This summer the MacLaren is featuring three consecutive exhibitions of artwork from its Permanent Collection. The first in this series highlights the work of senior Canadian photographer and OCAD Photography program Chair April Hickox, followed by artist David Bolduc, May 29 to June 22, and abstract painter William Ronald, June 26 through July 27.
April Hickox has lived much of her life on one of the Toronto Islands. She has moved off the island several times but continually returns. This series, Passing, documents the change of seasons on the islands, as well as a time when Hickox was returning to the islands after a period away. The photographs express new beginnings, yet reminisce about the comforts of home. The artist develops these visual stories from her own experiences and invites the viewer into a domestic space that is clearly lived in: an unmade bed; a tea cup left on the kitchen table; a house plant with a string of lights, perhaps acting as a Christmas tree. Hickox has carefully chosen which moments to portray and the sequence of these moments.
The blurred focus in some images expresses a sense of movement between moments, aiding the audience in a journey determined by Hickox. However, by picking and choosing these images, the artist reinvents this series of photographs as fiction, allowing the viewer to transport him or herself into these familiar scenes.
April Hickox lives and works in Toronto and is the Chair of Photography at the Ontario College of Art and Design. She continues an active schedule of solo and group exhibitions of photography, installation and film work. Her work is included in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, MacLarenArtCentre, Royal Bank of Canada, Winnipeg Art Gallery and others. Hickox is represented by Leo Kamen Gallery in Toronto.
The second artist in this series features a selection of paintings by Canadian artist David Bolduc (1945–) on view in the Molson Gallery May 29 through June 22. These vibrant watercolours contrast with Bolduc’s recent abstract and playful, collage-based work. The paintings appear, at first, to be documenting scenes from the artist’s extensive travels but a sense of seriousness and mystery unfolds as the viewer realizes these streets and landscapes are void of people. The opening reception takes place Thursday, June 12, 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the MacLaren.
The final exhibition in this series features the work of one of Canada’s most well-known abstract painters, William Ronald (1926–1998). On view in the Molson Gallery, June 26 to July 27. The small, energetic oil on canvas sketches made shortly before the artist’s death, are juxtaposed with earlier, large-scale abstract work. Ronald had a strong connection to Barrie, having spent his final years living and working in the old Bell building on Dunlop Street. The opening reception takes place Friday, June 27, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the MacLaren.