1026 Queen Street W.
Toronto, ON, M6J 1H6
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11am - 6pm
As well as by appointment or by chance.
Year Established: 1994
Canadian Press Archive
Sarah Anne Johnson
William Notman Studio
Erin Haydn O’Neill
William Gordon Shields
George S. Zimbel
19th, 20th, 21st Century photographs, all types, especially of Canadian content
Guillaume Simoneau: Experimental Lake
4/1/2017 - 5/6/2017
The Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present “Experimental Lake” our first solo exhibition of work by Canadian artist Guillaume Simoneau.
Canada’s reputation as a caring country suffered immensely when funding for scientific research, designed to benefit all nations, was cancelled under the last Conservative government. Guillaume Simoneau’s photographs are like signposts in the wilderness. They are not memorial in nature but sing nature’s praises alongside human handiwork.
A fugitive storyline is to be pieced together by us out of the folklore of the moment, wherein the artist and we, his viewers, find ourselves on the cusp and hungry for answers. This compendium of images is unhinged from the moorings of conventional narrative readings. They speak of travel, pilgrimage, epiphany and discovery with a simple, selfless stoicism. Time of day, experiments out on the water, and scientific equipment, all suggest an itinerary which is at once mysterious and immanent, pungent and rich.
Simoneau has stated about the project that “this body of work moves away from the omnipresent vanity found all around us these days and focus, at once, on the outside; on the idea of common good and necessary evil. The resulting work is presented not as a series about the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) but as a compendium of images produced on location at the ELA and therefore infused by its spirit and beauty”.
Guillaume Simoneau (b. 1978, Québec) began his independent studies in photography after completing a diploma in applied science. Simoneau has exhibited his photographs internationally and today, his work can be found in a number of permanent collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), and the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago). His previous body of work, “Love and War” was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago) and Published by Dewi Lewis Publishing (UK). The related publication, introduced by Lisa J. Sutcliffe from the SFMoMA, was shortlisted for both First Book Award and European Publishers Award for Photography. His new series “Experimental Lake” will be published by MACK in 2017. Simoneau currently lives and works in Montreal.
Scott Conarroe: Frontière, Frontiera, Grenze
11/26/2016 - 1/14/2017
The gallery is pleased to present “Frontière, Frontiera, Grenze”, our fourth solo exhibition of work by Canadian photographer Scott Conarroe.
“Frontière, Frontiera, Grenze” considers the moveable boundaries that select Alpine states devised in response to glacial melting and drifting watersheds. As permafrost in the Alps retreats to cooler elevations, the terrain below disintegrates and these landscapes no longer conform to the borders established in the last century. Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and France have rendered boundaries fluid through a series of bilateral agreements. In the coming decades when their geographies re-stabilize, new frontiers will be drawn to honour their various treaties. This willingness to re-imagine conventions of autonomy is one scant silver lining of glacial extinction. These vistas are lovely but far from pristine; they simultaneously contain the aftermath of our Industrial Age and an avant-garde view of statecraft for an era increasingly defined by climate change. “Frontière”, “Frontiera”, and “Grenze” are, respectively, French, Italian and German words for “border”.
Conarroe’s sweeping vistas are imbued with his command of light and colour, and emphasize his fascination with a landscape affected by human existence. His photographs are also evidence of his remarkable stamina for journeying. Previous projects saw him zig-zag across and circumnavigate North America. For this project, he spent several years locating remote vantage points in order to fully capture the scope of this region between countries.
Scott Conarroe (b. Edmonton, 1974) holds a MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Recent exhibitions include a two-person show with the legendary mountaineer and photographer Vittorio Sella at Photographica Fine Art Gallery (Lugano, Switzerland, 2016), and the group show CALAMITA/À at Matèria (Rome, Italy). His work has been collected by many institutions, including the National Gallery of Canada, Stadt Zürich, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. His first monograph, By Rail and By Sea, was published by Black Dog Publishing (London, UK) in 2015. Scott will be an Artist in Residence at Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Vancouver, BC) in the coming spring.
This work was made possible with a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and support from The Canada Council for the Arts, Light Work, and ArtBellwald.ch. “Frontière, Frontiera, Grenze” is part of Project Pressure.
Subway: A Group Exhibition
1/24/2015 - 3/14/2015
With so much talk in Toronto about subways, Stephen Bulger Gallery offers a photographic perspective on the subject.
Through the use of historical and contemporary photographs, we celebrate the ingenuity and culture of subways. Since the late 19th Century, cities have turned to tunnelling to transport their ever growing mass. Efficient, claustrophobic, worn down and constantly updated, for many city dwellers subways are a necessary part of their daily lives. Transporting oneself underground seems both otherworldly and commonplace; it is a place where solitude is often felt strongly.
