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2019 exhibitions

Fiona Annis – Mormorii (Murmurs)

January 25 to March 27, 2019
Opening: Thursday, February 7, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Artist talk: Friday, February 8, 12:30 pm

An example of the kind of work included in this exhibition

Fiona Annis, Mormorii, 2017, multi-channel sound and light installation, variable dimensions. Photo: Renée Méthot, courtesy of the artist.

An example of the kind of work included in this exhibition

Fiona Annis, Mormorii, 2017, multi-channel sound and light installation, variable dimensions. Photo: Renée Méthot, courtesy of the artist.

Catalogue excerpt

Building on her previous multi-media installation, The Stars Are Dead but Their Light Lives On, this exhibition crystallizes the artist’s practice of exploring existing materials, images, and technologies in search of new meanings. In the case of Mormorii, Annis creates a charged encounter by remediating an archive that is fundamentally immaterial in nature. The artist activates the viewers’ senses in such a way that, when standing in the center of the installation, “the whole body begins to vibrate, accompanied by a slight shiver.”** The re-presentation of matter as intimate as lullabies into an amplified multi-channel environment is far from being a cold display of technological disembodiment. Rather, it constitutes a radical transformation of transmission that touches a powerful chord. Immersed in a field of lullabies, the installation is a strange and deeply moving experience that evokes presence through absence, a thousand times whispered.

- Véronique La Perrière M.

**As Bernard Lamarche describes in his review of Mormorii : « À activer nos sens de la sorte, et considéré la charge émotive des chants entendus, c’est tout le corps qui se met à vibrer au sein de cette installation, traversé par un doux frisson. » See: Lamarche, Bernard. Fiona Annis. De l’oralité à l’auralité. Espace art actuel, 2018.


Fiona Annis lives and works in Montreal, Canada. Her practice includes a wide range of media to explore tensions between concept and material and to select the processes and rhythms that amplify the ideas underpinning each of her projects. Fiona has exhibited in museums, artist-run centres and university galleries across Canada and internationally. Her artwork is featured in the permanent collection of the Museum of Civilization in Quebec City, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the City of Ottawa Art Collection, and the Penumbra Foundation in New York City. Fiona continues an ongoing collaboration with The Society of Affective Archives, with projects that include a large-scale public art commission in the City of Montreal. Fiona is currently the recipient of a fellowship from the Brucebo Foundation to begin a new project at the Observatory and Museum of Astronomical Instruments in Naples, Italy.


March 28 to May 20, 2019
Opening: Thursday, March 28, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Artist tour: Sunday, April 28 at 2 pm

An example of the kind of work included in this exhibition

L. KOLTUN, Death of the Monarch 5, 2018, inkjet print on paper, 81 x 122 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

An example of the kind of work included in this exhibition

L. KOLTUN, Freezing Black 2, 2018, inkjet print on paper, 81 x 122 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

The digital photographs in this exhibition are multiple exposures of the freezing rainfall on April 16, 2018 and of dying local milkweed. They signal a catastrophic reduction of 90% in the Monarch butterfly population of Eastern North America. This intimate interrelationship between living plant and insect with the untimely freezing rain evokes a slow, shared death resonating with both grief and the memory of hope.

Catalogue excerpt

Will this be the death of the monarch?

Lilly’s practice provides an answer. Each image is created by superimposing up to seven different images. Some of these are translucent, while others almost opaque; some are shot with radical camera movement, while others are captured in sharp focus. In the end, she evokes the possibility of life and survival with a great deal of skill, depth and internal light.

- Judith Eglington


Born in Toronto, L. KOLTUN is an interdisciplinary artist who reveals new meanings through defamiliarization. She seeks to create unsettling works inspired by a fascination with deep-rooted societal behaviours and with suppressed, disputed or disregarded values. Following a distinguished career as a cultural executive and Canadian photography scholar, she completed a BFA at the University of Ottawa in 2014, winning two awards. She has completed sculptural and painting commissions and has exhibited still and moving imagery, as well as installation and performance works, in Ottawa and several other Canadian cities. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Art Gallery while continuing as a longstanding Adjunct Research Professor in Art History at Carleton University. She is currently completing an MFA at the University of Ottawa.

