Christina Mackie

September 21–November 2, 2019

View documentation here


Over the last 40 years, Christina Mackie has developed a complex, idiosyncratic language—concise and technical, yet intuitive and separated from narrative—through deep material engagement and experimentation in sculpture, watercolour, audio, ceramics, installation, oil painting, digital animation and video. In her work, Mackie combines and upends contemporary and historical materials and processes, leveraging our perception, natural phenomenon, and evolving technologies relative to our dominant structures of knowledge. Rejecting any romantic ideas of a return to material origins or historical processes, her first solo exhibition with the gallery comprises four bodies of work colliding and overlapping.

The central work in the exhibition space, Colour Drop, was commissioned and installed at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago in 2014. It began as a consideration of colour as subject, substance, and force, as well as the notion of ‘filtering light’, and attends to the ways in which colour is embodied in the behaviour or quality of objects in the material world. The conical nets in Colour Drop originate from a formative experience in Mackie’s childhood in the early 1960s when she encountered hanging plankton filters inside an ocean research laboratory, appropriately prescient for her own process in the studio and gallery. The form and scale, while rooted in experimental function, are here used for new investigations. Lowered from the ceiling by ropes, pulleys and weights, with their own carefully-considered material qualities, the hand-stitched silk cones are moved down from the ceiling to be dipped into shallow pools of coloured liquid dye, then hauled back into the air and suspended.

Weighing only a few ounces, the delicate net forms are stretched metres-tall, occupying significant visual and physical space, challenging the architecture that contains them. Translucent and reflecting particular frequencies of light via the dye-soaked silk, the nets capture and release our vision, controlling the viewer’s position, simultaneously asking to be looked down into and looked up through, as if the surface of the ocean was above us. The round trays of dye, their sedimentary liquids evaporating over the course of the exhibition, beginning to crystallize as they dry, becoming almost lichen-like in appearance. Placed around the trays are large polished shards of coloured glass, reflecting and consolidating the colours of the dyes: a new material reality for the reflected light.

Colour Drop, as much of Mackie’s other work, confronts our presumed mastery of knowledge, logic and information. If a net or filter is used as a metaphor—beyond that of the mental processes involved in perception of colour and light—the idea of capturing, catching, or gathering a particular property of a material expands to how we filter and mediate information every day, implicating contemporary data filtering systems and aggregation commodities such as social media and personal, mobile technologies.

“…the diamond net… the entire range of the universal determinations of thought… into which everything is brought and thereby first made intelligible.” (Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature, 1830.)

In the 19th century, Hegel proposed the diamond lattice of a net to describe a foundational principle of logic, introducing a key concept that the Western world has confidently operated with and within for centuries to explain how humans come to understand the empirical world and make it intelligible to ourselves. Here, Mackie asks us to question a fundamental cultural structure. Her work and their corresponding perceptual complexities allow multiple questions about the presumed solid foundation of this logic, and the relation of ourselves to the sea of information and data that we are enmeshed within.

Five wall-mounted panels, each with two surfaces obliquely stacked and merged by twenty-five coatings of gesso mixed with chalk, are not paintings in the common sense of the term, but are sculptures that look like paintings, or sculptures in disguise. Their shapes become graphic, similar to those computer software icons of piled paper that indicate multiple and distinct files; the digital mimicking the physical, here reversed. Working within a specific material reality, the cross-hatched brushstrokes of the chalk-infused gesso become more apparent against the pools of watercolour highlighting the material particulars of the picture plane, the liquidity of their own origin transferred, flowing here and there over the edge of the panels.

A set of interconnected ceramic works speaks to ‘clay management’, the technical aspects of their own thingness articulated in distinct shapes, seemingly rudimentary forms, almost examples illustrating the various material aspects or qualities of the clay itself, stuck together, fused with glaze to become one thing in fire. As the liquid pools of dye in Colour Drop evaporate to form crystals, glazes too become crystallized in their firing and cooling, forming a strength more than the clay itself, paradoxically considered the support structure for glaze as decorative ‘paint’. Contrasting the fixed nature of fired ceramics, the twisted and knotted textiles used as mounting structures are methods that deal with the reality of gravity, of the shape of the clay, and the objects relation to the wall. As with her other works, the often-invisible function or structure of object display is subverted and made prominent, suddenly in contrast and of as much import as the traditional locus of our attention.