This exhibition features work by unknown photographers hired to document the building of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Co. in New York. Their work is surrounded by photographs taken by a number of known photographers. This theme of construction is complimented by Vid Ingelevics’ photograph made in the Toronto Transit Commission’s Museum Station proudly showing its yellow ceramic tiles that are so familiar to Torontonians. These tiles were replaced with a station re-modification that more obviously echoed its proximity to the Royal Ontario Museum.
Adam Magyar’s steely large scale portraits of New York subway cars from his series “Stainless” are represented, and during the exhibition in our cinema space called CAMERA, we will screen one of his “Stainless” video works. These renowned videos use a high-speed quality control camera used in mass production for capturing fast-moving objects and put it into a human context to speak about our urban world and people living in an urban life.
Bruce Davidson’s haunting colour environmental portraits made in 1980 and published as SUBWAY (St. Ann’s Press, 2003), have been released as an edition of Dye Transfer prints. A selection of Davidson’s famed portraits are shown opposite a suite of Michael Wolf’s celebrated portraits of commuters called “Tokyo Compression”, part of his mammoth project called “Life In Cities”.
A set of film stills from The Warriors, directed by Walter Hill and released in 1979 are displayed across the gallery from a salon of vignettes covering more than 100 years of scenes seen underground while riding the subway. This salon wall includes work by unknown photographers, as well as photographs by Dave Heath, André Kertész, William Klein, Luis Mallo, Jamel Shabazz, Kazuo Sumida, Alexey Titarenko and George S. Zimbel.
Image Credit: Fun, Fun, Montreal Metro, 1987 © George S. Zimbel / Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery
Joel Meyerowitz: Survey
5/7/2016 - 6/18/2016
The gallery is pleased to present “Survey”, our first solo exhibition of work by American photographer Joel Meyerowitz.
Meyerowitz, born in 1938 in New York City, began taking photographs in 1962. Although he has always seen himself as a street photographer in the tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, he transformed the genre with his pioneering use of colour. As an early advocate of colour photography in the mid 1960’s, Meyerowitz was instrumental in changing the attitude toward the use of colour photography from one of resistance to nearly universal acceptance.
This exhibition displays a selection of key black and white images from early works that captured the attention of influential curators. Also included are early colour works from Europe in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, which illustrate his mastery of composing with colour as well as form. Pivotal images from Meyerowitz’s famed series “Cape Light” illustrate his ability to transform the elements of light and colour into content. Lastly, a suite of recently commissioned works of objects in the Morandi Studio reveal a photographer still in his prime.
He is the author of over a dozen photography books, including Cape Light, New York Graphic Society, 1978; The Arch, New York Graphic Society, 1988; Redheads, Rizzoli, 1990; Joel Meyerowitz (Phaidon 55’s), Phaidon Press, 2001; Aftermath, Phaidon Press, 2006; Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks, Aperture, 2009; and Taking My Time, Phaidon Press, 2012. Images from the publication Aftermath were taken when Meyerowitz was the only photographer to be given unimpeded access to Ground Zero in the wake of 9/11. The images he captured formed the foundation of a major national archive and an exhibition of selected images, which has travelled to more than 200 cities in 60 countries.
Meyerowitz has lectured at institutions such as the New York Public Library; New York Institute of the Humanities; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Jeu de Paume, Paris; as well as many Colleges and Universities throughout the United States. His work has been written about in publications such as ARTnews, The Boston Globe, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and People Magazine. In 2002, Meyerowitz represented the United States at the Venice Biennale for Architecture. He has been the recipient of over a dozen awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis. His work can be found in many major public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Charles Matton: A Photographic Survey
11/28/2015 - 1/16/2016
The gallery is pleased to present “A Photographic Survey”, our first solo exhibition and Canadian premiere by multitalented French artist Charles Matton.
This exhibition will display a selection of work, including photographs from his very first “Reconstitutions of Sites”, from the early stages of a process started in 1986 which led to his famous “Boxes”. The self-described “manufacturer of images” created these interiors by designing, building, sculpting, painting, and lighting miniaturized sets. Matton then photographed these sets to produce “almost realistic” images depicting a parallel universe of spaces and accessories created by the artist through composition, material, and colour. He carefully crafted lighting, the final step in his process, to break down the appearances into endless interpretations in his obsessive search of reality.
From 1960 to 1983 Matton stopped exhibiting publicly and focused on painting for himself and a small group of collectors. During this time he worked as an illustrator for Esquire magazine, as well as Christian Bourgois Publisher and Le Club Français du Livre, among others. Matton also worked in stage design and was the screenwriter and director for six films, including his internationally acclaimed 1998 film Rembrandt, with actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, which earned the 1997 French Grand Prix for best script.
