Current Exhibitions

Jock Macdonald:
Evolving Form

October 18, 2014 to January 4, 2015


Jock MacDonald
Etheric Form, 1934
oil on panel
Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of Anonymous Donor


Jock MacDonald
Dolls and Toys, 1946
watercolour, ink on paper
Collection of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
Gift of M. Sharf, 1983


Jock Macdonald was a pioneer of postwar abstraction in Canada and has been called one of the "greatest teachers of the century." Evolving Form is the first major retrospective of the artist's work in over thirty years and offers a lively presentation of the artist's career, which spanned the country and greatly influenced the last century of Canadian art.

Jock Macdonald: Evolving Form provides a fresh look at Macdonald's artistic practice and exhibits many previously unknown works for the first time. Tracing the unique and dramatic transformations the artist underwent throughout his artistic development, the exhibition begins with Macdonald's early painting career in Vancouver, surveys his move toward abstraction in the thirties and his extraordinary automatics of the forties, then concludes with the later abstractions he produced as part of the Toronto-based collective of abstract artists, Painters Eleven.

This project is accompanied by a major book co-published by the three art galleries and Black Dog Publishing, featuring texts by each curator, an essay by scholar Dr. Anna Hudson, excerpts from Macdonald's correspondence and a diary the artist kept while living in Nootka Sound from 1935 to 1936.


Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, and is curated by Ian M. Thom, Michelle Jacques and Linda Jansma.


Presenting Sponsor:
Generously Supported by:
Barry and Drinda Scott

Visionary Partner for Publications:
The Richardson Family