Lastly, a new audio work is the first in a series of artists’ interventions in the gallery’s exterior courtyard exhibition space. For this, Mackie recorded the sound of the nearby train crossing bells (a regular auditory experience for visitors to the gallery), and edited and recomposed this recording in the studio. Broadcasting this new audio via speakers outside the gallery, it is altered yet familiar information cast back out into the space from where it came.

Here, now, let us consider the stingray and the StingRay. The former, a cartilaginous fish in existence since the early Cretaceous period, known for its flat diamond shape, hypnotic undulating locomotion and long venomous tail; the latter, a controversial cellular surveillance device used by law enforcement agencies across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Similar to dragnet fishing in its disregard for what it catches, this technology, mimicking a cell phone tower, indiscriminately trawls and captures any and all audio, data and metadata from every cellular device within its net/range by design and force. The information captured from this mass ocean of data is filtered and organized, made meaning of and made use of.

Christina Mackie (b. 1956 Oxford, UK) lives and works in London, UK. Recent solo shows include People Powder, Spazio Culturale Antonio Ratti, Como, Italy (2018); The Judges II, National Trust Godolphin, Godolphin Cross, UK (2018); Christina Mackie: the filters, Tate Britain, London, UK (2015); Drop/And Bird/Frog And, PRAXES, Berlin, Germany (2014); Colour Drop, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2014); Christina Mackie: The Judges III, Nottingham Castle, Nottingham, UK (2013); Bigger than a book, wilder than a tree: Christina Mackie and Jerry Pethick, Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2012); Painting the Weights, Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark (2012); The large huts, Sculpture Court, Tate Britain, London, UK (2007); and show 50, City Racing, London, UK (1998). Her work has been included in numerous group shows, including Nature, Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver, (2018); Neither., Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, Belgium (2017); Constellations, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK (2015); Molecular Etwas, Kunstwerke, Berlin, Germany (2010); Sillabario, Nomas Foundation, Rome, Italy (2010); Flutter, The Approach, London, UK (2006); 5five, VM Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan (2006); and Real World, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK (2004).

Elizabeth McIntosh

​​Elizabeth McIntosh, Guitar Guitar, 2019, oil on canvas, 78 x 72 in. (198 x 183 cm)​​

National Gallery of Canada

Abbas Akhavan


They asked the fox, “Who is your witness?”
He said “My tail.”
November 23, 2019–January 18, 2020
Catriona Jeffries


Second Hand
July 3–November 23, 2019
Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai


The Shoreline Dilemma
September 21–December 1, 2019
Toronto Biennial of Art, Toronto

script for an island
October 12, 2019–February 16, 2020
Fogo Island Gallery, Fogo Island

Open Space

Myfanwy MacLeod

​​Myfanwy MacLeod, ​Neighbours​, 2018, watercolour on watercolour paper, 21 x 17 in. (53 x 42 cm)​


The Undesirables
September 19–November 17, 2019
Libby Leshgold Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

Open Tuesday–Saturday, 12–5pm

950 East Cordova Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6A 1M6 Canada

+1 604 736 1554
[email protected]

Catriona Jeffries Owner, Director
Peter Gazendam Director
Francesca Bennett Administration and Research
Steven Cottingham Communications and Archive
Toby Froschauer Head Preparator and Exhibitions Manager
Paul Dhaliwal Finance
Rachel Topham Photography Documentation
Scott Ponik Design
Alex Mahan Web Development

Exhibition History

Christina Mackie
September 21–November 2, 2019

Rochelle Goldberg
May 25–July 20, 2019

Abbas Akhavan, Valérie Blass, Raymond Boisjoly, Rebecca Brewer, Trisha Brown and Trisha Brown Dance Company, Chris Burden, Raven Chacon, Geoffrey Farmer, Hanne Darboven, Marcel Duchamp, Julia Feyrer, Alex Frost, Cynthia Girard-Renard, Rochelle Goldberg, Dan Graham, Brian Jungen, On Kawara, Janice Kerbel, Christine Sun Kim, Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Christina Mackie, Myfanwy MacLeod, Liz Magor, Elizabeth McIntosh, Damian Moppett, Stephen Murray, Kate Newby, Jerry Pethick, Eileen Quinlan, Judy Radul, Aurie Ramirez, Rob Renpenning, Marina Roy, Kevin Schmidt, Nick Sikkuark, Michael Snow, Ron Terada, Calder Tsuyuki Tomlinson, Ian Wallace, Nicole Wermers, and Ashes Withyman

