April 25, 2023

ELEMENTAL: Martha Townsend, Stéphane La Rue and Al McWilliams – Opening at TrépanierBaer

Curated by Vikky Alexander and Yves Trépanier
Accompanied by a catalogue with text by Joan Borsa

Saturday, April 29, 2023 – 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm

In the company of Vikky Alexander, Joan Borsa, Martha Townsend, Yves Trépanier
Walk through of exhibition begins at 2:15 pm

TrépanierBaer Gallery cordially invites you to the opening of  ELEMENTAL: Martha Townsend, Stéphane La Rue, Al McWilliams, a thoughtful and contemplative exhibition curated by Vikky Alexander and Yves Trépanier, and accompanied by a catalogue with a text by Joan Borsa.

On view is a grouping of sculptures, paintings, and works on paper that bring their respective materials to the fore in a precise manner while underscoring their minimal and elegant forms, and their evocative material qualities. Regarding the genesis for this exhibition, curator/artist Vikky Alexander notes:

I have known Martha Townsend and her work since the late 1970s when we were both art students at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. I met Al McWilliams when I moved to Vancouver in the 1980s. We were part of a larger group of artists who shared studio space, and I have had close relationship with his practice since then. Over several years, I have followed Stéphane La Rue’s work, and since moving to Montreal seven years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to become more familiar with his practice.

At an opening a few years ago, a conversation between Stéphane and Martha about similar concerns in their respective practices sparked the idea for an exhibition highlighting the overlapping aspects I perceived in their work, especially their investment in material and form. I saw how including Al McWilliams’ work would contribute to the dialogue and create a dynamic and complementary trio.

My first impulse was that this could be a museum show, but when I shared the idea with Yves Trépanier, he was excited about the concept and offered to do it at the gallery. Together, and through discussions with the artists over the span of two years, Yves and I selected the works and commissioned Joan Borsa to write a text. And there you have it. With the enthusiastic and fundamental support of the TrépanierBaer Gallery, we are very proud and pleased to present this exhibition and publication.

Vikky Alexander, Montreal, April 2023

In her essay, Joan Borsa astutely expands on this investment of material and form in the practices of these three artists, and remarks:

… As I process my initial responses to the minimal yet evocative material realms that this group of sculptures, paintings, and works on paper inhabit, I become aware of the ways all three artists locate us in the physical pleasure of looking, but then take us beyond what we see to include an investigation of how we see, and perhaps by extension, how we come to know (and make sense of) what we see.

We look forward to seeing you!

Image Credit:

Martha Townsend
Lentilles, 2018
Collage: Canson and Arches paper
22.5 x 30 inches – each