Visit About Stories Donate

… An Experience of Nature: Landscapes from the Permanent Collection

Curated by

Curated by Sally Frater, with assistance from Amira Radwan and Brent Garbett

Drawing from the Art Gallery of Guelph’s permanent collection, this exhibition explores the use of abstraction by artists in their depictions of the natural world. While the decision to create art inspired by nature often begins with an impulse to replicate and document the environment, the works within this installation veer into experimental explorations of colour, form, and composition. Illustrating the ways in which landscape in art frequently speaks to the idea of nature as a sublime force to be reckoned with, the works included here underscore that renderings of nature say more about what our perceptions and collective remove from it than accurately conveying how it actually exists.

The exhibition takes its title from art critic Barry Schwabsky’s book Landscape Painting Now: From Abstraction to New Romanticism in which he observes that “A landscape painting is not necessarily a representation of a landscape, but rather something that, in being constructed out of pieces of representation…kindles an experience of its own – one that, as those fragments of resemblance suggest, is somehow like an experience of nature.”

Organized and presented by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.

Image detail: Arthur F. McKay, Odyssey to a Mallard Drake, 1983, acrylic on paper, 52.5 cm x 72 cm. Gift of Joan and W. Ross Murray, Whitby Ontario, 1983.


Melissa Doherty
Paul Fournier
Lawren Harris
Prudence Heward

Rita Letendre
Arthur F. McKay
Lucy Qinnuayuak
Paul Rainey

Donald Otto Rogers
A.D. Runions
Rolph Scarlett

View More Exhibitions

Skip to content