Landon Mackenzie is a nationally celebrated, Vancouver-based artist, admired for her large-scale paintings on canvas. Lesser known are her works on paper, which she produces as a tandem practice to her paintings, and often while away from her home. These ink and watercolour creations are spontaneous and free-form and speak to the deepest levels of the creative urge with minimal forethought or revision. As part of a national tour, Landon Mackenzie: Parallel Journey is now exhibiting at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery.
Born in the U.S. and raised in Toronto, Mackenzie studied printmaking at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. Some of her student etchings will be included in the show including layered works often featuring text, which shed light on some of her mature painting practice, in which she often writes words and phrases into the painting that later get covered over by marks and images.
After completing her MFA at Concordia University she turned to painting and her Lost River Series, which she began in 1981, was an overnight sensation. Mackenzie moved to teach at Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver in 1986. She travels each summer to work on P.E.I., and had the opportunity to work for part of the year in Berlin in 2013, and in the Canada Council Paris studio in 2009. Whenever she is on the road as a speaker or visiting artist she tends to work only on paper, but most of these works have rarely been exhibited. This exhibition provides the opportunity for audiences to delve deeply into this aspect of Mackenzie’s practice.
Mackenzie’s strengths as an artist are her inventive energy, her intellectual restlessness and curiosity, and her love of imagery, maps, language, and history. Landon Mackenzie: Parallel Journey is accompanied by a multi-authored, full-length book published by Black Dog Publishing in the U.K., with special support from the Audain Foundation.
Mackenzie’s survey exhibition will be highlighted at the Art Gallery’s Summer Exhibition Opening Gala, which takes place this Saturday, June 18 at 7 p.m. at Confederation Centre.