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2015 Exhibition Archives


Robert Burley:
The Disappearance of Darkness
On view February 28 to May 24, 2015
Curated Dr. Gaëlle Morel, Exhibitions Curator, Ryerson Image Centre


Since 2005, Canadian photographer Robert Burley has documented the demise of film-manufacturing facilities and industrial darkrooms around the world. This exhibition and accompanying publication speak to a historical moment of no return, or what the artist calls “the dizzying moment in photography’s history in which technological changes redefined the medium forever.”

Robert Burley: The Disappearance of Darkness addresses the abrupt breakdown of a century-old industry, which embodies the medium’s material culture. Burley’s large-format colour prints visually record the major economic impact caused by the shift from analogue photography to digital technology. His investigation began when he was granted access to the Kodak Canada plant in Toronto. Following 18 months photographing the desertion, decommissioning and demolition of the facility, he turned to document the international disappearance of manufacturers Agfa-Gevaert, Ilford and Polaroid.

Burley’s project presents the industrial architecture of these facilities with an emphasis on the unique character of the buildings, specifically designed to fabricate products in darkness. As an artist working in photography for the past 30 years, Burley has been both an observer and a participant in this radical transition. As such, his work strikes a subtle balance between the commemoration of the demise of now obsolete materials – film-based photography – and the celebration of cutting-edge visual technology.



One-Eyed-Rabbit: Jonathan Plante
On view February 21 to May 24, 2015
Young Gallery
Organized by VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine


One-Eyed-Rabbit is different. He has only one eye and would like to jump into his rabbit hole without chipping his teeth… He meets a worm that has no eyes but can navigate through holes in the ground! Together they will discover the power of imagination and the inner workings of sight: a little with the eyes, a lot with the brain, always with the heart.

In a playful atmosphere and through the story of a friendly rabbit, Montreal artist Jonathan Plante invites young people ages 4 to 10 (and kids of all ages!) to (re)discover the mysteries of visual perception in a variety of ways. The exhibition includes an animated video, original paintings, a giant didactic book, and mirror anamorphoses that will stimulate the imagination of little ones and grownups alike. These unexpected and interactive aesthetic experiences notably address abstraction, art history and optical illusions. Through the various works, viewers are invited to discover the mechanisms of vision and the role it plays in the arts, while developing the imagination.

One-Eyed-Rabbit is designed and produced by VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine. Jonathan Plante (b. 1976) lives and works in Montreal.


Illuminations: Italian Baroque Masterworks in Canadian Collections
On view February 28 to May 31, 2015
Co-curated by Dr. Benedict Leca, former Director, Curatorial Affairs, Art Gallery of Hamilton and Dr. Devin Therien, AGH Guest Curator


Italian Baroque Art is most often associated with dynamic movement, overwhelmingly-rich colors and compositions, and the creation of new pictorial subjects. The style known as Baroque (c. 1590-1715) was centered in Rome, Naples, and Bologna and subsequently spread to other international cities, including Madrid, Paris, London, and Amsterdam.

Illuminations is the first comprehensive exhibition examining the breadth of Italian Baroque painting in Canadian public collections. Building on the Tanenbaum gift of European art to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the exhibition explores how light and shadow were central to the creation of dynamic and theatrical pictures. The selected paintings are examined by investigating the artists' chiaroscuro - the pictorial effects created by light and shade. In contrasting Mattia Preti's and Jusepe Ribera's deeply shaded pictures with Luca Giordano's and Nicolas Poussin's luminous works, the exhibition reveals how light was strategically used to signify demeanour, emotion or religious symbolism.

Through a comparison of religious, mythological, and popular imagery, Illuminations simultaneously explores how Baroque audiences were confronted with paintings that broke with tradition by manipulating the conventional use of light. In addition to painting monumental religious imagery, artists also depicted large and theatrically-lit gambling scenes and street concerts. Such paintings emphasize the conflicting aspects of seventeenth-century life, including those between the secular and religious, public and private, and decorous and profane.

