Landon Mackenzie: The Moon is the Message

June 4 - July 4, 2020

Online Viewing Room: Thursday,  June 4th - July 4th


Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce its first solo online exhibition with works on paper by Vancouver artist Landon Mackenzie. The exhibition will open in the gallery and on our online viewing room on June 4th and run until July 4th. In addition to images of recent works, the viewing room features a virtual installation, texts by Mackenzie as well as related earlier works.


Widely known for her large-scale canvases, Landon Mackenzie has worked on paper throughout her career having trained in drawing and printmaking. Although her works on paper relate to her larger paintings, they are not considered studies but rather a parallel practice. Mackenzie displays an awareness and sensitivity for the rare and delicate surfaces of the papers she chooses. Parallel Journey (Works on Paper 1975-2015) was Mackenzie's first touring exhibition that focused entirely on her output on paper.


An important influence for Mackenzie has been working on paper while travelling.  She crosses the country at least once a year to visit her summer studio on Prince Edward Island. She also participates in international residencies, both self-initiated and awarded and has made work while visiting China, France, Germany, UK Zambia and Spain. Over 2018 and 2019, Mackenzie was invited to participate in three residencies, twice in Tao Hua Tan, China and the other in Noja, Spain. While the foundation for the works she developed at the residencies was her particle motif, each series was inspired by the culture, colour and available materials she discovered in the respective situations. 


"One is profoundly moved by seeing a full moon and especially a super moon, yet this image is forbidden as subject matter because it’s romantic, sentimental and corny. I experience a strong relationship to this force where ever I am: on the Cardigan River in PEI, across the Atlantic to the coast of Europe, or illuminating the rice fields in China. In it I carry my sense of home and my close relationships. As this pandemic influences the whole of Earth, it is the one common light we share."

- Landon Mackenzie


The title for this exhibition, The Moon is the Message, is a play on Marshall McLuhan's famous phrase, "The medium is the message". One of the few constants when Mackenzie travels is the appearance of the moon. It is visible from every country and is one of the most powerful global forces including its role in tidal changes. While abstract, her particle motif alludes to real life experiences and energies, including the constant surprise at seeing the moon no matter her location. Neurotree, 2011, is a single large format canvas included in the exhibition. Mackenzie remembers this work as her first example of the Particle paintings. It also has a variety of linear elements that borrow from the patterns she often describes on paper.


Landon Mackenzie grew up in Toronto, moving later to Halifax and Montreal to study in the 1970s. She has lived and worked in Vancouver for the last thirty-four years where she became the first full Professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She holds a BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a MFA from Concordia University. In 2017, Landon Mackenzie was a recipient of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. Her works are included in numerous collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Art Gallery of Ontario. Recent Museum exhibitions include Parallel Journey: Works on Paper, organized and toured by the Kelowna Art Gallery (2015-2018); Emily Carr and Landon Mackenzie: Wood Chopper and the Monkey, Vancouver Art Gallery (2014- 2015); Landon Mackenzie: Nervous Centre, Esker Foundation, Calgary (2012); and Landon Mackenzie (Re-collects), West Vancouver Art Museum (2019).


To access the Viewing Room, click here.