Charles Matton was born in Paris in 1931 where he lived until his death in 2008. He has been written about in publications by French philosophers such as Jean Beaudrillard, Paul Virilio, and Alain Finkielkraut, and in publications including ARTNews, ArtForum, New York Times, Rolling Stone, Art in America, and LA Weekly, as well as most French international press, including FMR magazine. His work has been exhibited worldwide at venues such as Palais de Tokyo, Paris; AVA Gallery, London; Michael Haas Gallery, Berlin; Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Städtische Museen, Germany; CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China; and Forum Gallery, New York and Los Angeles. His work can be found in public collections including the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; a permanent installation at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; and many private collections, including the Me Collection, Berlin. Image credit: The Grand Piano Tail in the Whitened Windows Living Room, 1986 © Photography Charles Matton, credit: Estate Charles Matton
Viktor Kolář: Canada, 1968-1973
1/21/2017 - 2/18/2017
The Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present “Canada, 1968-1973”, our first solo exhibition of work by the famed Czech photographer Viktor Kolář.
His first job was working in the mines in an isolated region of northern British Columbia. This arduous manual labour didn’t provide the true taste of freedom that Kolář yearned for, so after six months he returned to Vancouver and used the money he had saved to purchase a new Leica M4 from a shop on Granville Street. At this time, Kolář shifted his image-making away from generic landscapes and concentrated on producing photographs that captured his bewilderment of his adopted surroundings. He eventually made his way to Toronto but his photographs were deemed too personal by the editors he met. Once he began working as a technician at the BGM photo lab, it enabled him time to pursue his own passion while introducing him to other photographers sympathetic to his vision, namely Michael Semak.
For a period of two years, Kolář’s new contacts fostered confidence which resulted in a grant to make new work, exhibit his work, and enabled him to move to Montreal where for the subsequent two years he was able to better pursue his photography. During this time he corresponded and met with Cornell Capa, who in turn introduced him to a wider circle of supporters. By 1973 Kolář longed for home, and he returned to Czechoslovakia soon after an amnesty for returnees was adopted. He initially worked as a manual labourer, then as a stagehand for a theatre which reintroduced him to a creative circle. Eventually, Kolář became a professor at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague, where he has since been a key influence on the generations of photographers to follow him. Kolář is considered one of the most important exponents of Czech documentary photography.
“Canada, 1968-1973” is comprised of black and white photographs taken by Kolář across Canada, and offers the viewer an impassioned eye on Canadian life during a period of change. Kolář’s austere compositions evoke a time of modernization against a backdrop of traditional life, and captures details that, at the time, only an outsider would see as profound.
The work of Viktor Kolář has been exhibited internationally and is included in such collections as the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), the International Center of Photography (New York), Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), the Museum of Decorative Arts (Prague), and the Victoria and Albert Museum (London). Some of his recent exhibitions include retrospectives at the Sprengel Museum (Hannover), Galerie u Kaumenného zvonu (Prague), and the Starmach Gallery (Kraków). He has had seven monograms published of his work including Human (2015), Canada, 1968-1973 (2013); and Ostrava (2010).
20th Anniversary: A Group Exhibition Celebrating 20 Years
3/24/2015 - 4/25/2015
Please join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of Stephen Bulger Gallery. We opened on March 23, 1995 and since that time the gallery has exhibited over 130 solo exhibitions, 40 group shows and been host to many book launches and special events. This anniversary exhibition will feature a photograph from every artist for whom we’ve hosted a solo exhibition.
Stephen Bulger (born Toronto, 1964) engaged in photography as a hobby throughout his youth. Eventually studying at Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts, he became interested in the history of photography and began organizing exhibitions. He was the founding director of the Ryerson Gallery (located at 80 Spadina Avenue, Toronto) where he sat on the exhibition review committee and managed over thirty exhibitions.
After graduating from Ryerson in 1991, he worked in the photography department of the Ontario College of Art. While employed there as a Technician, he opened the Stephen Bulger Gallery (700 Queen St. West, Toronto) on March 23, 1995, moving to 1026 Queen Street West in 2004. Since that time he has curated over 130 exhibitions; been the representative for numerous Canadian and international photographers; published catalogues and books; and participated in many North American and European art fairs. He is Past-President of the Board for the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD), Washington, D.C.; is a member of the Canadian Cultural Property Review Board; a member of the Advisory Board for the Ryerson Image Centre; and is also a co-founder of CONTACT, Toronto’s photography festival that will celebrate its nineteenth annual event in May, 2015.
