Five new exhibitions for spring season

Five new exhibitions for spring season

By Communications Staff

May 1, 2017


The Agnes Etherington Art Centre launched its spring season, featuring five new exhibitions.

More than 350 people attended the special launch event at the Agnes on Friday, April 28, and were able to view the works featured in: Les Levine: Transmedia; Road Trip: Across Canada with Alan C. Collier; Alfred Bader Collects: Celebrating Fifty Years of The Bader Collection; Northern Latitudes: Landscape as Identity in European and Canadian Painting; and Absence/Presence: Contemporary Works in Dialogue.

The shows run through to Aug. 6, with the exception of Alfred Bader Collects, which is on view to Dec. 3.

“Three times each year, we bring artists and art lovers together to share their enjoyment and appreciation of the rich worlds available in the great visual and media art of our time,” says Jan Allen, Director of the Agnes. This spring’s season Launch was an especially powerful one encompassing diverse historical moments and realities.”


Les Levine: Transmedia brings together a selection of Levine’s key works from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, a time when he was closely connected to the Toronto art scene. Working across, beyond and through media, Levine would become known for developing new approaches to artmaking, establishing new categories such as “camera art,” “disposable art,” “media sculpture,” “software art,” “body control systems,” and what he would term “Mott art.” Constantly expanding the parameters of what could be understood as art, Levine’s artworks addressed the conditions and experiences of a rapidly changing media landscape in ways that proved uniquely prescient of contemporary concerns and sensibilities. Les Levine: Transmedia is organized and circulated by Oakville Galleries and curated by Sarah Robayo Sheridan. The project is funded in part by the Government of Canada.

Road Trip: Across Canada with Alan C. Collier takes you coast-to-coast-to-coast to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial. Beginning in 1956, as the Trans-Canada Highway was under construction, Collier (1911–1990) committed himself to painting and photographing Canada’s diverse geography on summer trips taken by car and camping trailer. By the end of his career, he had depicted every province and territory numerous times, capturing the unique nuances of Canada’s natural beauty in spare form and layered colour. Describing himself as “a long-time believer in the Canadian landscape” – something worthy of painting, experiencing and protecting – he approached it from a unique perspective. Not only did Collier study at Toronto’s Ontario College of Art and New York’s Art Students League, in the first decades of his adult life he worked as a labourer in a BC relief camp constructing national roads and in northern Ontario gold mines extracting resources.

Alfred Bader Collects marks the 50th anniversary of the first gift of art made to the Agnes by collector and philanthropist Alfred Bader, with a focus on Dr. Bader’s enduring relationship with the Old Masters of the Baroque era of European art. The works on view – by such artists as Bernardo Bellotto, Rembrandt van Rijn, Girolamo da Santacroce, Michael Sweerts and Jan Victors – include early gifts as well as paintings recently donated by Drs Alfred and Isabel Bader, exhibited here for the first time. This selection articulates his activities as a collector and amateur art historian, highlighting his scholarly discoveries and the parameters of his taste. This exhibition honours the discerning eye and focused vision of one Queen’s alumnus, and his desire to make the Agnes “the finest art museum of any university in Canada.”

Northern Latitudes investigates how collective identity has been expressed through the motif of landscape. The “northern latitudes” of the Low Countries in the 17th century, England in the 19th century, and Canada in the 20th century all reveled in landscape, suggesting a link between nationhood and the physical site of that social construction. This exhibition – drawn from the holdings of the Agnes – brings together landscape paintings, from different traditions, which have compositional or iconographic parallels. The exhibition asks how humans have defined themselves through the natural topography, dramatic weather and climate situations, and cultural interventions into the land, and how each of those informs our complex relationship with the environment today.

Absence/Presence explores the spaces between viewers and works of art, spaces that appear empty, but are filled with ideas, sensations, and emotions. These spaces are points of contact between viewers’ bodies and objects that we cannot touch but may be touched by; things we cannot feel that produce feelings. The idea for this exhibition arose from the curators’ shared interest in experiences of art that cannot be adequately translated into words, and the effect of the asymmetrical and unstable relationship between images, language, and embodied experience on our relationships to ourselves and with others. The exhibition features works by Mike Bayne, Rebecca Belmore, Betty Goodwin, April Hickox, Jenny Holzer, Sophie Jodoin, Rachelle Viader Knowles, Barbara Kruger, Micah Lexier, Edward Pien and Michael Snow. The show is curated by the students of Contemporary Art and Curatorial Practice in the Department of Art History and Art Conservation with Professor Jen Kennedy.