One may not expect to find a connection between West Vancouver and an old red-brick house in Toronto in the late 1950s. However, in the West Vancouver Art Museum’s recently-opened exhibition, Landon Mackenzie: Recollect(s), are two paintings that have criss-crossed the country, coming back to the District where they are in residence once again. Artist, Landon Mackenzie, grew up in Rosedale, surrounded by art collected by her parents, who were friends with Harold Town, Jock Macdonald and Michael Snow. In 1972, she left Toronto for the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, after which she attended graduate school in Montreal at Concordia. In 1986, she moved to Vancouver and began teaching at Emily Carr, from where she retired this last spring, and is now Professor Emerita.
Landon Mackenzie: Recollect(s) showcases Mackenzie’s own work hung alongside her family’s collection of paintings, demonstrating the significance of these works on her art. Among these are two early paintings by West Vancouver’s own Gordon Smith. They came to Toronto in the care of an art dealer.
In Mackenzie’s words:
“My mother [who neighbors called ‘a very modern woman’] was an excellent and passionate writer and kept up lively correspondences with, among others, Alvin Balkind, a curator and dealer who on one visit from British Columbia, brought a sheet of slides showing paintings by artists such as a Jack Shadbolt, B.C. Binning, Toni Onley and Gordon Smith, whom he represented in his New Design Gallery in Vancouver (founded in West Vancouver in 1955). I was told that my parents threw a dinner party in Alvin’s honour and, by the end of the night, most of the paintings had been sold to their friends on the guest list. Two Gordon Smith paintings (c. 1954 and 1958) were shipped to our home and became part of my world of pictures.”
Landon Mackenenzie: Recollect(s) is on until Saturday, Dec. 21. Upcoming events connected with the show include:
Curator and Artist Tour: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2 p.m.
Farsi Exhibition Tour: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2 p.m.
Film Screening: Thursday, Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m. Screenings of The Other Side of the Picture and Landon Mackenzie in the Cumberland Delta (Landscape as Muse series).
Landon Mackenzie in Conversation with art historian Gerta Moray: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2 p.m.