Image credit: 700 Queen Street West, 2003 © Volker Seding / Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery
Gábor Kerekes: Stars and Science
11/29/2014 - 1/17/2015
The gallery is pleased to present the first Canadian exhibition of work by Gábor Kerekes (1945 – 2014.) This exhibition will focus on works from his best known series, Stars and Science.
Kerekes was a master at exploring photography in a particular style, so that art and science can be seen cohesively. Many of his photographs are of scientific instruments and items one would find in a laboratory. Other images by Kerekes trick the eye, taken with pinhole cameras, large format cameras and using antique developing methods, so the viewer believes they are straight photographs of planets and stars, while in reality, many are of everyday objects such as apples, tennis balls and lighting conductors.
His Hungarian parents emigrated to Germany due to the war, and Gábor Kerekes was born in Oberhart, Germany in 1945, however, his family returned to Hungary that same year. At the age of 19, he began apprenticing in the catering trade, ultimately becoming a waiter. He then studied photography and finally, in 1973, he qualified as a professional photographer. From 1974-1979 he was employed as a photographer for the Iron Industrial Research Institute. In 1982, he abandoned his career; ''I had grown tired of making images ordered by someone else,'' and chose to educate himself on the history of photography as well as astronomy, astrology and alchemy. Kerekes donated about 50 of his best photographs and their negatives to the Hungarian Museum of Photography and he destroyed the remainder. Between 19861991 he worked as a celebrated photojournalist. In 1990, almost 10 years later, he began making prints again and his style drastically changed from his earlier work. It was this second career in photography, one marked by provocative investigations and beautiful printmaking, that saw Kerekes become a major influence on his colleagues and a younger generation of Hungarian photographers.
Kerekes won the BalázsBéla Award and his work has been exhibited in Europe and the United States. In 1977 he became a founding member of the Studio of Young Photographers. In 1980 he joined the association of Hungarian Photographers and in 1981 became a member of the Dokumentum group. In 1995 he founded the ASA photo studio along with György Stalter. In 2005, he was a founding member of the +Műhely photography workshop. Until his passing in 2014 he was a lecturer at the Fotó Falu Projekt.
Kerekes’ photographs can be found at Galerie der Stadt, Esslingen; the Hungarian Museum of Photography, Kecskemét; the Musée de l'Élysée, Lausanne; the Museo Ken Damy, Brescia; the National Museum of Film, Television and Photography, Bradford; and in many important private collections.
Image credit: Perseid, 1993 © Gábor Kerekes, Courtesy of Kerekes Gábor Archíve and Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto
4/2/2016 - 4/30/2016
The gallery is pleased to present “Exhibitionism,” our first solo exhibition of work by American photographer Cynthia Greig.
In this exhibition, Greig surveys contemporary art galleries from across the globe, placing the exhibition space itself on display. Deconstructing the white cube down to its most essential elements, her elegantly minimal photographs present an unexpected shift in perspective, rendering its interior spaces as vast landscapes or archaeological sites—uncharted territories with their own particular histories. Greig’s photographs also scrutinize the minute and overlooked details, revealing the interstitial evidence of each building’s trajectory, and the continuous flux of time brought to bear on an impossibly pristine Modernist ideal. Reflecting on the delicate balance between the permanent and ephemeral, Greig visits the themes of vanitas, manifest destiny, and the economic theory of “too big to fail” from within the microcosmic framework of this mythic space.
The exhibition presents photographs and video from four related bodies of work each centered on the contemporary art gallery as a site of inquiry, and continue Greig’s investigation into the illusory nature of the photographic image and perceived reality. “Gallery Horizons” and “Gone (Circles and Squares)” transform close-up views of drywall and/or concrete into ambiguous topographies suggestive of rugged terrains or the traces of and ancient civilization. For her series entitled, “Threshold,” Greig digitally removes the art on view to shift our focus to the expanding scale of the contemporary exhibition space. “Gallery Interventions” mark the white walls of commercial galleries throughout Chelsea as “sold”—whether as art or real estate— making ironic reference to the current geographic shift as some galleries play out a Darwinian drama by expanding their brands to multiple locations across the globe while others close, migrate to new areas, downsize, or go completely virtual.
Meditating on the white void and the idea of nothingness, “Exhibitionism” demystifies the context of art’s display and commerce to reveal the forces of entropy at play, regardless of hierarchies of status or influence. As if in search of an extinct species or a lost empire, she has photographed the contemporary art gallery as a metaphor for a world on the brink of dramatic change.
Vivian Maier, Meaning without Context
6/23/2016 - 9/10/2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 23, 5-8pm
Stephen Bulger Gallery is proud to present our third exhibition of photographs by Vivian Maier (1926 - 2009). This exhibition features a selection of images captured in the 1950’s through to the mid-1970’s, a number of which have never been previously seen.
