Spring 2020 Exhibitions at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham


The place to be on a Saturday night in Markham! Join us for a triple exhibition opening: filling the Klein bottle (x) {, Emotional Landscapes and To make an auspicious home. Artists and curators will be in attendance. A panel discussion will kick-off the evening, followed by pop-up tours, activities and refreshments.

February 15, 2020

Panel Discussion | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. | Free
Belinda Kwan, Tak Pham, Annie Wong and Anik Glaude will discuss the exhibitions on view, their respective approaches to curating and the various ways their artistic practices seek to break institutional boundaries.

Opening Reception | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. | Free
Artists Jessica Karuhanga, Alex R. M. Thompson and Xuan Ye offer pop-up tours of their works on view.

RSVP at varleyartgallery.eventbrite.ca

Exhibitions on view, February 15 – April 26, 2020

filling the Klein bottle (x) {

Xuan Ye and Wenxin Zhang
Curated by Belinda Kwan

“If you[’d] like a drink, then a Klein bottle is not a recommended receptacle. It may look vaguely like a bottle, but it doesn’t enclose any volume, which means that it can’t actually hold any liquid. Whatever you pour “in” will just come back out again.”
—Marianne Freiberger

filling the Klein bottle (x) { explores tourism and its alternative dimensions. Using mathematical ideas of space and time, artists Xuan Ye and Wenxin Zhang find parallels in past, present, and future landscapes—real and imagined. The desire, or thirst, for travel becomes their main topic. Looking into the sensory links between math and memory, their installations evoke dream-like thoughts on what it means to travel through space-time.

This is the first of a three-part exhibition presented in partnership with InterAccess, Bunker 2 Contemporary Art Container and Trinity Square Video.

Emotional Landscapes

Jessica Karuhanga and Alex R. M. Thompson, with F. Carmichael, A. J. Casson, A. Y. Jackson, J. E. H. MacDonald and F. H. Varley
Curated by Tak Pham

Emotional Landscapes juxtaposes works from the Varley Art Gallery’s collection with the contemporary practices of Jessica Karuhanga and Alex R.M. Thompson. Building on the nineteenth century English Romantic tradition, the Group of Seven captured the raw, emotional nature of places like Algonquin Park. Their expressive, melancholic and sublime landscapes are often devoid of human bodies. However still noticeable in them are marks indicative of human activity.

Responding to the established, and at times problematic, narrative of historical Canadian landscape painting, Karuhanga and Thompson propose a political view of nature and landscape, one that acknowledges the consequences of the humans that live and work in it.

The Varley Art Gallery of Markham gratefully acknowledges Partners in Art as the lead sponsor of this exhibition. This was made possible with the support of the Varley-McKay Art Foundation of Markham.

To make an auspicious home

As the Varley Art Gallery’s 2020 Community-Artist-in-Residence, Annie Wong presents the first of several projects in Markham. This pop-up exhibition explores a nuanced cross-generational nostalgia embodied by the frequent appearance of folk art in Chinese-Canadian homes. The exhibition will comprise objects borrowed from the living rooms of local Chinese residents in Markham and beyond.

Complementary Public Programs

Lunch and Learn | Annie Wong
February 19 | 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

食飯,竹升女! | Enjoy the meal, ma! | Annie Wong
March 29, 2020 | 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Lunch and Learn | Xuan Ye
April 15 | 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Dance and Movement Workshop | Jaberi Dance Theatre, Presented with the Flato Markham Theatre.
April 25 | 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Free with Registration

Mahjong Game Day | Annie Wong
August 23, 2020| 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.


Varley Art Gallery of Markham
216 Main Street Unionville
Markham, ON, L3R 2H1
905.477.7000 ext. 3261
@VarleyArtGallery | varley@markham.ca | varleyartgallery.ca

The Varley Art Gallery of Markham is a vital cultural hub for artists and diverse communities. A municipal gallery, we create critical conversations about Canadian art and society. We inspire local and national audiences to engage with art through outstanding exhibitions and rich public and educational programs relevant to the communities we serve. We support artists from York region and seek to broaden access to the arts for diverse artists and cultural groups. We also share and celebrate the life and work of F.H. Varley, a founding member of the Group of Seven.

The Varley Art Gallery is situated on the traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe. We are committed to reconciliation, partnership and enhanced understanding.

The Varley Art Gallery of Markham is an accessible venue.

Mon. (Sep. – Jun.) | Closed
Tue., Wed., Fri., Sun. | 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Thurs. | 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sat. | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Admission is FREE to all exhibitions.

Media Contact
Bowie Fan | 905.477.7000 ext. 3275 | bfan@markham.ca

Images, left to right: [1] Xuan Ye, The Spectacles Before Us Were Indeed Sublime: Coda, 2018. Cropped video still, two channel 4K video (b/w, stereo sound) and installation. Courtesy of the artist. [2] Jessica Karuhanga, Body & Soul (detail), 2020, Video still. Courtesy of the artist. [3] Annie Wong, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.