Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Trip to Oshawa

Of all the regional art-related trips I was thinking about, I have made them all (Ottawa, Kingston and Oshawa) with the exception of Hamilton.  As I have learned a bit more about the region, I realize that at some point, I should get to Museum London, though I didn't quite realize how far it is from Toronto.  And if I do end up going to Peterborough in February, then there is an art gallery there I would try to pop into.  I'll decide in a little bit about a second trip to Hamilton in December, along with who accompanies me and whether we drive or take the bus.

This post, however, will focus on a trip that my son and I took out to Oshawa.  (Since we were driving -- and my daughter is not that into art museums and galleries -- it was easier to keep it to the two of us.)  As is typical these days, I was working in the morning and got an urgent email asking for a bit more assistance.  I was able to clear that up and we set off at 10:30 instead of 9:30.  That actually ended up being a good thing, since the Robert McLaughlin Gallery does not open on the weekends until noon (for some reason I thought it opened at 10 am).  The drive down was not difficult in the sense that traffic was relatively light, though it was a rainy day and this was my first visit.  I kept worrying that I had missed the turn (not being sure if Oshawa was before or after Ajax for example), and wished that I had brought along a different map, but we made it in just over an hour.  We walked around downtown Oshawa for a while and found a pretty good sandwich shop, so my son was definitely happy.

Then we went over to the gallery.  I was disappointed to find out that one exhibit on abstraction had been cancelled, but there was still the Painters 11 room, where they rotate through paintings by the group members, always leaving up one by each of them.  Interestingly, only two of the ones on view were in the large book on the Painters 11 by Iris Nowell.  (That is how I originally found out about the group and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in the first place.  I've been meaning to go for some time (and it looked like I missed a pretty good show last spring on Jock Macdonald) but now that I know the way, figuratively and literally, I'll try to get out there once or twice a year.)

I'll put up a few that I liked to supplement the ones in Nowell's book.

Walter Yarwood, Cathedral, 1960

Jack Bush, Coup-de-Main, 1957

Harold Town, Monument, 1959

The Town work was particularly interesting, as it is covered with pages from an unspecified Chinese book.  Here is a detail of the work.

I have to admit that I was a bit surprised they did not have more space allocated to the Painters 11, since that is what the gallery tends to be known for.

Anyway, in the rest of the permanent collection area, we saw work by Emily Carr, William Kurelek and Lawren Harris.  My son really liked the Harris and a piece consisting of paper airplanes made of aluminum foil and stuck in the gallery walls.  At the risk of deluging readers with Harris, here is the piece, which is very much in line with the Idea of North exhibit.

Lawren Harris, Mountain Sketch LXXXVII, 1937

To compensate for the missing abstraction exhibition, they had a special exhibit on Ray Mead, one of the Painters 11.  It was quite nice.  Here are the ones I found most interesting.

Ray Mead, Bottles in the Evening, 1950

Ray Mead, Crescendo, 1957

Ray Mead, Bouquet, 1956

All in all it was a good trip.  The rain stopped on the return trip home, and I was able to drop off the car with 15 minutes to spare.  I'll plan on making occasional trips out there, trying to remember to check what is on, so that I don't miss a major exhibit like the Jock Macdonald last spring (I don't think this made the Toronto papers, which truly do not do a good job of covering the local arts scene, let alone the galleries outside the city).

No comments:

Post a Comment