John Heward: A Trajectory / A Collection
Nov 14, 2009 - Jan 03, 2010

John Heward: A Trajectory / A Collection, is the first retrospective exhibition outside of Québec by this important Montreal artist. Featuring nearly 40 years of painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, sound and other work in a diverse range of traditional and experimental media, this in-depth survey will occupy the main space at MOCCA .
Since the late 1960s/early 1970s the work of John Heward has played a key role in the evolution of abstract art in Québec. Resulting from a major donation project initiated in 2005 between the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the artist that included 95 works, the exhibition presents selections from various stages of his practice.

Known to be one of the most exacting artists of modernist abstraction – in addition to being an accomplished drummer in the field of avant-garde jazz, current music and musical improvisation – Heward explores notions of impermanence of matter and form’s resistance to identification. His works in all media evoke traditions and vocabularies associated with both Western modernism and pre-industrial cultures yet, mask-like, they embody an ephemeral language of matter and form that is timely and timeless. Highly improvisational and almost ritualistic in approach, his work is at once deeply personal and infinitely expansive. He creates charged objects and sounds that channel resonances and perceptions as they unfold within the processes of making and of experiencing.

John Heward: A Trajectory / A Collection is accompanied by a 240 page fully-illustrated, bilingual catalogue published by the Musee national des beaux-arts du Québec, and a limited edition book of the artist’s innovative word-poems titled On, published by the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.