July 11 – August 22, 2014
Helen Christou Gallery | LINC | Level 9

Curator: David Smith

Selected works from the U of L Art Collection that showcase the variety of approaches which artists have taken to represent the summer heat. Featuring work by Christopher Pratt, John Will, Greg Hardy, and others.

Discussing dramatic local weather conditions is a popular choice for the topic of superficial conversation between strangers and the most familiar of friends. The experience of intense summer heat is a physical phenomenon that most people can relate to at some point in their lives. Across Canada for instance, there are many different types of summer heat. The humid air from the great lakes which parks over areas of Ontario and the dry heat of a cloudless prairie day in Alberta are both intense enough to make you reach out for something cold!

Artists have taken multiple approaches to exploring the subject of summer heat in their works. Alec McCauley’s A-Kam-Uski (Islands across the Water) and Sonya Mahnic’s Man, what a scorcher! both take approaches which use figurative abstraction to represent the heat in graphic and humorous ways. Other artists like Bartley R Pragnell, Arthur Fortescue McKay and Tom Wesselmann have chosen to depict individuals who embrace the heat by enjoying a day at the beach while Christopher Pratt’s female figure in Summer of the Karmann Ghia enjoys the summer heat from the comfort of the air-conditioned passenger seat. Greg Hardy’s Summer Hot shows the summer heat in a more expressive way with a red sky as an oppressive and heavy presence, which embodies the feeling of a summer heatwave.

The works selected for Heatwave were chosen on the basis of their unified thematic similarity. To complement the subject of summer heat, a related exhibition titled, Night at the Gallery: Nightscapes from the U of L Collection, will be on exhibit in the main gallery space from July 2 – August 28, 2014.

– David Smith, Preparator/Assistant Curator, U of L Art Gallery