Current Exhibitions

Elizabeth Munro, Lake Scene with Mountains in the Distance, n.d.

Elizabeth Munro, Lake Scene with Mountains in the Distance, n.d.

35: Women Artists in the RiverBrink Collection

Curated by Debra Antoncic
March 22 2014 to March 28 2015

This exhibition showcases the work of women artists in the permanent collection. The title is a reference to the fact that, out of more than five hundred artists whose work is included in the RiverBrink collection, only thirty-five are women. In recent years there have been attempts to address this disparity, with the addition of work by artists such as Yvonne McKague Housser and Florence Wyle. There is still a long way to go, however, and the story of Canadian and international artistic accomplishment we are able to present at RiverBrink remains a work in progress.

Julian Mulock, Magnolia, SC - Slave Cabins 2, acrylic on canvas, collection of the artist

Julian Mulock, Magnolia, SC – Slave Cabins 2, acrylic on canvas, collection of the artist

Julian Mulock: Silent Spaces

Curated by David Aurandt
November 18, 2014 to March 28, 2015

Julian Mulock, SCA was born in England of Canadian parents. He is a graduate of the Michael Hall (Steiner) School in England and of Central Technical School in Toronto. In the 70’s he was staff illustrator/artist at the Royal Ontario Museum and for seven years taught summer courses in painting and drawing in Siena, Italy. He is currently a freelance illustrator, muralist, and painter as well as actor, set designer, and theatre director in Toronto.  His works are included in many private and corporate collections, and he is a member of the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto as well as its Past President.

The artist remarks on his visit to a historic site in the American south that was the initial inspiration for the work in Silent Spaces: “Having dragged our weary way through meticulously reconstructed antebellum estates, mansions and plantation houses, we came upon Drayton Hall. Stripped down to the bare walls this place now seemed more open and welcoming to its original inhabitants. We suddenly became much more in touch with the past, unencumbered by carefully reupholstered furniture and reproduction wallpaper. It was a revelation. Not far off we came upon Magnolia and its rare, original slave quarters. Here tiny cells had been expanded after emancipation to allow for larger living quarters for the remaining workers. Again, the buildings were empty and evocative of the past. Other structures offered the same rewards.” This experience led him to a visual design strategy in his paintings that would provide a new and deeper understanding of spaces and their meanings. He does this by locating the spaces in a context without the usual contemporary revisions and distractions and thereby sending the viewer back to their original significance. As he says, this makes for a “revelation”.

Augustus John, Portrait of "Poppet", the artist's daughter, c. 1935

Augustus John, Portrait of “Poppet”, the artist’s daughter, c. 1935

It Takes Two: Artists and Models in the RiverBrink Collection

Curated by Diane Pellicone
August 16 2014 to March 28 2015

It Takes Two considers the collaborative nature of portraiture. It explores how a relationship established between artist and model can not only affect the stylistic execution of a work of art, but also render a visibly compelling character study. Selected from the permanent collection of RiverBrink, the exhibition includes images of friends, family members, and acquaintances of several artists, all of whom convey strong personalities and an assertive presence.

The War of 1812-14: People and Places 

Joseph Yeager, Battle of New Orleans and Death of Major Packenham, 1817

Joseph Yeager, Battle of New Orleans and Death of Major Packenham, 1817

Curated by Debra Antoncic
March 22 2014 to March 28 2015

Installed to commemorate the final year of the bicentennial, this exhibition showcases art works representing events and participants involved in different battles of the war. The geographic span of the conflict is evident in depictions of engagements on the Atlantic Ocean, on the Great Lakes, and in the Gulf of Mexico where one of the final confrontations in the war was fought at New Orleans. The exhibition also includes engraved portraits of participants, drawing attention to ways that military leaders were commemorated in the United States following the end of the war.  

William James Glackens, Washington Square, n.d

William James Glackens, Washington Square, n.d

Landmarks: An Exploration of Place

Curated by Debra Antoncic
September 13 2014 to March 28 2015

The works in this exhibition explore the Landmarks theme initiated earlier in the year by a focus on Niagara Falls, the most well-known of Canadian natural attractions. The theme is continued through a number of paintings and prints from the Samuel E. Weir Collection of RiverBrink Art Museum, depictions of prominent and lesser-known landmarks, both natural and man-made. The exhibition leads naturally into a new exhibition: Julian Mulock: Silent Spaces, curated by David Aurandt.

Marc Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, Je me souviens, 1924, Samuel E. Weir Collection

Marc Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, Je me souviens, 1924, Samuel E. Weir Collection

Suzor-Coté at RiverBrink

Bronze sculptures by the 20th-century Québec artist are on permanent display in the library. Beginning in the 1940s, Sam Weir commissioned the casting of the bronzes with the goal of acquiring a representative survey of the artist’s work in sculpture. This project was continued following Weir’s death.

 

Group of Seven Project: Fred Varley

Curated by Debra Antoncic
May 17 2014 to March 28 2015

The third in a series of exhibitions that explore the work of individual members of the Group of Seven, this exhibition focuses on Frederick Horsman Varley (1881-1969). Varley’s 1951 portrait of RiverBrink founder Sam Weir demonstrates the artist’s acknowledged mastery in portraiture, and this drawing is on display along with examples of the artist’s work in landscape.