Unexplained Parade
February 9–May 11, 2019

Judy Radul
Words No Pictures Pictures No Words
May 11–June 16, 2018

Julia Feyrer
Background Actors
March 16–April 21, 2018

Rebecca Brewer, Rochelle Goldberg, Charmian Johnson, Christina Mackie
January 26–March 3, 2018

Elizabeth McIntosh
November 17–December 22, 2017

Ron Terada
September 15–October 28, 2017

Elizabeth McIntosh, Monique Mouton, Silke Otto-Knapp
May 26–July 8, 2017

Ian Wallace
Street Floor Table Page Wall Canvas, 1969–2017
March 31–May 13, 2017

Ashes Withyman
March 10–18, 2017

Geoffrey Farmer
The Big Kitchen
January 14–February 25, 2017

Rebecca Brewer
The Holding Sky
November 12–December 17, 2016

Raymond Boisjoly
September 16–October 29, 2016

Damian Moppett
May 6–June 25, 2016

Liz Magor
March 5–April 23, 2016

Brian Jungen
January 22–February 27, 2016

Valérie Blass
To only ever say one thing forever the same thing
November 21, 2015–January 9, 2016

Janice Kerbel
September 12–October 24, 2015

Liz Magor, Jerry Pethick, Ron Tran
A view believed to be yours
May 15–June 27, 2015

Myfanwy MacLeod
March 21–May 2, 2015

Ian Wallace
The Construction Site
January 17–February 28, 2015

Duane Linklater
But the sun is up and you're going?
November 15–December 20, 2014

Ron Terada
September 19–October 25, 2014

Jerry Pethick
Where sidewalks leap upon the table: works on paper 1966–2000
May 24–June 28, 2014

Rebecca Brewer
The Written Face
March 29–May 10, 2014

Geoffrey Farmer
The Grass and the Banana go for a walk
February 8-March 15, 2014

Gareth Moore
Household Temple Yard
November 26, 2013–January 11, 2014

Damian Moppett
September 20–November 2, 2013

Brian Jungen, Duane Linklater
Modest Livelihood
June 7–July 20, 2013

Andrea Büttner, Joëlle de La Casinière, Gareth Moore
April 26–June 1, 2013

Raymond Boisjoly
March 1–April 13, 2013

Liz Magor
I is being This
November 16–December 22, 2012

Christina Mackie, Jerry Pethick
Bigger than a book, wilder than a tree
September 14–October 27, 2012

Judy Radul
April 27–June 9, 2012

Julia Feyrer
Alternatives and Opportunities
March 2–April 14, 2012

Ian Wallace
January 13–February 18, 2012

Ulla von Brandenburg, Guy de Cointet, Geoffrey Farmer, Janice Kerbel, Daria Martin, Judy Radul
People Things Enter Exit
October 28–December 10, 2011

Ron Terada
September 3–October 8, 2011

Robert Kleyn
Works 1969–1983
May 20–June 25, 2011

Arabella Campbell
March 25–April 30, 2011

Alex Morrison
February 3–March 12, 2011

Brian Jungen
November 19, 2010–January 15, 2011

Kevin Schmidt
September 17–October 23, 2010

Damian Moppett
The Sculptor’s Studio is a Painting
May 21–June 26, 2010

Geoffrey Farmer
The Surgeon and the Photographer
January 29-March 6, 2010

Myfanwy MacLeod
November 6–December 12, 2009

Ian Wallace
Works 1970–1979
September 18–October 24, 2009

Brian Jungen, Rebecca Belmore, Myfanwy MacLeod, Kevin Schmidt, Alex Morrison, Sam Durant, Ron Terada, Geoffrey Farmer, Jin-me Yoon
May 15–June 20, 2009

Christos Dikeakos
March 26–April 25, 2009

Gareth Moore
Uncertain Pilgrimage
January 15–February 14, 2009

Jin-me Yoon
October 30–November 29, 2008

Jerry Pethick
September 12–October 11, 2008

Ron Terada
May 23–June 28, 2008

Germaine Koh
April 11–May 10, 2008

Roy Kiyooka, Damian Moppett, Jerry Pethick, Ian Wallace
Process as Work
February 29–March 29, 2008

