Sandra Meigs: Sublime Rage
May 20 to November 19, 2023
About the Exhibition
For her exhibition at the McMichael, leading contemporary Canadian artist Sandra Meigs takes inspiration from the wilds of Ontario. Over the course of the various pandemic lockdowns, Meigs retreated from her home in Hamilton, Ontario to the woods of Algonquin Park and Lake Calabogie. Compelled by this time in nature, Meigs created a series of vibrant and penetrating gouache studies, works that recall the legacies of such notable women modernists as Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keeffe. Many of these reflect the artist’s concerns regarding climate change and species loss, observed at first hand. Several of Meigs’ electrifying paintings will be blown up and printed on canvas banners suspended from the ceiling, creating a forest of fierce painterly gesture and vibrant colour. Guest curated by Jessica Bradley.
About Sandra Meigs
For over 35 years Sandra Meigs has created vivid, immersive, and enigmatic paintings that combine complex narratives with comic elements. She derives the content of her work from her own personal experiences, and develops these to create visual metaphors related to the psyche. Through her work, Meigs wants the viewer to feel richly engaged, jubilant, and most of all, transported to an imaginary universe.
Meigs is dedicated to painting and to the possibilities of enchantment that painting presents through colour and form. She believes that the very authenticity of one’s experience offers proof that what is imagined when looking at a painting is as real as anything else that one experiences in the world. She has also inter-woven sculpture, film, sound, and other media in her works.
Born in Baltimore in 1953, Meigs studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (B.F.A. 1975) and Dalhousie University (M.A. 1980). She has lived and worked in Canada since 1973. Sandra Meigs has been a dedicated teacher at the University of Victoria for over 20 years, and has mentored hundreds of visual art students throughout her professorship.
About Jessica Bradley
Jessica Bradley is an independent curator based in Toronto. Formerly, she served as Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario (1995–2004) and as Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada (1980–87). She was commissioner for Canada’s representation at the Venice Biennale on three occasions. Bradley has published extensively and organized numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad. She founded her own commercial gallery in Toronto (2005–15), where she mounted more than eighty exhibitions featuring a rising generation of artists. Bradley was guest curator of two recent exhibitions at the McMichael: Marie-Claire Blais: Veils in 2019 and of Margaux Williamson: Interiors in 2022.