Art Gallery of Guelph | May 23 – August 25, 2019
Thunder Bay Art Gallery
Confederation Centre Art Gallery
Featured Artists: Sonny Assu, Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch, Bob Boyer, Edward Burtynsky, A. J. Casson, Bonnie Devine, Lawren Harris, Robert Houle, Isuma, A. Y. Jackson, Sarah Anne Johnson, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, Daphne Odjig, Kelly Richardson, Don Russell, Frank Shebageget, Tom Thomson, Peter von Tiesenhausen, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun
Anchored by the Art Gallery of Guelph’s major Tom Thomson canvas of the same title, the exhibition The Drive highlights the complexity of the representation of landscape – particularly as it relates to the land and its industrial transformation in Canada. Thomson’s The Drive (1916-1917) is considered one of his most significant paintings and captures logging activities in Algonquin Park, a frequent subject for the artist and one often overshadowed by his paintings of seemingly untouched landscapes. That industry was a primary shaper of the terrain Thomson made famous, situating the landscape as postindustrial, not the pristine wilderness it is so often perceived as.
This work also offers a lens through which other works of art such as paintings of Lake Superior by Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson’s images of mining settlements, and scenes and views made accessible by rail by J.E.H. MacDonald, can be considered and contextualized. Locating this work of Thomson and the Group of Seven in relation to other Canadian and Indigenous artists, the exhibition speaks to the effects of colonization and changing relationships to the land through creative responses that advance ecological sustainability and environmental justice.
Curated by Shauna McCabe and Brian Meehan, The Drive is organized by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada, as well as the Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council. This circulating exhibition is presented in conjunction with Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Museum London, and Thunder Bay Art Gallery.
Image detail: Tom Thomson, The Drive, 1916–17, oil on canvas, 120 x 137.5 cm. Purchased by the Ontario Agricultural College with funds raised by students, faculty and staff, 1926, University of Guelph Collection at the Art Gallery of Guelph
Art Gallery of Guelph | May 23 –August 18, 2019
Peel Art Gallery and Museum + Archives | February 6 – May 24, 2020
Textile Museum of Canada
Featuring the work of Jagdeep Raina, Chase is a poetic exploration of the interplay between memory and migration, and of how both are mapped onto everyday landscapes. Raised and currently based in Guelph, Raina shares stories of the Sikh diaspora, drawing upon personal records and those of his family who were among the first migration to southern Ontario, as well as wider Kashmiri and Punjabi Sikh diasporic communities. Rendering these narratives cinematically as works on paper and as woven tapestries, Raina evokes the textured geographies that emerge in the quest to establish home in terrain that is unsettlingly remote.
Capturing the intimate and collective spaces that come to constitute community, the structures that house and shape these experiences are his frequent subject. For Raina, these are also soft architectures, brimming with poignant struggle and generosity – supple elements that are more material than bricks and mortar. Throughout, Raina’s work has a strong current of social justice. Reassessing both everyday moments and darkly historical ones, he is attentive to the colonial histories within already marginalized communities, and to how the “chase for more” can further alienate castes and classes based on economic status, gender, sexuality, nationality, race, and religion. Within the context of polarizing discourse on migration globally, Raina’s work speaks powerfully to intersectional solidarities based on collective histories of transformation.
Jagdeep Raina: Chase is curated by Shauna McCabe and organized by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts
Image detail: Jagdeep Raina, Friday Nights, 2016, mixed media on paper, 30 x 44 in. Collection of the artist