Kelly Wood, Monika Grzymala
January 18–February 16, 2008

Alex Morrison
November 23–December 22, 2007

Ian Wallace
October 18–November 17, 2007

Judy Radul
September 7–October 6, 2007

Arabella Campbell
June 8–July 7, 2007

Brian Jungen
April 27–May 26, 2007

Sam Durant
Scenes from the Pilgrim Story: Natural History
March 16–April 14, 2007

Damian Moppett
Progress in Advance of the Fall
January 19–February 24, 2007

Isabelle Pauwels
November 25–December 22, 2006

Geoffrey Farmer
Airliner Open Studio
October 21–November 18, 2006

Kevin Schmidt
September 9–October 7, 2006

Gareth Moore, Jacob Gleeson
St. George Marsh
August 24–September 1, 2006

Christos Dikeakos, Geoffrey Farmer, Arni Haraldsson, Brian Jungen, Roy Kiyooka, Germaine Koh, Myfanwy MacLeod, Damian Moppett, Isabelle Pauwels, Jerry Pethick, Judy Radul, Kevin Schmidt, Ron Terada, Ian Wallace, Jin-me Yoon
274 East 1st
June 3–July 8, 2006

Christos Dikeakos
November 25, 2005–January 16, 2006

Alex Morrison, Isabelle Pauwels, Frances Stark, Johannes Wohnseifer
And to stop you interfering, I shall have to dematerialize you again
October 13–November 19, 2005

Geoffrey Farmer, Brian Jungen, Germaine Koh, Myfanwy MacLeod, Damian Moppett, Alex Morrison, Ron Terada, Ian Wallace, Kelly Wood
Mix with care
July 5–September 24, 2005

Ron Terada
May 20–June 25, 2005

Arabella Campbell, Neil Campbell, Ron Terada, Ian Wallace
Painting After Poverty
April 8–May 14, 2005

Sam Durant
Color Pictures
February 25–March 2, 2005

Germaine Koh
January 14–February 19, 2005

Roy Kiyooka
Open Window on a Slow Train
December 2004

Jin-me Yoon
October 22–November 27, 2004

Myfanwy MacLeod
Don’t Stop Dreaming
September 10–October 16, 2004

Artist Curating Artists:
Damian Moppett curates Allison Hrabluik and Zin Taylor
May 28–June 26, 2004

Geoffrey Farmer
Every Surface In Some Way Decorated, Altered or Changed Forever (Except the Float)
April 7–May 15, 2004

Artist Curating Artists:
Myfanwy MacLeod curates Kyla Mallett
February 11–March 13, 2004

Damian Moppett
October 30–December 6, 2003

Carsten Höller, Cameron Jamie, Jakob Kolding, Myfanwy MacLeod, Kyla Mallett, Valérie Mréjen, Isabelle Pauwels, Raymond Pettibon, Ron Terada, Lawrence Weiner, Erwin Wurm
September 10–October 25, 2003

Iain Baxter, Geoffrey Farmer, Roy Kiyooka, Germaine Koh, Myfanwy MacLeod, Ron Terada
I Sell Security
May 29–August 16, 2003

Kelly Wood
Black Plastic
April 11–May 17, 2003

Ian Wallace
February 28–April 5, 2003

Alex Morrison
January 17–February 22, 2003

Allyson Clay
November 29–December 21, 2002

Ron Terada
September 6–October 12, 2002

Germaine Koh, Alex Morrison, N.E. Thing Co., Ron Terada, Ian Wallace
June 8–August 31, 2002

Christos Dikeakos
March 21–April 20, 2002

Germaine Koh
March 8–April 13, 2002

Brian Jungen
February 1–March 2, 2002

Geoffrey Farmer
Catriona Jeffries Catriona
September 9–October 9, 2001

Myfanwy MacLeod
Miss Moonshine
September 7–October 6, 2001

Geoffrey Farmer, Germaine Koh, Myfanwy MacLeod, Damian Moppett, Ron Terada, Jin-me Yoon, Kelly Wood
Supernatural Fairytales (Pink Island)
June 8–August 25, 2001

Ian Wallace
My Heroes in the Street
March 9–April 14, 2001

Jerry Pethick
February 19–March 3, 2001

Roy Kiyooka
Filmic Works 1978–1980
November 30–December 21, 2000