September 20, 2011, Kleinburg, ON…One of the most influential Canadian artists to come out the 1960s is being showcased at an exhibition opening at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Jack Chambers: the light from the darkness, silver paintings and film work premieres at the McMichael on Saturday, October 1, 2011. The show, organized and circulated by Museum London, will close January 15, 2012.

The exhibition, curated by Mark Cheetham and Ihor Holubizky, includes both paintings and film. It offers a rare glimpse of both the art and films of the late London, Ontario artist Jack Chambers. The works in this exhibition were created by Jack Chambers during a year-long creative burst (1966 to 1967) and are—with his films—the most visually conceptual and radical works he made.

“Jack Chambers died so young; just two years after these works were created, he learned that he had leukemia. He passed away at age 47,” said Dr. Victoria Dickenson, CEO and Executive Director of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. “What we see here are some of the most innovative works that he made in his too short life. This is the first time in decades that Chambers’ films have been shown together with his silver paintings of the period.”

The ‘silver’ paintings were the result of Chambers’ exploration of the effects of light upon the painted surface, both through a reduction of colour and by the use of reflective aluminum pigment that produced images with a film-like quality in the final result. Simultaneously, he also involved himself with filmmaking, which served as a complementary medium through which he introduced ideas that would stimulate this direction in his painting.

Filmmaking for Chambers was a way in which he could move away from the strict discipline of his early art training which he perceived as constraining. His personal approach to the medium of film was less planned and more spontaneous in its construction in comparison to his approach to painting. Overall, the artist employed both of these media as a means to gaining awareness about himself and about the perception of the world around him.

The exhibition, which Canadian Art magazine called “sublime,” will give visitors at McMichael a chance to see together both film and painting in the very special spaces of the McMichael galleries, renowned at once for their intimacy and their beauty.

Chambers studied art in London, Ontario and, at the advice of Pablo Picasso, in Spain. From a young age, the artist’s work received significant worldwide recognition. In the early 1960s, exhibitions of the artist’s work were displayed in Madrid, Spain, New York and Toronto. Internationally renowned, Chambers’ art is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and institutions across Canada

Jack Chambers: the light from the darkness, silver paintings and film work opens on a special weekend at the McMichael. On October 1st and 2nd parking and gallery admission will be free as the McMichael participates in Culture Days, a national arts celebration, and Doors Open Vaughan. There will be special programming throughout the free weekend; visit for the full schedule of events and details.


For further information or to receive exhibition images, contact:

Michelle Kortinen, Communications Coordinator

905.893.1121 ext. 2210