Discover a season of art that explores the role language plays in contemporary culture

Exhibitions to check out at the MacLaren this summer:

Derek Sullivan presents Bookworks until October 27, 2019 in Gallery 3 and the Carnegie Room. In his multidisciplinary practice, Toronto artist Derek Sullivan employs drawing, sculpture, bookworks and installation to engage with the legacies of modernist art and design. His major solo exhibition at the MacLaren, installed in two galleries, explores what Sullivan describes as “the poetics of distribution,” bringing together sculptural and drawn works that examine how books are printed, assembled and disseminated. This exhibition is accompanied by a critical text by Los Angeles-based artist and writer Jen Hutton. This exhibition is curatored by Emily McKibbon.

What is here has echoed is an exhibition by Therese Bolliger, Aidan Cowling, Yam Lau, Max Lupo, Ève K. Tremblay and Olivia Whetung. Running until October 27, 2019 in the Janice Laking Gallery, and curated by Emily McKibbon, this group exhibition looks at artistic strategies to manifest, memorialize or make permanent language or knowledge at risk of being erased. Therese Bolliger (Toronto) and Ève K. Tremblay (Montreal/Plattsburgh, NY) examine personal experiences: Bolliger explores moments of intense engagement with artworks while Tremblay shares her experiences at the edge of a threatened landscape. Video installations by Aidan Cowling (Guelph) and Yam Lau (Toronto) reveal encounters with specific communities: Lau’s project examines Nüshu, a written syllabary used by women in the Jiangyong region of feudal China; and Cowling, demagnetized tapes of erotica from the collection of the ArQuives, Toronto. Max Lupo (Newmarket) renders authorship algorithmic, coding a machine to generate texts using the voices of Nietszche, Shakespeare and Gertrude Stein. Olivia Whetung (Chemong Lake) translates digital photographs of the natural world into beadworks, suggesting time signatures and cultural practices much longer than colonial ones. As a whole, What is here has echoed offers a glimpse into how artists encode memory into works intended to withstand the exigencies of time.

Lucille Oille presents Uninterrupted Eden in the Molson Community Gallery until October 13, 2019. Lucille Oille (1912-1997) was a regional artist and illustrator whose works appeared in newspapers and prominent books of the mid-20th century. Uninterrupted Eden features a selection of Oille’s wood engraving prints of pastoral scenes from In Pastures Green (1915) and The Owl Pen (1947) among others, drawn from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection. Engraved with careful precision and dense details, Oille’s illustrations attest to her technical ability in depicting the humble beauty of farmlands in Oro-Medonte and Ekfrid. Displayed in clusters, the works depict the rhythms of the seasons, harvest returns and the rewards of hard labour. This show is curated by Noor Alé.

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