2001 Fresh Off The Press, Martha St. Studio, Winnipeg
2001 Chinese Print Exchange and Exhibition, Martha St. Studio
2002 Group Exhibition, Martha St. Studio, Winnipeg
2003 Recent Works, 10 Artists, Martha St. Studio, Winnipeg
2003 Manitoba Printmakers at City Hall, Winnipeg
2004 The Other Red Green Show, The Quiet Room, St. John’s College ,University of MB
2004 Cross Currents, Martha St. Studio, Winnipeg
2004 Art and Paper VI, juried exhibition, Galerie D’Art Jean Claude Bergeron, Ottawa, Ontario.
2004 Christmas Exhibition, St. Michael’s Printshop, St. John’s, Nﬂd.
2005 (W)rest, (solo exhibition), Martha St. Studio Gallery
2005 Accidental (solo exhibition) Penthouse ( popup) Gallery, Vancouver , B.C.
2005 Manitoba Printmakers, Lunenburg Art Gallery, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
2006 Fishﬂy Gallery, Winnipeg Beach , Manitoba
2007 Cornucopia, Vault Gallery, Winnipeg
2007 Martha St. Studio Member’s Show, Winnipeg
2008 A Sense of Place, Windsor Printmakers Juried Exhibition, Windsor, Ont.
2009 A Sense of Place, University of Toronto Art Centre, Toronto, Ont.
2009 A Sense of Place, McIntosh Art Gallery, University of Western Ontario, London Ont.
2010 A Sense of Place, Thames Art Gallery, Chatham, Ontario
2010 A Sense of Place,Yukon Art Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon
2010 Weather (whether) (solo exhibition), Gurevich Fine Art Gallery, Winnipeg
2011 Sue Gordon Small Works Gallery McNally Robinson, (solo exhibition) Winnipeg
2011 A Sense of Place, Art Gallery of Sudbury, Sudbury, Ontario
2011 A Sense of Place, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario
2012 A Sense of Place, Cape Breton University, Sydney, Nova Scotia
2012 Obscured Landscapes, Fleet Gallery, (solo exhibition)Winnipeg, MB
2013 Far Country, Gurevich Fine Art, (solo exhibition)Winnipeg, MB
2013 A Sense of Place, Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Grimsby, Ont.
2014 A Celebration of Women's Art, Gurevich FineArt, Winnipeg,
2015 A Sense of Place, Iqaluit, Nunavut
2015 Print Show, Gurevich Fine Art, Winnipeg, MB
2015 Shelter, Fleet gallery, ( solo exhibition ) Winnipeg, MB
2016 Surfacing, Gurevich Fine Art ( solo exhibition ) Winnipeg, MB
Gurevich Fine Art
Fasken, Martineau, DuMoulin of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec
Government of Manitoba
St. John’s College, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg
St. Michael’s Printshop, St. John’s, Nﬂd.
Private collections, Canada, USA, and Holland
Grants and Awards
2002, Manitoba Arts Council, Visual Arts Production Grant
2004, Artist residency, St. Michael’s Printshop, St. John’s Nﬂd.
2004, Manitoba Arts Council Travel Grant
2005, Winnipeg Arts Council, Visual Arts Production Grant
2005, Video Pool Media Production Grant
2009, Manitoba Arts Council, Travel grant
2009, NES Artists residency, Skagastrond, Iceland
2015, Winnipeg Arts Council, Travel grant
2015, NES Artists Residency, Iceland
1996 Manitoba Printmaker’s Association, Martha Street Studio Winnipeg MB
2005 to 2008, Video Pool Media Centre Winnipeg MB
2007 Ace Art, Winnipeg MB
2012 Urban Shaman Gallery
2009 to present, Founder and director of First Fridays in the Exchange and Art Talk/Art Walk, Winnipeg.
Gurevich Fine Art, Winnipeg
June 3 to June 28, 2013
By Kenton Smith
Among the various titles that make up Winnipeg painter Sue Gordon’s Far Country is the ironic The Future Is Clear, which is anything but in her encaustic landscapes.
Gordon, born and raised primarily on the Saskatchewan prairie, sets her eye literally on the horizon, yet sometimes makes it imperceptible, obscured to the point that we can’t be sure what we’re looking at – as in the exhibition’s eponymous works, numbers two and three, in which the deliberate lack of detail allows, at best, a mere reckoning that what’s presented is a craggy, knife-edged promontory.
Hence we’re confronted with the non-romanticized landscape, in opposition to the vast majority of traditional landscape painting from the 19th century through to Canada’s own Group of Seven. As visualized by Gordon, the horizon is an amorphous, contradictory, paradoxical concept, abstracted to the point of mystery, a place where hope and despair, melancholy and optimism co-mingle.
Take Untitled 11, which could equally be a sublime burning sunset or a volcanic, sulphurous Ragnarok, signifying either beauty or doom. It’s a threateningly dark prairie rainstorm evoked in Untitled 6 and, in Untitled 7, an oppressive grey dayconfronted seemingly through a filthy, tarnished windshield or screen. (The texture also suggests grainy 8-mm film footage, complete with a thin red line running vertically like a mark on the film emulsion.)
The point is not to play a recognition game, of course, though such associations do place the images within lived, real-world contexts. For instance, one could see Untitled 9 as a low wide-angle perspective on a vast sky, against which desolate spines of blackened trees loom, unifying the picture compositionally. But think of them instead as entrance markers to access the artist’s real subject. That, perhaps, can be best located in I Left My Heart with You and Untitled 8, which suggest unfinished Tom Thomsons, yellowed, faded and/or damaged. Yet if Thomson presented idealized landscapes, the associations evoked in Gordon’s frames suggest the notion of deteriorated ideals – or perhaps ideals either unfulfilled or, as they often are for so many, dream-like and indistinct, and hence elusive.
It’s appropriate, then, that there’s a recurring sense of roughness around the edges of Gordon’s canvases and, for that matter, upon them, with their often thick impasto and choppy lines and forms. This presents another paradox, however, in that standing closer to the paintings reveals a waxy smoothness that invites touch. Reinforced is the notion that perspective, defined by the point at which one is situated, can alter all.
Yet we can still choose our point of focus, and Gordon does allow proverbial chinks of light, at least seemingly, to almost break through in a series never without obstacles. In Untitled 7, we can sense the radiance burning behind the gloom, and it shines even brighter in Untitled 9 – though whether it signifies a long-term change or mere respite is unclear.