Featuring many of Canada's foremost Baroque pictures, the exhibition examines a culture - similar to our own - that was captivated by theatrical display.


This project is generously funded by the Canadian Government through
the Department of Canadian Heritage Museum's Assistance Program

Exhibition Content

MUSIC - The music playing in the Joe Ng Gallery is a Baroque piece composed in the 1680s by Arcangelo Correli: Concerti Grossi #1-6 performed by the Brandenburg Ensemble.


Illuminations: Italian Baroque Masterworks in Canadian Collections catalogue available at the Shop at AGH.

Illuminations: chefs-d’œuvre du baroque italien dans les collections canadiennes

VIDEO - Exhibition Co-Curator Devin Therien talks about
The Massacre of the Children of Niobe by Luca Giordano
in this AGH original video

VIDEO - Curator Devin Therien describes the painting
St. Paul the Hermit
by Mattia Preti

in this AGH original video


are you experienced?
Nadia Belerique, Jessica Eaton, Olafur Eliasson, Dorian FitzGerald, Hadley+Maxwell, Do Ho Suh
On view June 26 2015 to January 3 2016
Curated by Melissa Bennett


Hadley+Maxwell | When That was This (detail), 2015 | cinefoil, steel, magnets, 6-channel sound, LED light-programming, dimensions variable, 20:30 | Installation view, are you experienced?, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada 26 June 2015 - 03 January 2016 | photo by Mike Lalich

The AGH strikes out into our next century with a massive contemporary art exhibition. Bringing together artists from across the globe, the show offers works that appeal to the senses, making a point that an engagement with art can sometimes occur more readily if one does not have preconceived notions of what it should be. In this exhibition, experience creates meaning.

are you experienced? is made up of spectacular installations by six internationally renowned artists: Nadia Belerique, Jessica Eaton, Olafur Eliasson, Dorian FitzGerald, Hadley+Maxwell and Do Ho Suh. Works have been commissioned, made site-specific, and fill large rooms floor-to-ceiling in this sprawling display. The work of Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is pioneering, driven by his interests in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self; his work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern and the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Venice Biennale, among many others. Eliasson and the other exhibition artists strive to make the concerns of art relevant to society at large.

Through immersive and interactive installations, photography, video, painting, sculpture and sound art, the artists engage viewers and invite participation. Familiar objects and images are presented in new contexts, suggesting alternative modes of understanding. The artworks appeal to the viewer’s psychological and intuitive senses, or memory, with the goal of promoting visual and aural awareness and engagement.

This exhibition is made possible through the international loan of artworks, and never-before-seen works in private collections. It is curated by Melissa Bennett, AGH Curator of Contemporary Art. A fully illustrated 192-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with essays by AGH Curator of Contemporary Art Melissa Bennett and invited scholars: Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick, Sally McKay, Gabrielle Moser, Alana Traficante, as well as artist interviews. Published by Black Dog Publishing, London UK.

Exhibition Content


are you experienced?
Available at the Shop at AGH


Presented by


Art for a Century: 100 for the 100th
On view until March 20, 2016
Curated by Dr. Benedict Leca, Tobi Bruce and Melissa Bennett


click image to enlarge
Featuring works by permanent collection artists Tom Thomson, Michael Snow, William Brymner, Emily Carr and many others.

While the AGH Centennial celebrates the people, spaces and activities that have made the Gallery one of the most dynamic independent art museums in Canada, we should never lose sight of its prized permanent collection, which we hold in trust for the people of Hamilton. As the foundational treasure that propels our enterprise as a museum, the collection ranks among the finest in Canada.

What began 100 years ago with the donation of 29 paintings in memory of Hamilton-born artist, William Blair Bruce, now numbers 10,000 works. While other ‘encyclopedic’ museums present a broader range of objects, the specificity and depth of the AGH collection in three core areas—Canadian historical, Canadian and global contemporary, and European art—are its strength.

