'Rockstars' of Canadian art featured at London gallery

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Four high-profile members of the Canadian art scene — two with deep ties to London — are celebrated in a new exhibition at a London gallery.

The exhibition, Rockstars, at Michael Gibson Gallery until May 15, includes works by Londoners Ron Martin and Murray Favro along with Toronto’s David Bolduc and Windsor’s John Scott, all of whom helped lead the Canadian abstract art scene.

The paintings and sculptures in the show were created between 1972 and 1989 when all four artists were in their prime, said Jennie Kraehling, associate director of the gallery.

The chosen artworks are “iconic representations by each artist,” said Kraehling, including classic 1970 abstracts by Bolduc, sculptural guitars by Favro, one-colour black and red abstracts by Martin and a monumental 1980s work on paper by Scott.

“We have curated an exhibition that features iconic . . . works by (the artists),” Kraehling said. “Each of the artists (is) highly accomplished and widely recognized for their signature styles. The paintings and sculpture that we have chosen are bold and hold up to their rock star status.”

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The exhibit can be viewed online at https://www.gibsongallery.com/exhibitions/rockstars/. The gallery is open for online sales, curbside pickup and deliveries only.

Born in Huntsville, Favro moved to London as a teen and studied art at H. B. Beal secondary school. With Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe, Ron Martin and others, Favro was part of the generation of London artists who became nationally recognized in the 1960s. He is also well known as a founding member of the Nihilist Spasm Band.

Favro’s work includes drawing, sculpture, performance and installation — incorporating slide and film projections, lighting effects, and computer and electronic technology into his work. His art was the subject of a major retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1983 and in 1998 at what is now Museum London. He received the Gershon Iskowitz Award in 1997 and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2007.

Martin was born in London and set up his first studio with Favro. Martin was one of the original members of the Forest City Gallery, influenced by Curnoe.

Martin has had numerous solo and group exhibitions across Canada, in New York, Germany, Japan and France and his works have been included in a number of major exhibitions including biennials and group exhibitions at the National Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario. His work is found in many private and public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver Art Gallery, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Museum London.

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Bolduc, who was born in Toronto and died in 2010, studied at the Ontario College of Art and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts School. He is recognized as one of Canada’s leading lyrical abstract painters. His work is included in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada.

Scott studied at the Ontario College of Art, where he taught for 38 years. He has exhibited across Canada and his work is collected by almost every major institution in the country including the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Scott was the recipient of the inaugural Governor General’s Award in Visual Arts and Media in 2000.

jbelanger@postmedia.com

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