Luce Meunier, Sarah Rooney and Monica Tap – Abstract Networks

Curator: Jakub Zdebik

May 30 to July 28, 2019
Opening: Thursday, May 30, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Curator’s talk: Sunday, July 7, 2 pm

An example of the kind of work included in this exhibition

Luce Meunier, Aux quatre vents: courant d’air (graphite) #2, 2017-2018, aquatint blown on paper, 51 x 66 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran.

An example of the kind of work included in this exhibition

Monica Tap, One-second Hudson no. 2, 2007, oil on linen, 61 x 81 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

An example of the kind of work included in this exhibition

Sarah Rooney, Suspended Emulsion n°2 / Émulsion en suspens n°2, 2017, inkjet print on archival paper, 76 x 71 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Catalogue excerpt

Abstract Networks explores the emergence of a modernist formalist aesthetics in contemporary culture through the art of Luce Meunier, Sarah Rooney, and Monica Tap. These three artists capture multiple facets of the modernist style: geometry, abstract landscape and an engagement with reproducibility. The works in the exhibition create networks of association and meaning through painted representation, photography as painting, abstract photographic strategies and landscapes dissolving into abstraction. All these variations on representation are connected through an engagement with digital technology.

- Jakub Zdebik


Luce Meunier uses a bare minimum of visual and graphic language to create her works. The artist is concerned with original application processes, and finds non-classical methods to apply her subject. Formed by prominent folds, superimpositions and illusions of transparency, her pictorial compositions explore space and highlight organizational structures in a formal organic geometry. Luce Meunier lives and works in Montreal. Her work has recently been presented at Antoine Ertaskiran Gallery (Montreal), Galerie R3 de l’UQTR (Trois-Rivières), Christie Contemporary Gallery (Toronto), Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina), and Birch Libralato Gallery (Toronto). She was a finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2006. Her works can be found in many private, corporate, and institutional collections. The artist is represented by Antoine Ertaskiran Gallery.

Sarah Rooney makes paintings and photographs through a process of the layering of registers. She seeks to become witness to subtle spatial conundrums, and her works present reflections on shifts in distance, immediacy, and time. A Montreal-based artist, she was born in South Africa and spent her formative years in Brazil. Rooney studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, England, before obtaining a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal and an MFA from York University in Toronto. She has taught at York University, the University of Toronto, and she is currently a part-time professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa. Rooney’s paintings are included in the Canada Council Art Bank Collection, as well as in private collections in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Europe.

Monica Tap’s many artistic activities involve exploring questions of time and representation in painting. Her practice opens up a space between landscape and abstraction, and navigates the terrain between painting and other media. Her canvases are conceptual and systematic investigations into the codes of pictorial illusionism and perception. Over the past fifteen years, her work has been exhibited in Canada, New York and London, England. She has received many grants and awards, including one from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for her project, “Translation as a Strategy of Renewal in Painting.” She is a professor in the School of Fine Arts and Music at the University of Guelph.

Jakub Zdebik is an assistant professor of Art History in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa. His work has been published in RACAR, The Brock Review, The Semiotic Review of Books, English Studies in Canada and Deleuze Studies. He has released two books: Deleuze and the Diagram: Aesthetic Threads in Visual Organization (Continuum Press, 2012) and Deleuze and the Map-Image: Aesthetics, Information, Code and Digital Art came out in May (Bloomsbury Press, 2019). He has also curated art exhibitions at the Kennedy Museum of Art in Ohio and Gallery R3 in Trois-Rivières, Quebec.

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Esther Hoflick - Unnaming

University of Ottawa MFA candidate – Thesis exhibition

August 14 to September 8, 2019
Opening: Thursday, August 22, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

The gallery will be closed during the following times:

Thursday, August 15, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Friday, August 16. 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

We apologize for the inconvenience.

As a supplement to our regular programming, Karsh-Masson Gallery is pleased to partner with the University of Ottawa’s Department of Visual Arts to provide a valuable mentorship and professional development opportunity.