Art for a Century: 100 for the 100th, which gathers selected masterpieces from the permanent collection chosen by Dr. Benedict Leca, Director, Curatorial Affairs, Tobi Bruce, Senior Curator of Canadian Historical Art and Melissa Bennett, Curator of Contemporary Art, exemplifies the sustained level of quality of the three collections. From late 19th-century landscapes to masterworks from the Group of Seven, from Baroque masterpieces of Dutch and Italian art to important French 19th-century academic painting, from a full offering of contemporary art of the last decades to a rich selection of African material, the AGH collection covers these significant domains with distinction.

The works presented in this exhibition are arranged to suggest occasional formal or thematic resonances. The display occupying the entire second floor is an invitation to our Members and visitors to wander, discover, and contemplate anew the treasures that will continue to enlighten for the next 100 years and beyond.

The JUNO Tour of Canadian Art
January 24 - April 26, 2015
Location: 2nd floor, within Art for a Century: 100 for the 100th exhibition


The AGH is proud to host the fifth JUNO Tour of Canadian Art exhibition. This year’s exhibition invites JUNO Award nominees and winners to select a work of art on view in Art for a Century: 100 for the 100th that resonates with them personally or artistically. Visit the exhibition and see a video of their response to their favourite artwork.

Participating artists: Tim Hicks, High Valley, Ian Thornley (Big Wreck), The Tea Party, Tom Wilson and Stephen Fearing of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and Jill Barber.

JTOCA was previously hosted at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, the MacKenzie Art Gallery, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

The JUNO Awards wish to thank La Piazza Allegra for their support of this project.

SAGE: Follow Your Art IX
Scholastics, Art, Global Education Program at Strathcona School
On view May 23 to June 21 2015

See artwork created by students from senior kindergarten through grade five from the SAGE (scholastics, art, global education) program at Strathcona School.


The Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery
Free admission courtesy of Orlick Industries.

JUNO Photography Exhibition
On view January 24 to May 18, 2015


A stunning retrospective photography exhibition showcasing the past 40+ years of Canadian music and the JUNO Awards. More than 50 photos from the JUNO Awards’ 40th Anniversary book, Music from Far and Wide, as well as “never before seen” photos taken by Canada’s foremost rock and roll photographers including Barry Roden, Bruce Cole, Grant Martin, Tom Sandler and photographers from iPhoto Inc.


*Please note that as a multipurpose space, the Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery is an area where photography is allowed by patrons and members of the public in accordance with the AGH Photography Policy. Also, the Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery is a space that can be rented for private or corporate functions and therefore may be unavailable for viewing by the public. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you are interested in viewing this space specifically, please call ahead to ensure the exhibition installed is available at 905-527-6610.


Women's Art Association of Hamilton 119th Annual Juried Exhibition
On view September 19 to November 29, 2015

click image to enlarge

The Art Gallery of Hamilton is proud to celebrate the achievements of the Women’s Art Association of Hamilton by presenting their annual juried exhibition. As one of Hamilton’s oldest and most important art associations, WAAH shares longstanding ties with the AGH, going back to the founding of the Gallery more than 100 years ago. 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.

click image to enlarge Selections from
Art Rental + Sales

Featuring new acquisitions to the AGH
Art Rental + Sales collection, with prices starting at less than $100.

Featured artists include: Meredith Bingham, Jennifer Harrison, Darcie Kennedy, Elizabeth Lennie, Tor Lukasik-Foss, Ann Manson, Gise Trauttmansdorff and Becca Wallace.

*Please note that as a multipurpose space, the Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery is an area where photography is allowed by patrons and members of the public in accordance with the AGH Photography Policy. Also, the Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery is a space that can be rented for private or corporate functions and therefore may be unavailable for viewing by the public. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you are interested in viewing this space specifically, please call ahead to ensure the exhibition installed is available at 905-527-6610.


Free admission to
courtesy of:

Orlick Industries

Catalogues + Merchandise

School Tours + Studio

Private Group Tours

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