2020 exhibitions

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Andrew Wright – Filmtrack 4 A Sound: Suite Kurelek de Fiala

The Karsh Award 2019 

January 23 to March 15, 2020

The Karsh Award honours the artistic legacy of celebrated Ottawa photographers Yousuf and Malak Karsh. It is presented every four years to a local mid-career or established artist for their outstanding body of work and their significant contribution to the artistic discipline in a photo/lens-based medium.

blue and white wavy lines

Filmtrack 4 A Sound: Suite Kurelek de Fiala (2010-2020) is inspired by a pristine, unopened box set of records from the 1980s that Wright found in 2009. A perfectly preserved artefact of a more idealistic time, Canadian Anthology (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 1987) is carefully unboxed, played and recorded a single time, and then resealed. Within the anthology is George Fiala’s (1922-2017) Kurelek Suite (1982), an orchestral piece in which each of the five movements is composed in response to a particular painting by William Kurelek (1927-1977). Taking Fiala’s homage one step further, Wright makes a filmic chronicle of the unboxing event, which is then screened as three contiguous fields on the gallery walls. The result is a visual journey across vast arctic landscapes of snow and ice – or so it would appear.

-Excerpt from the essay by Adrian Göllner


Artist Andrew Wright creates works in many media and has been preoccupied with using photography in traditional and decidedly non-traditional ways for over 25 years. Wright has exhibited widely in Canada and abroad with shows in places such as the U.S., the U.K., the E.U., Korea and China. He has exhibited at such venues as the London Gallery West; the Polygon Gallery, Vancouver; the Art Museum at the University of Toronto; the Art Gallery of Ontario; the University of California, Berkeley; Oakville Galleries; and the Today Art Museum, Beijing. His works can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the X'i’an Art Museum in China, the City of Ottawa, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, the University of Toronto, the Ottawa Art Gallery, Canada’s High Commission in London at Canada House and private collections around the world.

A six-time nominee for the Sobey Art Award, Wright was a semi-finalist in 2007. In 2011, Wright won the inaugural Gattuso Prize at Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival in Toronto. His work has been curated by Joan Fontcuberta and he has shown alongside artists such as Michael Snow, Iain Baxter&, Ed Burtynsky, Rebecca Belmore and Kelly Mark. Andrew Wright is an Associate Professor of Visual Art and the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa.

Filmtrack 4 A Sound: Suite Kurelek de Fiala coincides with another exhibition by 2019 Karsh Award laureate Andrew Wright. Apex: Interloper will be on display at Corridor 45|75 from January 16 to March 29, 2020. 

Vivian Törs – Permission to Speak

September 17 to November 22, 2020
Opening: Thursday, October 1, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Artist tours: Sunday, October 18 at 2 pm and 2:45 pm
All visitors must pre-book preferred tour timeslot on Eventbrite.
All welcome. Free admission. Presented in English.

Please check the latest Ottawa Public Health safety guidelines prior to your visit.

Vivian Törs, Souls (book spread from Permission to Speak: The concealed letters of Szidónia Pfeifer), 2019, pigment ink on cotton rag paper, 43 x 66 cm, courtesy of the artist

book propped open to page with image

Vivian Törs, Flight (if only), 2019, pigment ink on cotton rag paper, 102 x 83 cm, courtesy of the artist

black and pink hued image with geometric, abstract shapes

Exhibition video

Exhibition booklet [ PDF - 10.9 MB ]

Two visceral discoveries lie at the heart of Vivian Törs’ exhibition, Permission to Speak. The first was a small cache of letters, written in Hungarian and found after the death of Édi, a 96-year-old family friend. The second was a stash of expired photographic paper, perfect for the lumen technique. This involves laying objects on silver gelatin paper and exposing them to sunlight to create a negative image where the light source can seem to emanate from within. The artist immediately connected the two discoveries, recognizing that they represented the elusive form she had been seeking. Marrying the letters and the lumen gave her the liberty to deepen personal history in a nonliteral way.

- Exhibition booklet excerpt by Nancy Beale

Please contact publicartprogram@ottawa.ca to order a copy of this exhibition booklet. Free.
View translated copies of the Hungarian letters


Vivian Törs is a photo-based artist born in Montreal to Hungarian refugee parents. She learned the value and fragility of freedom from an early age. The responsibility of remembering and acknowledging the lessons of the past deeply informs her work.

Vivian completed the Photographic Arts and Production diploma at the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO), and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Art History at Carleton University. Her work has been exhibited in Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick, and she has been awarded grants from the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Vivian Törs gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council.

