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2013 Exhibition Archives


Graeme Patterson: Secret Citadel
October 19, 2013 to January 5, 2014
Co-curated by Melissa Bennett and Sarah Fillmore
Co-produced with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Graeme Patterson: Secret Citadel is a major travelling solo exhibition which premières at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Patterson's detailed large scale sculptures of a mountain, houses, bunk beds and more – each contain a miniature world within, and hint at nostalgic memories.

The theme of the exhibition was inspired by Patterson's memory of his first young best friend, Yuki, who moved away. The exhibition thus revolves around the trials and tribulations of growing up, and though Patterson focuses on male friendships, all viewers will be able to relate.

The Mountain is a three-part sculpture containing miniature handmade worlds. A wooden and fabric covered mountain links two miniature model houses, the childhood homes of Patterson and his young best friend, that the artist recreated from memory. Viewers can peer inside tiny windows to see the living room, kitchen and bedrooms all decorated as he remembers them from the 1980s, with furniture and flooring made from tiny popsicle sticks, and scraps of textiles used for the carpet and curtains. Two costumed characters, small figurines of a bison and a cougar (also handmade by Patterson) represent the artist and his friend. Patterson brings the characters to life in stop motion animations that appear on tiny projection screens within the sculptures.

Camp Wakonda and Grudge Match also contain tiny detailed scenes within larger structures. Camp Wakonda is made of two life sized bunk beds, each populated with scenes roughly based on Patterson's memory, such as a school bus crash on a highway, complete with a tiny projection of flames. Grudge Match shows a high school gymnasium accompanied by a locker room, weight room, and coach's office.

Each sculpture focuses on a particular stage of growing up, whether early childhood, adolescence or adulthood. A work made from a functioning player piano represents the completed transformation into manhood. The works evoke the vulnerabilities of friendships, bonds made and broken, and delve into stories about love and loss. The highly crafted sculptures, with their lively animations and evocative sounds, will leave no visitor unaffected.

Graeme Patterson is a young artist living in Sackville, New Brunswick. This is his second major touring body of work. His recognizable works are highly acclaimed. The exhibition is co-produced by the AGH and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and will be touring nationally through 2014.

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The Spectacle of Play
May 25, 2013 to January 12, 2014
Curated by Melissa Bennett, Curator of Contemporary Art,
Tobi Bruce, Senior Curator, Canadian Historical Art, and
Dr. Benedict Leca, Director, Curatorial Affairs

Play: the word and related concepts yield a dizzying array of meanings, activities and states of mind. In considering this thicket of meanings one might enact a behavior, fulfilling a role in a single event (play) that might be both sporting match and theatrical performance, or indeed part of a constructed persona played out in the real world. Play therefore can mean that we remove ourselves from our conventional contexts, refashion ourselves and our usual roles. But just as one might actively participate in play, the term can also denote a less active time spent in leisure, one more cerebral than physical.

In this special exhibition, the flagship presentation of the 2013 theme World at Play, historic and contemporary artworks present these variations in tandem. An 18 foot salon-style installation of 19th-century paintings redolent of the Parisian Salon—the epitome of period spectacle—will be juxtaposed with a dramatic, oversized black and white film devoted to chess by contemporary Canadian artist Marcel Dzama. Portraits of sports players, and memorable moments in sports history, as well as a contemporary sculpture by Graeme Patterson depicting Daryl Sittler’s famous 10-point hockey game in 1976 will take us into the heart of the most literal meaning of play: the sports world.

The notion of chance, integral to another facet of play—the gambling table—will be represented by such works as Canadian artist Barbara Steinman's Roulette, an etched glass and brass sculpture in the shape of a roulette table.

In all, the exhibition will range across a multitude of contexts, as well as media, to have us ponder anew the relationship between art and 'play.'

Contemporary artists included in the exhibition are: Barbara Steinman, Rick Pottruff, Joseph Calleja, Alan Flint, Simon Willms, Kristiina Lahde, Aubrey Reeves, Graeme Patterson, Karine Giboulo, and Marcel Dzama.

