McIntosh Gallery


Portraits, self and others (it’s complicated)

September 22nd and October 29th, 2016
Opening reception, Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00 P.M.

With the advent of the selfie and social media, portraits have become ubiquitous in contemporary culture. This has raised many questions about the nature of representing people in art. Many artists are now exploring the way in which identity is largely constructed through images and the complex relationship between the artist and the individuals they portray. This in turn raises important questions about how we define and visually represent “the self” and “the other” within the increasingly dynamic matrix of real and virtual social relationships.

This exhibition, which includes paintings, photographs, video and sculpture, examines diverse approaches to portraiture through the work of over twenty contemporary Canadian and international artists including: Stephen Andrews, Shuvinai Ashoona, Barbara Astman, Greg Curnoe, Colin Muir Dorward, Wyn Geleynse, Sky Glabush, Kirtley Jarvis, Jim Kost, Richard Hamilton, Jason McLean, Shelley Niro, Dennis Oppenheim, Gillian Saward, Becky Singleton, Gerard Pas, Jamie Q, Angie Quick, Michael Snow, Jeff Thomas, Joanne Tod and Joyce Wieland.

A highlight of the exhibition will be the first public display of internationally-acclaimed Canadian artist Tony Scherman’s recent portrait of former Western Chancellor Joseph Rotman (1935 –2015), the noted Canadian businessman and philanthropist. Rotman was the founder and benefactor of many successful organizations, including the Rotman Research Institute, the Rotman School of Management, and the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western.

Ross Bell: Last Stand

September 22, 2016 to July 15, 2017
McIntosh Gallery Sculpture Garden
Opening reception, Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00 P.M.

This interactive outdoor installation comprises six sculptures based on the Muk Yan Jong, or “wooden man post” used for training in the Wing Chun form of Kung Fu. Each figure is made from ash trees cut down because of emerald ash borer. As an abstraction of the human body, Muk Yan Jong predate by several centuries similar modernist sculpture, which they resemble.

For Bell the exhibition title, Last Stand, evokes several tangential associations: the decimated ash trees of southwestern Ontario, a defensive military front, and the artist’s position as a maker of things in an increasingly virtual world.

Born in Alberta, Ross Bell lives in London, Ontario, where he has exhibited at DNA Artspace and Westland Gallery. He has also shown at the Art Gallery of Guelph and Chela Gallery, Baltimore. Bell is represented by Georgia Scherman Projects, in Toronto, where he has also exhibited at Propeller Centre for the Arts, and the Toronto International Art Fair.

For more information, contact Mitra Shreeram, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, at