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Art Gallery of Guelph launches Charles Pachter: Lest We Forget in conjunction with Remembrance Day

The Art Gallery of Guelph is pleased to present Lest We Forget, featuring the artwork of painter Charles Pachter.

The Art Gallery of Guelph launches Lest We Forget, an exhibition of the work of artist Charles Pachter, in conjunction with Remembrance Day

GUELPH, ON, October 23, 2020 – The Art Gallery of Guelph is pleased to present Lest We Forget, featuring the artwork of painter Charles Pachter. Opening Tuesday, October 27, 2020, the exhibition will be on view until Sunday, January 10, 2021, offering a peaceful place of remembrance. The gallery is open 12 to 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday (Thursdays until 8 pm) and admission is free. A public talk with Charles Pachter will be presented by the gallery on Tuesday, November 10, at 7 pm. Please visit Eventbrite to register for this free Zoom event (

Marking a century since the First World War, contemporary Canadian artist Charles Pachter was approached by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario to create a series of paintings about the “war to end all wars” and its legacy for Canadians.

While Pachter is well known for his playful approach to Canadian figures and landscapes, the series Lest We Forget is more contemplative. On large canvases, Pachter renders iconic objects and figures associated with World War I, including the enduring symbol of the poppy, a battleship with dazzle camouflage, a cortège of soldiers, and members of the Canadian Army Nursing Service.

Donated by the artist to the Art Gallery of Guelph in 2019, the works also speak to the history of Guelph as the birthplace of writer, physician, artist and soldier, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who would author the famous war memorial poem “In Flanders Fields” in 1915, and is also featured in the paintings. Speaking of his inspiration, Pachter says, “An excerpt from John McCrae’s celebrated poem kick-started my subconscious: ‘We are the Dead. Short days ago / We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow / Loved and were loved, and now we lie / In Flanders fields.'”

Shauna McCabe, Director of the Art Gallery of Guelph, states, “We are pleased to be able to share these paintings with the community. Gifted to the gallery by the artist quite recently, the installation serves as a memorial exhibition, one that asks us to consider this history and how we continue to contribute to preserving this memory.”

Toronto-based artist Charles Pachter is a painter, printmaker, sculptor, designer, historian, and lecturer. He studied French literature at the Sorbonne, art history at the University of Toronto, and painting and graphics at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. His work has been shown at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, as well as many other venues. Represented in public and private collections throughout Canada and internationally, his work has been featured in solo exhibitions in France, Germany, Japan, the UK, India, and Bangladesh.

Lest We Forget is organized by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Image detail: Charles Pachter, Emblem, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 121.9 x 122.6 cm. Gift of Charles Pachter, 2019, Art Gallery of Guelph Collection

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