An example of the kind of work included in this exhibition

Esther Hoflick, untitled (installation view), 2019, watercolour, soft pastel, coloured pencil and graphite on plaster on panel with plastic and Styrofoam, 20 x 25 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

An example of the kind of work included in this exhibition

Esther Hoflick, untitled, 2019, watercolour, soft pastel, coloured pencil and graphite on plaster on panel, 28 x 36 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist statement excerpt

Esther Hoflick uses her practice to explore re-enchantment and what it means, on a phenomenological level, to be human. Her artistic investigations throughout her MFA have focused on perception and her relationship to the physical world. Her interest in perception is related also to her interest in the relationship between nonsense and meaning. Significantly, for the artist, these relationships are seen as a continuum, as opposed to a bifurcation. She wonders about our perceptions as enmeshed within our environment and where, on that continuum, meaning resides.


Moving from a cottage community just outside of Peterborough, Ontario, Esther Hoflick completed her B.A. Honours in Studio Arts from the University of Guelph in 2007, with a minor in English Literature. In 2012, the artist moved to Montreal where she lived and worked until she started her Master of Fine Arts degree, at the University of Ottawa, in 2017.

Hoflick was the co-founder of Night Owl Contemporary, a gallery for emerging artists in Montreal, and ran The Living Art Room, a small community-based art school. She worked as curator for Artbomb, a daily auction of Canadian art, and received a grant from the Québec Jeunes volontaires program, in 2014. She has worked as a studio assistant for Peter Barron, in Peterborough, Don Russell, in Guelph, and John Brown, in Toronto. Her work has been exhibited at Artspace, in Peterborough, the Art Gallery of Guelph, Espace Projet, in Montreal, Galerie UQO, in Gatineau, QC, and Artfetch, in Dublin, Ireland, among others.

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Benjamin Rodger – Tu peux encore changer le monde (You Can Still Change the World)

September 19 to November 11, 2019
Opening: Thursday, September 19, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Artist talk: Sunday, October 27, 2 pm (in English with bilingual Q&A)

An example of the kind of work included in this exhibition

Benjamin Rodger, Ligne bleu-vert, 2019, acrylic on wood, 76 x 61 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

An example of the type of work that will be included in the exhibition.

Benjamin Rodger, Petit splash orange, 2019, acrylic on wood, 30 x 23 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Catalogue excerpt

Upon first glance, [the forms in Rodger’s paintings] seem to have been created using a sharp gesture on the surface of the canvas—a splash, as referenced by the titles of several exhibited works. Yet each “drip” is in fact formed with intent: the contours are precise, and each line and spot was painted with great care. This second dichotomy between the random and the intentional positions the canvas as a performance space. The form does not emerge (organic drip), but it is created (controlled form).

- François Chalifour


Originally from Ottawa, Benjamin Rodger holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the École nationale supérieure d’art de la Villa Arson, in Nice, France. His works, primarily paintings, have been exhibited in Canada, Europe and the Middle East—notably, he was chosen to represent Canada in the discipline of painting at the sixth Jeux de la Francophonie, held in Beirut, Lebanon. In 2015, he completed the Fugitif artist residency program in Leipzig, Germany.

Since his return to Ottawa in 2009, his work has been exhibited numerous times in the region. He has received a number of grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Ottawa and the Fondation franco-ontarienne. Rodger is also involved in his community and has sat on boards of directors, organizing committees and juries for festivals, cooperatives, galleries, artist-run centres and governmental and educational institutions. Represented by the Galerie St-Laurent + Hill in Ottawa, he splits his time between his studio and the art department of Cégep de l’Outaouais, where he teaches.

Benjamin Rodger gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the City of Ottawa.

City of Ottawa Art Collection – 2019 Additions

November 22, 2019 to January 12, 2020
Opening: Thursday, December 12, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

This exhibition features a selection of artworks added to the City of Ottawa Art Collection in 2019 through purchase, donation and commission. Artworks from the City’s Collection are on display in over 150 municipal buildings and spaces across the city.



2019 Exhibitions Peer assessment committee members: Lisa Creskey, Manon Labrosse, Barry Pottle