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14 January to 6 March

Betty Goodwin:
Darkness and Memory

Organized by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Thursday 13 January at 8 pm

A constant presence on the Montréal art scene since the late 1960s, Betty Goodwin (Montréal, 1923-2008) is recognized as one of the leading figures of contemporary Canadian art. In 2003 the Dalhousie Art Gallery presented The Prints of Betty Goodwin, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, which featured a rich selection of iconic prints by the artist. We are now pleased to host the travelling exhibition Betty Goodwin: Darkness and Memory which features more than thirty works by Goodwin drawn from the permanent collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

The Musée was an early patron of the artist, acquiring Goodwin’s now iconic “vest” prints in 1973 and organizing her first major exhibition in 1976 – a survey of an already wide-ranging fifteen-year period of production. In assembling this selection of prints, drawings, sculptures and monumental tarp pieces from its collection, the Musée draws attention once again to the originality and scope of Goodwin’s multidisciplinary and deeply humanist practice by presenting the principal milestones within her unique trajectory.

In the accompanying exhibition catalogue, Josée Bélisle, Curator of the Permanent Collection for the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, writes:

Produced over a period of five decades, Goodwin’s oeuvre developed in cycles of work, linked but distinct, that were executed either concurrently or in alternation but were always compelled by a singular and powerful thread: that of the traces and signs of the presence (or absence) of the other and, by extension, the self. Goodwin persistently re-examined the objects that shape our time and our passage through the uncertain territories of human existence. A sense of timelessness, almost of an eternity vanquished, infuses the entire body of work of one of Canada’s most exceptional artists.

The national tour of the exhibition Betty Goodwin: Darkness and Memory has been made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through its Museums Assistance Program.


Betty Goodwin
Beyond Chaos No. 7, 1998
C ollection: MACM
Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay
image courtesy of the René Blouin Gallery


18 March to 8 May

Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980

OPENING RECEPTION Thursday 17 March at 8 pm

Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965–1980 is the first major exhibition to focus on the influence and manifestations of conceptual art in Canada, a movement that can be largely understood through Sol LeWitt’s famous 1967 statement that “the idea becomes a machine that makes the art”. Concerned with language, body, place and geography and the very concept of what constitutes the concept of art, this movement, both in Canada and globally, was indelibly marked by the 1960s post-war political unrest and social upheaval; in North America this included racial and cultural conflict, anger over the war in Vietnam, the uprising of the women’s movement, and the radicalization of the gay liberation movement after the Stonewall riots of 1969. Conceptual art was also informed by the emergence of new information technologies such as the video camera and television, the photocopier, tele-type and fax machine and, in the end, the computer. In a world already perceived to be too full of ‘things’ (such as paintings, sculptures and monuments), the conceptual movement rebelled against the production and consumption of art objects that represented individual expression, special skill, or visual and formal concerns, and instead, emphasized art as idea first and foremost.

Presenting more than 450 works by over 100 artists from across Canada, Europe and the United States, Traffic is organized around urban and regional centres from Halifax to Vancouver, while seeking to capture the dynamic lines of traffic between them. The nationally touring exhibition is shared by four venues in Halifax: Dalhousie Art Gallery will present work from Ontario, curated by Barbara Fischer (Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto), and Montreal, curated by Michèle Thériault with Vincent Bonin (Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University). MSVU Art Gallery will host work from Halifax and Atlantic Canada, curated by Jayne Wark (NSCAD University); Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery will display work from British Columbia, curated by Grant Arnold (Vancouver Art Gallery), and the Prairies, curated by Catherine Crowston (Art Gallery of Alberta). The Anna Leonowens Gallery at NSCAD University will augment the exhibition by presenting a selection of its unique collection and archive materials for a two-week period from 22 March to 2 April.

This exhibition is supported by the Museums Assistance program of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.





Greg Curnoe
Map of North America, 1972
Collection: Dalhousie Art Gallery


Materials and Space:
A Selection of Recent Acquisitions 2007 - 2010

OPENING RECEPTION Thursday 26 May at 8 pm

Displayed in two sections, this exhibition presents a selection of contemporary works from the Gallery’s permanent collection that have been acquired since Peter Dykhuis was appointed Director/Curator in August, 2007. 