Hindsight: 2020 Additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection

December 15, 2020 to January 10, 2021

This exhibition will be presented in two galleries at City Hall:
City Hall Art Gallery: December 15, 2020 to February 7, 2021
Karsh-Masson Gallery: December 15, 2020 to January 10, 2021

Claude Latour, Mōnz | Moose | Orignal, 2020, painted steel and wood, commissioned for Rideau Canal Crossing

stylistic bench with wooden seat and an antler shaped back

Francis Montillaud, Strata of belonging: the expression of a neighbourhood, 2020, aluminum, bronze and concrete, 2020-0093, commissioned for Elgin Street Renewal

cement pillars hold a row of 4 aluminum sculptural faces

Sally Lee Sheeks, Alone | Seule | Nishike, 2020, wood, steel and stone, 2020-0012, commissioned for Rideau Canal Crossing

stylistic bench with a boulder under one side, wood to sit on and a metal backing

Amy Thompson, Rise | Levée | Kògahamog, 2020, painted steel and stainless steel with enamel, 2020-0092, commissioned for Minto Bridges Rehabilitation

tall sculpture that looks like a whale from one side and a bird from the other

Artists often question and ponder the events and zeitgeist of the moment. Hindsight: 2020 Additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection presents artworks that address many fraught issues highlighted by the pandemic, including racial and gender inequity, political discord, poverty, migration, environmental crisis, physical vulnerability and psychological breakdown. If the major pandemics and social movements of the past are any indication, we may well experience paradigm shifts on an individual and collective basis, allowing us to break with the past and imagine a more inclusive, equitable, sustainable and creative future.

This annual exhibition, which features recent additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection, is a moment of cultural and community celebration. In a typical year, dozens of artists would gather with their families and friends, as well as members of the public, to attend a crowded vernissage. Only now can we fully appreciate just how precious these gatherings were.

We hope many people will have the opportunity to view this exhibition in person, but we understand that may not be possible this year. Please watch the short video that will be released in January 2021 to highlight the artworks showcased in this exhibition. Produced by Lesley Marshall, the video features local artists, words by Ottawa Poet Laureate Jamaal Jackson Rogers and music by Merganzer (Mika Posen). 

Artworks from this circulating collection are placed in over 170 public spaces and municipal buildings to be viewed and enjoyed by residents and visitors. The City of Ottawa and its various municipal predecessors have been actively collecting artwork by professional artists for over 30 years. As a result, the City of Ottawa Collection has grown to include more than 3,000 artworks by more than 800 artists. The artists featured in this exhibition are but a small fragment of a much larger visual arts community that comprises an abundance of artistic talent in the region.

Artworks are added to the Collection each year by way of a peer assessment process through purchase, donation and/or commission.

Hindsight features a selection of artworks by the following artists:

  • Barry Ace
  • Alexander Angnaluak
  • Fiona Annis
  • Gabriela Avila-Yiptong
  • Karen Bailey
  • Julie Beauchemin
  • John Benn
  • Judith Berry
  • Barbara Carlson
  • Chromogenic Curmudgeons
  • Kristina Corre
  • Joyce Crago
  • Pixie Cram
  • Lynda Cronin
  • Betty Davison
  • Brendan de Montigny
  • Jennifer Dickson
  • Maura Doyle
  • Kimberly Edgar
  • Rosalie Favell
  • Laurena Finéus
  • Atticus Gordon
  • Colwyn Griffith
  • José Guénette
  • Claudia Gutierrez
  • Lynda Hall
  • Erin Hunt
  • Sarah Jaworski
  • Olivia Johnston
  • David Kaarsemaker
  • Gillian King
  • Donald Kwan and Justy Lisa Dennis
  • Sébastien Lafleur
  • Claude Latour
  • Jim Logan
  • Lesia Maruschak
  • Henri Masson
  • Natasha Mazurka
  • Julie Melaschenko
  • Caroline Monnet
  • Francis Montillaud
  • Jennifer Anne Norman
  • Anne Orton
  • Jose Palacios
  • Christos Pantieras
  • Sasha Phipps
  • Barry Pottle
  • Susan Pritchard
  • Benjamin Rodger
  • Komi Seshie
  • Sally Lee Sheeks
  • Ranajit Sinha
  • Andrew Smith
  • Katherine Takpannie
  • Amy Thompson
  • Guillermo Trejo
  • Carol Wainio
  • Robert Waters
  • Joyce Westrop
  • Colin White

2020 Direct Purchase Peer Assessment Committee: Guy Bérubé, Marisa Gallemit, Rachelle Dickenson, Diana Thorneycroft, Howie Tsui

2020 Donation Review Committee: David Barbour, Neven Lochhead, Annie Thibault, Melanie Yugo

Commissions:Tara Blasioi, Joel Boudreau, Hala Boushey, Eric Chan, Brendan de Montigny, Steve Fick, Christopher Griffin, Dipna Horra, Stuart Kinmond, Maryse Maynard, Susan Murray, Barbara Pickthorne, Jocelyn Pirainen

2020 Exhibitions Peer assessment committee members

AM Dumouchel, Annie Thibault, Alexandra Nahwegahbow