Avis Rassmusen slips through the front door, through an alcove, past a trio of older Emily Carr works. It’s the kind of minor Monday morning event at Winchester Gallery that sums up the expectations for 20/20: A Celebratory Exhibition that opens tomorrow.
The show runs the gamut from Oak Bay’s most widely known, to our most easily accessed artists.
“You’re surrounded by museum-quality masterworks by two of Canada’s most prominent artists,” said spokesperson Elizabeth Levinson, seated before the trio of Carr paintings, gesturing to David Blackwood’s Ephram Kelloway’s Door.
“One of Canada’s most important painters, (Carr) used to come from James Bay every summer … she would summer in Oak Bay in a cottage on Foul Bay,” said Levinson.
She expects Carr will garner “significant increase to her international reputation” with 100 works on display in London (Nov. 1 to March 22 at Dulwich Picture Gallery) next month, followed by an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
As we sit enjoying the two Canadian classics, Rasmussen, an active and highly visible Oak Bay artist comes through the front door. She is artist-in-residence at Oak Bay Beach Hotel this month. She paints en plein air in the seaside gardens there on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Many of the Oak Bay artists whose works will be part of the show – Elsa Mayhew, Manish Om Prakash, Adam Noonan, Shushan Egoyan and Rasmussen – have been part of the Winchester stable for those 20 years.
“The relationships run deep with artists but also with artists estates,” said Levinson.
Specializing in Canadian, American and international fine art, Winchester Galleries and Winchester Modern have established a reputation for representing many of Canada’s world-class established and emerging artists.
Gunter Heinrich and Anthony Sam, of Winchester Galleries and Winchester Modern first opened a small venue at the Oak Bay junction 20 years ago and now includes the gallery on Oak Bay Avenue and one in downtown Victoria.
“We are honoured to be marking the occasion of our 20th anniversary with a show of masterworks,” said Heinrich.
20/20: A Celebratory Exhibition includes 110 masterworks curated by Heinrich and his staff.
Of note are AC-96-004 by William Perehudoff; Andy Warhol’s 1967 Portraits of the Artists; Écran chromatique by Claude Tousignant; La Malbaie, Quebec by A.Y. Jackson; Emily Carr’s 1936 Tangle; and the large 1964 mixed media, Sans titre by Jean Paul Riopelle. Other featured artists in the exhibition are Jack Shadbolt, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, David Milne, Joseph Plaskett and Blackwood.
It also includes a handful of emerging artists they’re being watchful of, such as Oak Bay’s Tristram Lansdowne, and Abe Murley (one of his works also hangs opposite the trio of Carr’s).
A special preview of the exhibition will be held on Saturday, Sept. 20 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“That’s an opportunity for clients to come through and see the work … often collectors like the opportunity to see the work without the party atmosphere,” Levinson said.
The official opening and celebration are from 6 to 9 p.m. at both galleries: Winchester Galleries, 2260 Oak Bay Ave. and Winchester Modern, 758 Humboldt St. 20/20: A Celebratory Exhibition runs now through Oct. 25.
Did you know?
A 96-page catalogue published to accompany the exhibition is available through Winchester Galleries and Winchester Modern. Visit winchestergalleriesltd.com for more details.