November 26, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Bringing together over fifty works from the Art Gallery of Guelph collection representing almost one hundred years, Dear Life traces the ways in which women have shaped the course of art across the 20th, and now 21st, centuries, deftly transforming their experience into visual language. Works on view reveal the evolution of concerns, forms and processes that are now central to art today, embracing elements of expressiveness, tactility, uncertainty, and experimentation, nuanced through each artist’s distinctive practice.
From the handmade aesthetic of Barbara Todd to the domestic realism of Mary Pratt, and from the wry national politics of Joyce Wieland’s sketches to the dark humour of drawings of northern life by Annie Pootoogook, the exhibition speaks to the diversity of issues and environments that have dramatically expanded the artistic landscape of this country and beyond. Their collective innovation is captured in the reverberation of discrete voices – the overt and the enigmatic, historical and contemporary – that have propelled shifts in both art and ideas. From each work emerges layered stories, turning to individual experience and personal imperative to inspire new insight into everyday life and a contagious sense of creative possibility.
Curated by Shauna McCabe and organized by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
Mary Anne Barkhouse
Fanny Colwill Calvert