Landon Mackenzie, Tracking Athabasca
Douglas Walker, Large Studies
April 12 – June 10, 2001
The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is pleased to present recent series’ of works by two of Canada’s most prominent painters: Vancouver’s Landon Mackenzie and Douglas Walker from Toronto.
For a decade now, Landon Mackenzie has been exploring constructed and fictionalized notions of Canadian identity in large-format paintings.In Tracking Athabasca she combines fragments of early colonial texts, maps, mining records and topographical notations culled from archival sources from the time of the Old Northwest fur trade, with personal references and speculations. These fragments are applied to the surface of each canvas in colourful layers of paint that coalesce into explosive compositions bordering on abstraction.
While Mackenzie’s works contemplate our country’s origins and heritage, Douglas Walker’s large oil on paper paintings are dark , brooding and very still landscapes, seemingly emptied of time. Their deliberately stressed and cracked surfaces evoke a dream-like nostalgia; a twilight aura of longing for a now distant, familiar place. Seductive yet forbidding, these pictures conjure some nameless, suspended state between history, fantasy and a science fiction future.
Although presented within the context of solo exhibitions, viewers will, none-the-less, will be inspired to draw their own connections between these artist’s diverse approaches to our history and our times.
Following the Eleanor Bond show, these exhibitions continue new MOCCA curator/director David Liss’s series focussing on Canadian painters who critically examine issues related to the landscape and our built environments.