The works in the first section share an origin in the practice of process art combined with a post-conceptualist, utilitarian approach to materials.  Ten are by Garry Neill Kennedy, former President of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and were donated to the Gallery by the artist in 2010.  Four of these works are untitled pieces from 1975; the other six were debuted in Kennedy’s 1994 exhibition at Cold City Gallery in Toronto aptly titled “Six Pink Paintings”.  All of these works foreground Kennedy’s rigorous studio practice – spanning more than 5 decades – wherein the considered and contemplative act of applying gesso, paint and graphite onto various substrates is the subject matter of the work.  For instance, the four untitled pieces involve such production strategies as layering multiple coats of gesso on canvas until the weave of the canvas substrate is obliterated, or tracing each line of the warp in the woven canvas with individual graphite lines; in the “Six Pink Paintings” series, every flake in the surface layer of six squares of industrial chipboard is handpainted with fluorescent pink acrylic paint.  The two other works in this section, donated by Ingrid Jenkner in 2009, also represent material transferences of paint and graphite onto support surfaces: Gerald Ferguson’s 1500 Grapes in stencilled acrylic enamel on canvas, and Kelly Mark’s Venus HB – a drawing made until the pencil was used up.

The second part of the exhibition presents representational work that illustrates family histories of mapped places, portrays personal, domestic environments, or investigates formal connections to architectural spaces.  Bryan Maycock’s drawings, paintings and sculptures map ancestral family neighbourhoods and locates the vocations of past relatives in urban England, while Marlene MacCallum’s photographs and bookworks explore various domestic environments with particular focus on her own context in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.  A camera records the sun’s movements across the walls of multiple interior spaces in Charlotte Lindgren’s Swinging Silence series; architectural representations by Heather MacLeod and Carl Zimmerman play with our notions of photographic authenticity: Zimmerman’s image of a modeled building appears to represent a ‘real’ power station; MacLeod’s North Grand Pré Church, Nova Scotia makes us unsure of the ‘reality’ of what we are looking at.

Second Impressions
Curated by Dan O'Neill

OPENING RECEPTION Thursday 26 May at 8 pm

In 2008, the Gallery was very fortunate to receive an extensive collection of re-strike etchings (prints carefully produced from original, historic etching plates), woodcuts, linocuts, lithographs and offset lithographic images, etchings and engravings, and letterpress pages.  Donated by a collector who prefers to remain anonymous, this is the first major acquisition for the Gallery’s Print Study Collection – a subset of the Permanent Collection – since its formation in 1926 with a gift from the Carnegie Corporation.

This new collection of 375 prints is comprised of images by Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt van Rijn and William Blake as well as single pieces by Andrea Mantegna, Leonardo da Vinci, Diego Velasquez, Francisco Goya, Paul Potter, Jacob van Ruisdael, Peter-Paul Reubens, and Anthony van Dyck, among others.  Notable early 20th Century European artists include Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Raoul Dufy, Joan Miro, Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti and Salvador Dali.  Present as well are major works by North American artists such as Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Jean-Paul Riopelle.

In keeping with our role within the University as an Academic Support Unit, and our desire to share this resource with the public, the Gallery will be inviting historians and printmakers from the Halifax community to explore the collection and develop research projects on aspects of particular interest, and to curate small, focused exhibitions to highlight the results of their study.

Halifax artist Dan O’Neill, who also teaches lithography, monotype and drawing in the Fine and Media Arts Department at NSCAD University, is initiating this series of exhibitions. O’Neill has focused on the lithographs by Robert Motherwell and Willem de Kooning that are each paired with poetic works by Octavio Paz and Frank O’Hara respectively.  Regarding his selection, O’Neill states, “With lithographs that record Motherwell’s improvisations and de Kooning’s figurations, enriched by letterpress vocal fields from Octavio Paz and Frank O’Hara, these liberated pages chronicle riffs on the human song – songs that are arranged for this project to make evident the free-ranging nature of word, sound and image.”



























Robert Motherwell
from Three Poems, by Octavio Paz, 1987
Collection: Dalhousie Art Gallery


Jamelie Hassan: 
At the Far Edge of Words

Curated by Melanie Townsend
Organized and circulated by Museum London

ARTIST’S PRESENTATION Thursday 22 September at 8 PM

This survey exhibition traces four decades of art-making by London, Ontario artist Jamelie Hassan and presents a body of work that intertwines her enduring interests in text, language, memory, personal history, and identity.

Her pioneering practice steadfastly asserts that artists have a responsibility to address the critical issues of our time, while her geographical location in the ‘regions’ of Southwestern Ontario grounds her practice. Yet despite the influence of here, Hassan’s work is equally influenced by there – as experienced through her research and travels in Asia, the Americas and the Middle East, and Lebanon, the homeland of her parents.

Hassan’s approach to artmaking is distinguished by her use of a wide range of media (ceramics, watercolours, bookworks, photographs, video, and installations) from which she selects an approach best suited to the task at hand. Watercolours, for example – swift and portable and comprising much of the work she makes when travelling – capture the immediacy of personal engagement, while robust mixed-media installations – part of her studio-based work – confront the complexity of cultural politics and personal history.

