Owen Gordon: Memory Stories

December 2, 2021 - January 22, 2022

Guided tour with the artist: Saturday, December 11 at 3pm. To RSVP, click here.


Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce Memory Stories, an exhibition of new paintings by Owen Gordon. The exhibition will open on December 2nd and run until December 22nd. This is Gordon’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. 


Following Owen Gordon’s first exhibition at the gallery last year, a survey of paintings made over four decades, we are pleased to present an entirely new body of work based on his collection of experiences, past and present. Gordon has lived a life of stories; growing up in Jamaica and immigrating to Canada at age 35, he has seen more in his lifetime than most. In addition to painting, Gordon is also a writer and sculptor. He has always embraced his creativity with focus and passion, including during his career working for the City of Toronto. His daily encounters became material to fuel his practice.

Painted during a period of isolation, these most recent paintings recall some of the most influential people in Gordon’s lifetime. While some are solitary portraits, the titles bearing their names, other paintings describe specific events remembered with vivid accuracy and detail. Gordon is also known for his abstract works, heavily inspired by African textiles. They sometimes pay homage to a particular person from Gordon’s past, their contributions and personalities too complex to encapsulate in a traditional portrait.


"No paintbrush can capture the grace and poise of Sheila Barnett. Sheila Barnett was the principal of the School of Dance in Jamaica, whose campus I used to visit on a regular basis. One could feel the positive energy that Barnett and her staff emitted at the dance school. I created this abstract painting after a few attempts to create a painting in memory of Sheila Barnett, only to realize that no brush or ink can capture the elegance and poise that she possessed. She seemed to float as she strode across the dancefloor, her image reflected in the large mirrors that made up the walls of the room. Seeing her, a person quickly came to the conclusion that Sheila Barnett was born to dance."

– Owen Gordon


To access the viewing room, click here.

To watch a virtual exhibition walkthrough, click here.