Vivian Maier’s work caught the photography community by surprise, and her story has captured the imagination of people around the world. Unseen during her lifetime, the subsequent discovery of her negatives and dissemination of the photographs have fostered layers of intrigue and have jeopardized the simple enjoyment of her practice. This is our first exhibition since purchasing approximately 15,000 of her black and white negatives from Jeffrey Goldstein in December of 2014, and it strives to display some of her accomplishments without the benefit of knowing her intentions.
Canadian Modernism - A Group Exhibition: John Vanderpant & Contempories
6/26/2015 - 9/12/2015
This exhibition displays vintage prints made by Canadian photographers in the early and mid 20th century, a time when photography was mostly relegated to international salon exhibitions and prize medals were compensation for the lack of a market. In the early part of the medium’s history, photographers mimicked conventions in painting to promote acceptance of photography as a “true art”. By the outbreak of WWI, Americans, such as Paul Strand and Alfred Stieglitz, spearheaded a movement towards straight photography, but pictorial traditions remained influential in photographic circles through the 1950s.
John Vanderpant (b. Jan van der Pant in Alkmaar, Netherlands, January 11, 1884; d. Vancouver, BC, July 24, 1939) was a Dutch photojournalist who immigrated to Canada in 1911 and opened a studio in Okotoks, Alberta. After WWI he moved to British Columbia, eventually locating his portrait studio in Vancouver. His distinctive style eschewed popular photographic trickery and emphasized light and form. He quickly achieved acclaim, won awards, and his solo exhibitions toured the United States, Great Britain, and Europe. A fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, he also wrote and lectured widely. In 1926, with Harold Mortimer-Lamb, he opened a gallery on Robson Street. A year later he continued on his own and the building became a focal point for innovation in music, painting, and photography. In 1976, Charles Hill published a catalogue of Vanderpant’s work and curated a solo show for the National Gallery; and in 1995 Cheryl Shalloum published Underlying Vibrations: The Photography and Life of John Vanderpant (Horsdal & Schubart).
Harry Waddle (b. Port Dover, Ontario, February 28, 1915; d. Port Dover, Ontario, 2006) was born to an aspiring painter, Daisy (nee Kindree), and his father, Edmon, who was a professional photographer credited with many of the postcard pictures of Port Dover and all the family portraits in the area. As a young child he won a camera by saving lettered cards from chocolate bar wrappers. Following his return from the R.C.A.F. after World War II, Harry picked up his association with the Hamilton Camera Club and worked his way "through the chairs" to become president. His exhibition résumé offers insight into activities of top photographers working at this time. Waddle’s work began to win acclaim at the Hamilton Camera Club's monthly judging, and he was awarded the bronze medal for “best all-around group” of photographs for the year 1946. His portrait of his daughter, Mary, entitled "Mischief", won Print-of-the-Year in 1947; and his photograph of the sailing vessel Orenda moored in Port Dover harbour, captured Picture-of-the-Year honours for 1948 at the 15th annual Canadian Salon of Photography.
Having achieved success in Canada, he decided to try his hand at International Exhibitions and his prints were accepted worldwide. In 1951, he became an Associate of the Photographic Society of America (A.P.S.A.), and in 1952, he was an associate of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain (A.R.P.S.) where he later became a life member. He reached the pinnacle, in December 1954, when the Photographic Society of America presented him the Award of Merit as a 5-Star Exhibitor for his 1316 total acceptances of 129 different prints in recognized exhibitions. The prize was one of only seven in the world at that time. Waddle was asked to judge many exhibitions in Toronto, Edmonton, and the 17th Kodak International Salon in Rochester. He was asked to exhibit a one-person show at Glenhyrst by the Brantford Camera Club, and was honoured with a solo exhibition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After reaching the top, and finding costs constantly increasing, Waddle decided to call it quits and concentrated on his family, other pastimes, and running Waddle's Variety Department Store in Port Dover, founded by his parents.
Rex Frost (b. London, England, 1897; d. Toronto, Ontario, 1968) immigrated to Canada after serving in the Imperial Forces during WWI. Starting in 1927 he was a revered radio host of several shows over a 35 year career with CFRB, including Canadian Farm Market Broadcast which he initiated. In addition to hosting a radio show devoted to photography, he was an avid photographer himself. Frost also wrote for numerous magazines, as well as a weekly column in the Globe and Mail called “Taking Photographs”. He was the president of the Toronto Camera Club, and also served for five years as the Canadian Director of the Photographic Society of America who honoured him with their Fellowship Award.
