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Exibitions 1978

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Index of artists, authors and curators

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OPTICA Fonds (Concordia University Archives)

Guidebooks to help in consulting the archives

Electronic Reproduction Fees

Robert Cumming, Tim Clark, Kelly Wise, Sorel Cohen, George Legrady, David McMillan, Jack Buquet, Terry Ewasiuk
From January 9th 1978 to February 3rd 1978
Foto Fiction

"Some photographers seek to capture genuine 'slices of life'. Others are willing to tamper with their subjects in order to bring them in line with the photographer’s message or personal sensibility. Both approaches have been operative practically since the beginning of photography. [...]
The current exhibit at Optica bears the intriguing name "Foto Fiction". What most of the photographs by eight younger photographers have in common is the 'directorial mode'. In nearly all cases, the subjects depicted have been especially arranged for the camera : events have been coordinated for the artist’s and viewer’s eye. Everything is contrived. Obviously, this is the meaning of the title, "Foto Fiction". These artists are presenting us with fictions – some ‘purists’ might even go so far as to call these pictures ‘lies’. It has long since been accepted as an ‘old wife’s tale’ that photographs always tell the truth. Nevertheless, we are still accustomed to thinking of photos as evidence – just think of such magical things as the IDs to which we are required to attach a little photo portrait. Even conceptualists, artists like Dennis Oppenheim and Klaus Rinke depended on photography’s stereotyped role as proof. The various photographically ‘documented’ process pieces required a measure of faith on the part of the viewer. [...]
Most of the photographers in this show brush up against the problematic rapport of image to knowledge. Yet, with few exceptions, the real goal was to produce something either pretty, bizarre, or some combination of the two."
- Lehman, Henri, "Photos as fiction".

January 15th 1978
Conference by A.D. Coleman

- Lehman, Henri, «Photos as fiction».

Kelly Morgan
From February 6th 1978 to March 10th 1978
Travaux en acier

"The work of Morgan, who is one of the more interesting, energetic artists on the Montreal scene [(one of Vehicule's founding members in 1972 and of Beaux-Arts magazine)], should be taken seriously despite the fact that almost all of the new abstract wall sculptures fall prey to a lyricism that is appealing by hackneyed. Sadly, this failure is not prevented by the encouraging if incomplete budding of some promising aspects of the current series."
- Lehman, Henri, "Morgan turns scraps into art", The Montreal Star, March 2nd 1978, p.B11.

- Lehman, Henri, «Morgan turns scraps into art», The Montreal Star, 2 mars 1978, p.B11.

February 12th 1978
Projection de films / Films' projection

Invited filmmaker : Diego Cortez

Ellen Brooks, Casey Williams, Harry Bowers, George Legrady, Phillip Galgiani
From March 13th 1978 to April 7th 1978
San Francisco Associates / 5 Photographers

Exposition de groupe / Group exhibition
From April 2nd 1978 to April 15th 1978
New Trends in U.S. and Canadian Photography / Nouvelles tendances de la photographie américaine et canadienne / Nuove tendenze della fotografia americana e canadese

Artists : Tim Clark, Sorel Cohen, Paul Diamond, David Evans, Michael Flomen, Angela Grauerholz, Louis Lanzano, Arthur Ollman, James Rae, Robert Walker, Bill Jones

The following document is only available in French :
"Exposition montrée en Italie, à Milan. Elle fut organisée suite au programme d’échange avec la galerie Il Diaframma (Milan), à la demande de Nicolas Monti de la galerie Monas Hieroglifica Inc. (Milan) lors d’une rencontre avec Bill Ewing, alors qu’il était directeur des expositions au International Center of Photography (New York). L’élaboration du concept et le choix des artistes a été fait par Bill Ewing et Renée Van Halm, directrice adjointe de la galerie Optica. La réalisation de l’exposition a été rendue possible grâce à la participation du Consulat canadien et du Gouvernement canadien. L’exposition a été inaugurée à la galerie Monas Hieroglifica Inc et a été montrée par la suite dans trois centres milanais : une librairie, Libreria Utopia (15-30 avril) où l’exposition avait pour titre "La nuova immagine nord-americana" et présentait une section d’œuvres choisies parmi l’exposition principale; dans un magasin d’ameublement ‘design’, le Show room Lyda Levi (16-30 avril) et finalement au Castello Visconteo (11 juin-11 juillet). Deux conférences ont été prévues, dont une à la Libreria Utopia le 15 avril. L’exposition comprenait 10 artistes dont 7 photographes canadiens et 3 américains. Notons que la galerie Monas Hieroglifica Inc. a été fondée dans un contexte et avec des objectifs similaires à ceux de la galerie Optica."
- Internal document (Optica)

March 5th 1978
Tim Clark in conversation with A.D. Coleman

"Event held held at Tim Clark’s studio in Montreal on the morning of March 5th, 1978, in conjunction with A.D. Coleman’s lecture on directorial photography at Optica."
- Internal document (Optica)

David Tomas, John Francis, Michel Denée, L.A. Busch
From April 10th 1978 to May 5th 1978
Travaux muraux / Wallworks

Exposition de groupe / Group exhibition
From May 8th 1978 to June 5th 1978
Open Artist's Polaroid Show / Exposition des polaroids

Artists : Marilyn Milburn, Henrietta Komras, George Bogardi, Renée Van Halm, Betty Goodwin, Marcel Lemyre, Mercedes Jauron, Miklos Legrady, Ray Van Dugen, Michael O'Malley, Denis Demers, John Heward

"Polaroids and the instant picture have received considerable attention by artists and photographers over the last few years – from the refined and elaborate portraits of Marie Cosindas to the manipulated images of Lucas Samaras and Les Krims. In order to see what local artists have done with the medium we have planned this spontaneous exhibition, which will not be juried : all entries will be exhibited."
- Press release (Optica)

- Lehman, Henry, «The invitation was for everyone», The Montreal Star, 20 mai 1978, p.D4.

