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MacLaren featuring women who are trailblazers in abstract art

The Clean Shape can be viewed until June 16, while Double Remove and Slapchartreuse will be on display until June 23
2018-08-24 MacLaren Art Centre 2 RB
MacLaren Art Centre is located on Mulcaster Street in downtown Barrie. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday


This spring, the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie is celebrating the accomplishments of Canadian women artists working in areas of abstraction. Three painting exhibitions highlight the enduring influence of these women in contemporary Canadian art.

Employing Modernism as an investigative tool, Saskatoon artist Tammi Campbell recasts ordinary materials into new forms through innovative studio processes. Her solo show, Double Remove, features works that expand the perceptual and conceptual possibilities of paint.

Through seemingly unfinished grey-scale studies and reductive abstractions that mimic packing tape, bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard, Campbell ultimately raises questions about the role of painting today.

Drawn from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection, The Clean Shape presents hard-edged abstractions by three celebrated Canadian artists — Janet Jones, Rita Letendre and Doris McCarthy.

The exhibition is catalyzed by two recently conserved paintings by Letendre, which represent a major breakthrough in geometric abstraction in Canada.

MacLaren Associate Director/Senior Curator Emily McKibbon says of the artists in The Clean Shape: “Doris McCarthy, Rita Letendre and Janet Jones have not only blazed a trail for future women artists working in abstraction, each has produced remarkable work that holds and will continue to hold enormous power for many generations yet to come.”

Other works from the MacLaren’s Collection are also on view this season. In the Joan Lehman Gallery is Slapchartreuse, a 2013 painting by Vancouver artist Allyson Clay, and a gift from the artist. In this vividly coloured painting, Clay uses phrases from Roald Nasgaard’s seminal book, Abstract Painting in Canada, to demonstrate how masculine-identified language limits our understanding of art history.

The Clean Shape can be viewed until June 16, while Double Remove and Slapchartreuse will be on display until June 23.

Free public tours of the exhibitions are offered upon request during Gallery hours.

About the MacLaren Art Centre
The MacLaren Art Centre is the major public art gallery in central Ontario serving the residents of Barrie, the County of Simcoe and the surrounding area. The Gallery presents a year-round programme of innovative world-class exhibitions, education activities and special events.

The MacLaren Art Centre gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of its Members, Patrons, Donors, Sponsors, Partners, the City of Barrie, the Ontario Arts Council, the Government of Ontario, the Canada Council for the Art, Canadian Heritage and exhibition sponsor Pratt Homes.

Gallery Location
37 Mulcaster Street, Barrie, Ontario, L4M 3M2, 705-721-9696
From Toronto: From Highway 400 north, 90 km north of Toronto, take the Dunlop Street East exit to Mulcaster Street and turn left. The MacLaren is one block north on the right hand at the intersection of Collier Street and Mulcaster Street.

Gallery Information
Suggested admission $5
Gallery Hours
Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am to 7:00pm
Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Closed statutory holidays
Wheelchair accessible