In addition to displays of work by those mentioned above, this exhibition also includes photographs made by these Canadian photographers:
Jessie Tarbox Beals; Jack Bunting; E. Haanel Cassidy; Otto Eaton; Johan Helders; E.J. Hessin; J.H. Mackay; Allan Sangster; William Gordon Shields; and Charles Devenish Woodley.
Image credit: The Valve, 1930 © John Vanderpant, Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery
Joseph Hartman: Artist Studios
9/19/2015 - 10/17/2015
The gallery is pleased to present, “Artist Studios”, our third solo exhibition by Canadian photographer Joseph Hartman.
This exhibition is a preview of Hartman’s major project for Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017, which will culminate in a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and a monograph book by Black Dog Publishing, UK. By the end of the project he will have visited approximately 100 to 150 Canadian artists in their studios across the country and internationally.
Hartman uses a large format camera to create colour photographs of studios filled with revealing details about this generation of living Canadian artists’ production and working methods. Although the photographs do not include the artists themselves, their intimacy create subtle portraits of each artist. This type of artistic representation of a person was aptly described by Wright Morris in his publication The Inhabitants (second edition: Da Capo Press, 1971) where he stated: “[I photograph] Doors and windows, gates, stoops, samples of litter, assorted junk, anything that appeared to have served its purpose. Except people. Only in their absence will the observer intuit, in full measure, their presence in the object.”
After receiving a Master’s degree in Kinesiology at McMaster University in 2004 and being accepted into medical school, Hartman decided to pursue a career as an artist. He is a self-taught photographer and apprenticed with Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky before embarking on his own career in photography. Hartman is the recipient of several awards and grants, including those from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Hartman’s work can be found in permanent public collections, including the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the MacLaren Art Centre; as well as prestigious corporate collections, such as Royal Bank of Canada and TD Canada Trust. Joseph Hartman’s “Artist Studios” is graciously supported by AIMIA.
Image credit: Douglas Walker, 2013 © Joseph Hartman, Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery
Sanaz Mazinani: Imminent Infinite
10/24/2015 - 11/21/2015
The gallery is pleased to announce Imminent Infinite, our second solo exhibition by Sanaz Mazinani.
The show debuts photographs made by methodically reconfiguring photographs from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Imminent Infinite uses scientific imagery of star clusters and supernovas that are imbued with the awe-inspiring power of the unknown.
This project is the latest in a series of works that draws from Mazinani’s now decade long cataloguing of imagery sourced from the World Wide Web. For Imminent Infinite, she has culled photographs, shapes, and colour sets endeavouring to assemble ideal compositions that act as portals to metaphysical exploration. Central to Mazinani’s practice is the study of digital photographic propagation and its impact on representation and perception. For the artist, visualizations of deep space infer the latent beauty in the unknown. The imagery of the cosmos becomes a metaphorical contrast to the limitations implicit in networks and systems of the post internet age.
In one work, Eclipsing Binaries, a dark quadrilateral rectangle hovers an inch away from the wall. The panel is divided into two parts: on the left is a dark segment of the night sky with hundreds of pinprick stars. The right shows dust clouds and a sparkling cluster of nearly three thousand stars in the Milky Way. The two parts come together much like the eclipsing binaries of hot O-Stars which are perpetually bound to one another by their gravitational forces. The motivation behind this work is the observation of the unknown and its potential for achieving insight — reached through the appreciation of the vastness of the invisible and the intangible. Together, the two discrete portions of the known universe presented in Eclipsing Binaries reference the observable realm as a poetic symbol that creates a palpable feeling of expansion and shifting.
Mazinani is interested in the delicate visual aesthetic of these highly imagined representations of outer space, and their infinite potential synthesized by a powerful resonance in the psyche. Dynamic geometric forms and vivid colours in the series unveil musings on space, perception, and connection. They aim to emphasize the relationship between simplicity and clarity, while simultaneously building a sense of movement that contrasts and resonates in a manner similar to hard-edge painting. By further manipulating these highly processed images, Mazinani raises questions about the existential, or “the imminent infinite” as she defines it.
Sanaz Mazinani was born in Tehran, Iran and now lives and works in San Francisco and Toronto. She obtained her MFA from Stanford University after completing her undergraduate degree in photography from the Ontario College of Art & Design University.
John Lucas: Snooker, Thailand & Burma
10/24/2015 - 11/21/2015
The gallery is pleased to announce our second solo exhibition by John Lucas entitled Snooker: Thailand & Burma.
