Masters of Modernism: Selections from The Currie Collection

October 14 - January 21, 2018    |    Regular Exhibition

The Elizabeth A. Currie Gallery on the Green is one of our new pavilion’s hallmark exhibition spaces, and is dedicated to the presentation of abstract, modern, and contemporary art.

The inaugural exhibition Masters of Modernism: Selections from The Currie Collection brings together exemplary abstract paintings from the mid-to-late 20th century. Mid-1950s abstractions by William Ronald and Jean McEwen form a continuity with the expressionist tendencies of Painters Eleven and Les Automatistes. The fine Ronald work will be enlightening to view within the context of the concurrent retrospective presentation of his Painters Eleven compatriot, Oscar Cahén.

An anchor to the exhibition is one of the finest works by American Jules Olitski. Thought of as the natural successor to Jackson Pollock, Olitski’s magnificent oversized 1960s painting heralded in the era of colour field painting. Two works by internationally-acclaimed Canadian painter Jack Bush embrace the joyful colour and calligraphy of Matisse to re-birth abstraction in the early 1970s. His legacy was expanded upon by inventive abstractions inspired by landscape created by his associates, and presented in this exhibition: Gershon Iskowitz and David Bolduc.

These works from a private collection loaned to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery for the occasion of this exhibition beautifully showcase this important and revolutionary period in art history, and we are honoured to have these works as an inaugural exhibition in the new gallery space.

The works featured here (dating back to the mid-20th century) would have been brand new in the early days of the Gallery. What better homage to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s history than by featuring works from this period in one of the newest spaces within it?

Curator: Jeffrey Spalding
Organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery