making use of new technologies to advance Indigenous ways of seeing the world. The photographs presented in #nofilterneeded are derived from one or more of NIIPA’s early, self-produced exhibitions, and provide an unfiltered view into the interests and concerns of beautiful, resilient and thriving peoples.
#nofilterneeded shines much needed light on a significant moment in Indigenous art history by paying respects to the founding members of NIIPA and celebrating the momentum of the organization’s early years.
The exhibition will consist of 30-40 framed photographs, mostly black and white, of varying dimensions. The vast majority of the photographs will come from the Indigenous Art Centre at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Additional photographs will come from private collection and/or collection of the artist.
Susan Schelle: Selected Works
January 2 – March 24, 2018
Guest Curator: Ana Barajas
Sherman Gallery, Level 2
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, January 11, 6 - 8 pm
ARTIST & 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.
The element of water is at the center 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 and celebrates a shift in the artists’ 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.
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. 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." She has completed a number of public art commissions, notably salmon run The Rogers Center Toronto. passage York University Toronto and laws of nature Court House Square Park, Toronto, Ont. 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.
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. Barajas is Director of YYZ Artists’ Outlet, a non-profit artist-run centre.
Image: Susan Schelle, flood (detail), video, 2015
The Herman Levy Legacy
A Cultivating Journey: The Herman H. Levy Legacy
1 September – 9 December, 2017
This exhibition examines and celebrates the collection of significant European historical and modern art donated to the McMaster Museum of Art by Hamilton businessman Dr. Herman H. Levy, O.B.E. in 1984. Featured are paintings by Claude Monet, Gustave Caillebotte, Gustave Courbet, Camille Pissarro, Chaim Soutine, J.M.W. Turner, Vincent van Gogh and many more.
RECEPTION: Thursday, September 14 from 6 - 8 PM
CURATOR’S TALK by Ihor Holubizky: Tuesday October 24, 12:30 – 1:20 pm
TALK | Cultivating Collections: Thursday November 23, 6 – 8 pm
by Tobi Bruce (Director, Collections & Exhibitions, Art Gallery of Hamilton) and
Ihor Holubizky (Senior Curator, McMaster Museum of Art)
Image: Claude Monet, Waterloo Bridge, Effet de Soleil, 1903, Oil on canvas, Collection of McMaster Museum of Art, Gift of Herman Levy, Esq., O.B.E., 1984
This touring exhibition, including a forthcoming publication, is generously supported by the Museums Assistance Program, Canadian Heritage.