Made during his time in Thailand and Burma, this exhibition is a series of photographs captured at multiple snooker halls. In regards to this series, Lucas said:
This project began in 2012 when I came across a snooker hall in Vietnam. Young men and women moved gracefully between rows of large green felted tables. As sometimes happens in the shortest moment, a creative seed was planted. The time was not right to pursue it, but then I was soon to be in Bangkok where surely snooker halls would be common place. However finding my Bangkok hall, one with a dedicated community of Thai players, proved elusive even with the help of numerous local contacts. I decided that my feet, along with chance encounters, offered the best way forward, and took a Skytrain towards the city’s edge where I started walking, camera in hand, through the sweltering night. Some hours later, hidden in a narrow alley, I found what I wanted, squeezed past a thicket of parked motorbikes and entered a door framed by a string of blue lights. Inside men played while women passed cues, arranged balls and watched. I set out to convey the male players' ; intensity and absorption in the game juxtaposed with the helpers - young brightly dressed and at times bored women. The following year I returned to Asia, this time to Burma as well as Thailand. Snooker places differed while my exploration of composition, colour, and most of all emotional space continued.
Born in London, England in 1942, Lucas studied physics at the University of Bristol and the University of Sussex. He subsequently received a doctorate in materials science, and in 1970 left for Canada where he became a scientist and inventor for the telecommunications and resource industries. Lucas’ work has been seen in several solo and group exhibitions. His photography has taken him from factories in his home city of Montreal to snooker halls in Asia.
Dona Schwartz: On The Nest
1/23/2016 - 2/27/2016
The gallery is pleased to present “On The Nest”, our first solo exhibition by American photographer Dona Schwartz.
This exhibition examines families facing one of two significant changes in their lives: becoming parents for the first time and dealing with an empty nest after children have left home. In this extended series, Schwartz’s photographs were all taken in either the rooms the expecting parents have created for their new child or taken in whatever state the grown child’s former room is in.
The exhibition coincides with the publication of her new monograph On The Nest (Kehrer Verlag, November 2015). The photographs were made with a large format camera which renders clear the myriad details about lives unseen that surround the parents. The various trappings of North American life laid bare, expecting parents offer glimpses of preparedness, whereas the empty nesters present themselves preparing for the next stages in their life. The photographs’ titles inform the viewer of the amount of time left before the expected date of delivery, or the time that has lapsed since the child has moved away.
Dona Schwartz is an American photographer whose work explores everyday life and culture. She earned her PhD at the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in visual communication and ethnographic research. In addition to working as a photographic artist, she is a scholar and an educator. Among her academic publications are two photographic ethnographies, Waucoma Twilight: Generations of the Farm (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992) and Contesting the Super Bowl (Routledge, 1997). Her photographic monograph In the Kitchen was published in 2009 by Kehrer Verlag, and her most recent book, On The Nest, was published in 2015 by Kehrer Verlag. Her award-winning photographs have been internationally exhibited and published, and her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Musée de l’Elysée, Switzerland; George Eastman House, New York; the Harry Ransom Center, Texas; the Portland Art Museum, Oregon; and the Kinsey Institute, Indiana. Born in Philadelphia, Dona lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Calgary.
Image credit: Chris and Susan, 7 Months, 2012 © Dona Schwartz, Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery
Geoffrey James: Canadian Photographs
2/25/2017 - 3/25/2017
The Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present “Canadian Photographs”, our first solo exhibition of work by Geoffrey James, one of Canada's pre-eminent photographers.
For the past six years, James has travelled throughout the country confronting the many realities of Canadian life. The project promises to come to fruition in 2017, the year of the nation's sesquicentennial. “Canadian Photographs” explores the lyrical possibilities of everyday life. Canada is glimpsed from a train window, seen at a demolition derby, or a high-school prom. The photographs bear witness to Canada's past as a dominion while also looking at the sometimes provisional way the future is being built.
James' colour photographs display an uncanny wit that isolates innocent moments, seemingly banal locations, and speaks volumes about our nation's precarious identity. Seen together, this chronicle of the present is a telling document of who we are by showing us how we live, offering an opportunity to ponder where we might go from here.
Geoffrey James was born in Wales in 1942, studied Modern History at Wadham College, Oxford (BA and MA), and immigrated to Canada in 1966. A self-taught photographer, James is the author or subject of more than a dozen publications and is represented internationally in major collections. He has had solo exhibitions at the Palazzo Braschi, Rome; the Americas Society, New York; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. He has participated in group shows at Documenta IX, Kassel; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; and the San Francisco MOMA. Geoffrey James is a Guggenheim Fellow, recipient of the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, and the Governor-General’s Prize in Media and Visual Arts. He lives in Toronto, where he has been named the city’s first Photo Laureate.
Sara Angelucci: Arboretum
10/22/2016 - 11/19/2016
The Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present “Arboretum” our first solo exhibition of work by Canadian artist Sara Angelucci.