Geneviève Cadieux, Evelyne Erskine, David Duchow, Michael Flomen
From June 12th 1978 to June 30th 1978

Peter Melville, Harlan Johnson, Lynn Kobayashi, Donna McAlear
From July 6th 1978 to July 22nd 1978
2 X 4 (1er volet / 1rst part)

An exciting show in two parts - Eight young Montreal artists will be showing their most recent works in two summer exhibitions of painting, drawing, sculpture and photography at Optica [...]

The artists are as follows:
Donna McAlear: coloured, linear field paintings reflecting her personal space through relationships of size and depth.

Dean Ailertson: works directly in welded steel using materials donated by local scrap dealers.

Ron Reisler: finds a means of expressing the dichotomy he finds within himself; line and ground, chaos and quietude.

Peter Melville: 3-dimensional constructions in a variety of materials.

Regen O,Connor: says ‘I just try to keep myself interested, one move leads to another, if I’m concentrating hard enough.’

Lynn Kobayashi: takes photographs of things from her immediate environment to which she is attracted in every possible sense.

Bruce Emo: art is his attempt to understand the historical perspective of how one sees.

Harlan Johnson: works with different materials both flat and sculptural.
- Press release (Optica)

Dean Eilertson, Bruce Emo, Regan O'Connor, Ron Reisler
From August 3rd 1978 to August 19th 1978
2 X 4 (2e volet / 2nd part)

Please go to the first part of «2 X 4» (July 6th 1978 - July 22nd 1978) to see our selected archives' documents concerning this exhibition. Thank you.

Jean-Charles Desjardins, Herménégilde Chiasson, Raymonde April, Serge Murphy
From September 5th 1978 to October 3rd 1978
La chambre blanche à Montréal

"La Chambre Blanche is a co-operative gallery in Quebec City. It has, over the past year, presented an active programme of exhibitions, and has recently moved to larger premises with three exhibition spaces. This is the first exhibition they have organized as a group outside of Quebec City."
- Internal document (Optica)

Robert McNealy, Sam Perepelkin, John Howlin, Richard Evans
From October 9th 1978 to October 27th 1978
Act / Optica Exchange

Garry Neill Kennedy
From October 30th 1978 to November 15th 1978
Recent Paintings

"Before the preceding exhibition of paintings was removed from the gallery walls, a record of each painting’s dimensions and placement was made by outlining its perimeter with a pencil. A sign painter was contracted to fill in the outlined shapes with two coats of artists’ colour acrylic yellow oxide paint."
- Garry Neill Kennedy ; Recent Paintings (October 30, 1978 – November 15, 1978) (Exhibition catalogue), Optica gallery, 1978.

"Dear Renée,
[...] I am looking forward to the exhibition at Optica. I have enclosed a copy of my Lethbridge exhibition to give you an idea of the type of photos I’ll need as it is now clearer in my mind what is required.
1. I will need four photos 8’ x 10’ – black and white glossy for reproduction.
2. The photos should be taken toward each of the four corners of the room.
3. The photos should be taken on the evening of the opening of the painting exhibition which precedes mine as I would like to have people in the photographs – preferably carrying out their normal opening night activities, chatting, viewing, munching, etc.
The room columns do not disturb me if they are in the photos. If the four-corner photo cannot reveal all the wall area of the room then we will try six or failing that – eight. My diagrams suggest how it may be done. My intention is to fill in the spaces occupied by the paintings with yellow oxide ink in the catalogue. [...]
Sincerely yours,
Gary Neill Kennedy."
- Internal document (Optica) : letter from Gary Neill Kennedy

Go to publications catalogue.

John Chalmers, Richard Holden, Marianna Knottenbelt, William Larson, Michael Mitchell, Michael Bishop, Marie-Andrée Cossette
From November 13th 1978 to November 24th 1978
Images colorées / Coloured Pictures

From November 27th 1978 to December 11th 1978
Retrospective Auction

90 artists took part in this project by donating one or a few artworks : Carmello Arnoldin, Michael Billingsley, John Blahut, Pierre Boogaerts, Eva Brandl, Jack Buquet, Leslie Busch, Geneviève Cadieux, Diana Caldwell, John Chalmers, Israël Charney, Tim Clark, Lynne Cohen, Sorel Cohen, A.D. Coleman, Marie-Andrée Cossette, Francis Coutellier, David Craven, Michel Denée, Paul Diamond, Jennifer Dickson, David Duchow, Brian Dyson, Evelyn Erskine, David Evans, Michael Flomen, John Francis, Charles Gagnon, Tom Gibson, Anthony Graham, Bill Jones, John Heward, Marianna Knottenbelt, Chris Knudsen, Deborah Koenker, Viktor Kolar, Suzy Lake, Ellen Landweber, George Legrady, Miklos Legrady, Kathryn Lipke, John Max, David Moore, Brian Merret, Marilyn Milburn, Kelly Morgan, Yokio Ohno, Tom Paskal, Leo Plotek, James Rae, Judith Schwarz, Michael Semak, Vincent Sharp, Tom Sherman, Françoise Sullivan, Gabor Szilasi, Sam Tata, John Taylor, Ray Van Dugen, Bill Vazan, George Whiteside, Kelly Wise

John Chalmers, Richard Holden, Marianna Knottenbelt, William Larson, Michael Mitchell, Michael Bishop, Marie-Andrée Cossette
From December 13th 1978 to December 22nd 1978
Images colorées / Coloured Pictures (suite)