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Alex Colville: Horse and Train

Curated by Tobi Bruce

Alex Colville's Horse and Train occupies a unique place in both the Art Gallery of Hamilton's permanent collection and within the broader Canadian imagination. By far the most asked after work in our holdings, the painting is installed semi-permanently in order to allow visitors the opportunity to view it on an ongoing basis. As part of the presentation, the iconic painting is accompanied by select objects and documents to help set the work and its acquisition in context.

Three preparatory studies from the Art Gallery of Ontario, never before exhibited together with the painting, is included to provide a greater understanding of Colville's working methods. An archival letter from the artist to then Director T.R. MacDonald, written upon learning of the work's purchase by the AGH, allows us to read firsthand how pleased Colville was to have the work acquired by a public institution, and Hamilton in particular. And finally, this intimate exhibition explores how the work has become such an icon of Canadian art—in part through its repeated and varied reproduction and in part through the inherent strength of the image itself.

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June 13 to September 29, 2013
Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins: The Collaborationists

Co-curated by Melissa Bennett and Linda Jansma, Curator, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
The Collaborationists is an extensive exhibition of the multi-faceted works of Canadian artists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins. Comprised of major installations and kinetic sculptures, as well as a selection of paintings and an audio station, this landmark exhibition highlights the recent production of this highly insightful artist duo. Drawing from the theories of mid-century modernist art, with a focus on information as a subject, the works explore intellectual subjects in a refreshingly playful manner. Organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Hamilton and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in collaboration with the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Windsor.


The Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery
February 17 to April 7, 2013
Women's Art Association of Hamilton 117th Annual Juried Exhibition

Begun in 1894 the Womenís Art Association of Hamilton is one of Hamiltonís oldest and most important art associations with ties to the Art Gallery of Hamilton from its early years. The strong relationship between WAAH and the AGH continues through the annual hosting of an exhibition of work by WAAH Members, carefully selected by a jury. Visitors will appreciate the richness of technique, style and themes present throughout the exhibition and will an opportunity to see work by seasoned artists as well as newcomers. This popular exhibition is an important means through which the AGH celebrates our longstanding relationship with the WAAH, and we are pleased to present the 117th annual exhibition this year.

April 12 to May 12, 2013
Songide'ewin: Aboriginal Narratives

Native Arts and Culture students from Sir John A Macdonald Secondary School explore Aboriginal teachings and worldviews through symbols, stories, colours and cadence in Songide'ewin: Aboriginal Narratives. This exhibition combines visual and literary art as a means to foster dialogue that leads toward truth and reconciliation between Native and non-Native communities. Individual and collective learning is presented in the paintings and in the literary responses to them. Through the creative process, truth evolves and emerges. This exhibition was created by Rene Meshake, Ojibwe artist and author, and Dr. Kristiina Montero, Faculty of Education, Wilfrid Laurier University. Generously Supported by: Incite Foundation for the Arts

May 18 to June 16, 2013
SAGE: Follow Your Art VII

Celebration the annual partnership between the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the SAGE program at Strathcona School. Artwork created by students from senior kindergarten through grade five from SAGE (scholastics, art, global education) will be presented in an exhibition that is the culmination of a series of five visits during the school year. Each student has selected one work from their portfolio that they consider their best. This new, more defined approach to the exhibition clearly captures each studentís talent.

June 22 to November 10, 2013
Hamilton & Scourge Sunken Sunset: Images from the Underwater Survey

Presented by the Hamilton and Scourge Society and the City of Hamilton
The epic story of the Hamilton and Scourge shipwrecks is seen in a completely different light through Hamilton & Scourge Sunken Sunset: Images from the 2008 Underwater Survey.

One hundred years before Titanic met its end the armed American schooners Hamilton and Scourge sank in the waters of Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. The exhibit is lit up by vivid red/gold sonar like a sunken sunset; brilliant red 3-D point clouds; hypnotic underwater video; models of the schooners; a painting of the vessels by celebrated artist Peter Rindlisbacher, and more.

Described as floating coffins by the crews who served aboard them, the overloaded vessels were struck by a squall that seemed to come out of nowhere and in a span of moments took 53 sailors to Davy Jones locker! The ghostly images are a haunting and emotional testament to the forever-altered lives of those on board.



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