A Jock McDonald Remix Project by Pete Smith.

This blog is a running journal that was made in conjunction with my artist residency at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada that took place between December 2014 and February of 2015.

To get an understanding of how this project fits into the larger scope of my art practice, please visit:


Saturday, December 6, 2014

research notes:

continued from: Joyce Zemans, "Jock Macdonald", 1985.

pg 15: Macdonald first used the term "modality" to describe his abstract paintings in 1938. He likely borrowed the term from Amedee Ozefant whose book, "Foundations of Modern Art" was often referred to by Macdonald.

pg 15: Macdonald exhibited four of his modalities at the Vancouver Art Gallery in April, 1938.

pg 17: He suffered a collapsed lung in 1937. Zemans (somewhat comically) attributes this to being "worn out by work and frustration". I work pretty hard. I've also found this frustrating on occasion. Never caused a collapsed lung though.

pg 17: He taught briefly at a junior high school, and like: holy shit. This man is, like, my total doppelganger. Now THAT is shit that could make your lung collapse. Quote from Macdonald: "I have been a week here and my feelings are that I could truthfully disappear." Having taught middle school myself for a year in 2007/08, I totally feel this.

pg 17: In 1943 he met the British Surrealist painter and psychiatrist(!), Dr. Grace Pailthorpe. And her CBC lecture, from July 10th, 1944.

pg 19: He taught Oshawa's Alexandra Luke at the Banff School of Fine Arts in the summer of 1945.

A year later in Calgary, he taught Marion Nicoll. Of Macdonald's instruction, she said: "You take a pencil, you are in a quiet place, you put the pencil on the paper and you sit there until your hand moves of it's own accord. You do that every day. You keep doing it. It will happen without any effort on your part."

pg 20: In the fall of 1946, he left Vancouver to take a teaching position at the Calgary Institute of Technology. Despite the fact he formed the Calgary Group that year, he took a position the following year at the Ontario College of Art. (Go team!)

pg 20: On Alexandra Luke's (awesome) suggestion, he spent the summers of 1948 and 1949 in Provincetown, Mass working with Hans Hofman.

pg 22: AND NOW THIS IS A FACT THAT I AM TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH - In the fall of 1953 seven Toronto artists displayed their work in a show at the Robert Simpson Company called "Abstracts at Home". This show was curated by William Ronald.

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