“Arboretum” builds upon issues raised by her previous series “Aviary”, part of an award-winning exhibition first shown at the Art Gallery of York University, which became the subject of a publication entitled Provenance Unknown published by the AGYU. With “Aviary”, Angelucci sourced Victorian era portraits which she digitally combined with photographs she took of endangered and extinct birds in the Royal Ontario Museum’s ornithology collection. In “Arboretum” the artist extends this technique to examine deforestation, one of the major challenges to bird populations.
To produce the series “Arboretum” Angelucci scanned found nineteenth-century cabinet cards with painted forest backdrops and transformed them with her own photographs of trees indigenous to Ontario, allowing the trees to take over the figures. In doing so, the forest claims a position in the foreground of the picture, becoming the main subject, while the figure becomes the ground.
As the artist explains: “Taking its cue from the pictorial tradition of nineteenth-century landscape painting, studio backdrops adopted an idealized vision of nature as a romantic setting for the figure, essentially taming the wilderness to provide an elegant pictorial frame – the picturesque. Embedded in this act of representation is the problematic notion that we are the main subject, and that nature is a mere decorative feature subservient to us. “Arboretum” gives visual presence to the notion of the sentient tree, extending the concept of the family album beyond the frame of photographic pictorial tradition. These pictures suggest a deeper consideration of not only the figure/ground relationship in photography, but also our position in relationship to nature.”
Included within the exhibition is Angelucci’s sculpture “Sightings (Ivory-billed Woodpecker)”, stemming from her ongoing interest in the social, technological, and scientific histories that exist outside the frame of the image. This sculpture incorporates 3-D printing to create an exact replica of the extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker (scanned at the ROM) whose story is forever linked to American industrial giant, the Singer Sewing Machine Company. As the largest wooden cabinet manufacturer in the late 19th and early 20th century, Singer purchased large tracts of forest throughout the U.S. In Northern Louisiana – the Singer Tract, 80,000 acres of virgin forest, was the last stand for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. The company sold the logging rights, causing the loss of the bird’s habitat, and its subsequent extinction.
Sara Angelucci is a multi-disciplinary artist, who, for the past twenty years has been exhibiting her work nationally and internationally. She has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council, and been awarded the Chalmers Fellowship, and the award for best exhibition design by Ontario Association of Art Galleries with Art Gallery of York University. Her work is included in public collections such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton; Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton; Trinity College, Toronto; Art Gallery of Peel, Brampton; National Portrait Gallery, Ottawa; Museum of Civilization, Ottawa; Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph; University of Toronto Library; and the Seneca College Collection, Toronto.
The artist wishes to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council and Think to Thing in the production of the 3D printed woodpecker.
CLIVE HOLDEN: INTERNET MOUNTAINS
9/17/2016 - 10/15/2016
The gallery is pleased to present our second solo exhibition by Canadian artist Clive Holden.
“INTERNET MOUNTAINS” is a manifestation of Holden’s interest in the mechanics of time and perception. Although these video and photo-based compositions are computer-rendered and manipulated, they fit – uncomfortably but recognizably – within the long tradition of landscape photography.
Holden’s compositions explore concepts of scale, the relationships suggested by the implied permanence and impermanence of our world, the delivery of information, and the transformative effects of time on memory and geography. As such, Holden’s work invites viewers to engage with his art in an instinctual way:
“Traditionally, in a museum or in a home, the audience’s physical engagement with a work of art is assumed; they can stand, sit, fidget or walk away. I’m interested in making work that’s on the cusp of time-based and non-time-based, or that obliterates this dichotomy. I think of it all now as ‘post-durational’; the constraint of a fixed duration is abandoned in favour of a quality of liveness – of embracing chance and accommodating our impulsive nature as human beings.”
Growing up in British Columbia, Holden found early inspiration in the mountains and shorelines around his home, documenting the vistas he encountered. Rediscovered footage, filmed by the artist as an adolescent, coupled with inspiration from ubiquitous online alpine photography informs this ongoing body of work.
Holden’s software-based generative artworks, chromogenic prints, videos and films have been exhibited at: transmediale (Berlin), the Gardiner Museum/CONTACT Festival (Toronto), the Foreman Art Gallery of Bishops University (Sherbrooke), Images Festival (Toronto), the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, the Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto), the European Media Art Festival (Osnabrück), CPH:DOX Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival/Danish Film Institute (winner of the New Vision Award), Anthology Film Archives (New York), Kino Arsenal (Berlin), the Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam), Light Industry (Brooklyn), the London International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, the Pacific Cinematheque (Vancouver), and the Bienal Internacional del Cartel en México (Mexico City).