Hassan’s first film project, The Oblivion Seekers (1985), began with a childhood memory and a search through private and public archives. The film juxtaposes archival and family film footage of celebratory dancing and singing, seamlessly moving between sites in Canada, the United States, Lebanon and Egypt, and is a powerful record of individual identity situated against the backdrop of political tension in the world. Further investigating these tensions, the exhibition includes early paintings from travels in Iraq in the late 1970s, as well as Qana, Lebanon (2006), a series of newer ink drawings created in response to the Israeli bombings of the Lebanese town in 2006, and Curfew (2007), a series of watercolour paintings prompted by the curfews imposed in Rangoon by Burma’s military dictatorship.

The title of the exhibition, At the Far Edge of Words, pays homage to Palestinian poet laureate Mahmoud Darwish, evoking a line from his poem “I am from there”. The poem begins “I am from there. I have memories” but concludes “I learned all the talk and dismantled it to construct one word: country.”

Hassan’s work is represented in numerous private and public collections including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto); the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (Vancouver); the Art Gallery of Windsor (Windsor); Museum London; and the Dalhousie Art Gallery, among many others. In 2001, she was a recipient of the prestigious Governor General’s Award in Media and Visual Arts.







Jamelie Hassan
detail from Midnight's Children
(from The Trilogy)
, 1990
image courtesy of Museum London


Steeling the Gaze:
Portraits by Aboriginal Artists

Curator's Talk with Steven Loft
Saturday 22 October at 7 pm

Organized by the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, an affiliate of the National Gallery of Canada
Curated by Andrea Kunard and Steven Loft

This exhibition brings together profoundly symbolic works by some of Canada’s most celebrated Indigenous artists and sends a powerful message about the evolution of Aboriginal self-determination in Canada. It combines portrait photographs and video installations by twelve artists – KC Adams, Carl Beam, Dana Claxton, Thirza Cuthand, Rosalie Favell, Kent Monkman, David Neel, Shelley Niro, Arthur Renwick, Greg Staats, Jeff Thomas, and Bear Witness.

Steeling the Gaze explores how contemporary Aboriginal artists have used the photographic portrait as a means of self-expression in spite of its long, problematic history for their peoples. “The portrait is a European convention which exerts control over the subject,” explains the CMCP co-curator Andrea Kunard. “In the past, Aboriginal people were often objectified for commercial purposes. They were represented as a dying race doomed by the inexorable march of ‘civilization.’ Contrary to this portrayal, they have neither vanished nor died out; they survived.”

Steven Loft, who recently completed a term as the NGC’s first-ever Curator in Residence, Indigenous Art, and is the exhibition’s other co-curator, adds “These artists use their cameras to create a means of cultural self-determination. By reconstructing the narrative of race, they have captured the wide plurality of Aboriginal histories, cultures and contemporary realities and have created their own visual identities.”

To challenge the detrimental characterizations of Aboriginal life that have developed through colonization and assimilation, many artists in the exhibition represent identity as a changing and complex state, rather than one that is essential, singular and “frozen” in the past. Within these images which describe contemporary existence, references to traditions, family and community appear as a source of strength and grounding. Other artists reclaim images of themselves, their families and their communities and use them as a means of transforming past concerns into the present. They challenge stereotypes, creating a new visual history, and are harbingers of a changing reality.

Steeling the Gaze: Portraits by Aboriginal Artists is affiliated with Photopolis 2011: The Halifax Festival of Photography, a tri-annual, citywide celebration that occurs during the month of October. Steven Loft is the keynote speaker at a one-day symposium on Saturday 22 October. For more information, please visit: www.photopolis.ca

The Dalhousie Art Gallery is pleased to have assisted the Schulich School of Law in their presentation of the groundbreaking archival photo exhibition, Where are the Children? Healing the Legacy of the Residential Schools, organized by the Legacy of Hope Foundation in partnership with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and Library and Archives Canada. The exhibition will be on display in the atrium of the Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue, from 1 October to mid-November.

Launched in 2002 and curated by Jeff Thomas (also an exhibitor in Steeling the Gaze: Portraits by Aboriginal Artists), the exhibition weaves together a part of the history of residential schools – that many Aboriginal people were forced to attend – using photographs, text panels, maps, original classroom textbooks and historical government papers. The exhibition does not attempt to tell the whole story about residential schools; rather, it introduces people to a part of Canadian history, and encourages visitors to ask important questions and to consider the history and experience of residential schools and their living legacies.




58th Student, Staff, Faculty
and Alumni Exhibition

OPENING RECEPTION Thursday 8 December at 8 PM

This annual exhibition celebrates the creativity of the Dalhousie and King's College university communities.


Arthur Renwick
Monique, 2006
ink jet pint
76 x 76 cm
collection: National Gallery of Canada










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