FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

John Heward: A Trajectory / A Collection and Insoon Ha: Drain

November 14, 2009 – January 3, 2010

John Heward: A Trajectory / A Collection is organized and circulated by the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

Opening reception: Saturday, November 14, 2009, 2 – 5 p.m. featuring a live performance by Insoon Ha.

Toronto, October 30, 2009 – The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is pleased to present John Heward: A Trajectory / A Collection, 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 from November 14, 2009 to January 3, 2010.

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.

Insoon Ha is a rapidly emerging Toronto artist who creates ambience-saturated sculptural installations and video works that probe the physical and psychic edges of anxiety and disturbance. Her exhibition, Drain, in the project space at MOCCA features an arrangement of several recently-completed components that, exhibited together, conjure worlds embedded and fraught with pain and darkness. Within this environment Ha will enact a live performance during the opening reception of the exhibition.

Insoon Ha was born in Seoul, Korea and received her BFA and MFA from the University of Seoul in the 1990s and obtained an MFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2004. She has had two solo exhibitions at Big Orbit Gallery in Buffalo and her work has been included in group exhibitions at the McMaster Museum of Art, LA CENTRAL Gallery, Cambridge Gallery and Albright Knox Art Museum (Beyond /In Western New York 2005). Drain is her first solo exhibition in Toronto.

All programs and activities of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art are supported by Toronto Culture, the Ontario Arts Council, BMO Financial, individual memberships and private donations.