Battleground: War Rugs from Afghanistan

January 17 to March 22, 2015

Battleground presents dozens of fascinating, woven documents of social and cultural events in Afghanistan from the last quarter of the 20th century, highlighting the critical role that creative practice plays in a global context. Curated by Max Allen, this exhibition has been organized by the Textile Museum of Canada.

Mendel at night

Celebrate 50 years!

Friday, September 26 at 7 p.m.

Everyone is invited to the launch for the fall anniversary season of celebrations. The evening begins with tributes from community members, who will share their Mendel memories.

This is followed by the opening of Modern Visions: The Mendel Art Gallery 50th Anniversary Exhibition, selected from the permanent collection.

Join in a toast to your gallery and enjoy the festivities!

7 p.m. Welcoming Remarks
8 p.m. Reception & Celebration

Visit for more information about related events and celebrations!


The Mendel Art Gallery 50th Anniversary Exhibition
September 27, 2014–January 4, 2015

New, regional cultural centres opened across Canada in the 1960s, many in response to the nation’s centennial celebrations. In Saskatoon, the Mendel Art Gallery opened its doors on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River October 16, 1964. Aspirations for this civic art museum, at that time the largest public art museum in the province, were ambitious and international.

Modern Visions celebrates a half-century of excellence at the Mendel Art Gallery. Curated by Sandra Fraser, Associate Curator, and Lisa Baldissera, Chief Curator, the exhibition recalls the Mendel Art Gallery’s role in the local and national communities over the past 50 years. This exhibition reflects on the touchstones that have given the Mendel its personality and celebrates the gallery through a visual banquet of artworks. There are about 150 works in Modern Visions, drawn from the permanent collection, now numbering more than 7,000 works. Six themes will unfold through all the gallery spaces and the lower level with tiered, salon-style hangings, installations of key works, and video screening areas.

The Mendel Art Gallery has been an instigator, champion, advocate, steward and provocateur at various points in its exciting history. Throughout the exhibition key works have been selected to reveal these sites of engagement, pointing to the gallery’s role as a central force in the city, the province and the country, and its stewardship of visual practices over its 50 years.

The Mendel is grateful to Information Services Corporation and Kramer Ltd. for sponsoring Modern Visions.

Exhibition Themes:

• ‘Early Visions’ features selections from the Mendel family’s foundational 1965 gift of 13 paintings, alongside gems of historical Canadian paintings and European prints, together reflecting the early collecting activities and aspirations of this newly formed art gallery.

• In a related section, ‘Archaeology and Memory’, those now-traditional landscapes and figurative works make way for large-scale, contemporary works evoking how memory is inscribed on the land and in the body. Through these works, we consider the ways in which histories, sites and subjectivities are made visible.

• ‘A Home on the Prairies’ expresses regional mythos, documents and narratives through photography, painting, sculpture and video. In this section, the Prairie is considered as both a physical and psychological space, with its own character and caricatures.

• In ‘Contested Sites’, depictions of the human figure touch on the role of the gallery as a forum for controversial but important discussions about issues such as gender, sexuality, mental health, and death.

• ‘Modern Cosmologies’ showcases outstanding works to look at various strategies and shifts in painting in recent decades by artists from across the country and the province.

• The last section, ‘The Multiple and Me’, includes examples of conceptual practices in printmaking and video from the 1970s to 1990s, articulating an experimental and democratic approach to artmaking and its dissemination through multiples.


Other related events:

Saturday, September 27 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Attend the Open House and Community Celebration and enjoy cake, balloons, facepainting, entertainment, and more. Take an exhibition tour and make art throughout the afternoon. Everyone is welcome.

1 p.m. Cake-cutting and remarks by Gregory Burke, Executive Director & CEO.
Artmaking and entertainment begins
2 p.m. Tour the exhibition with curator Sandra Fraser.
3 p.m. Make Mini-Art Galleries and pARTY Buttons.

Saturday, November 1
Bewitched! The Magic Continues, presented by PotashCorp, is the 50th anniversary gala at the Sheraton Cavalier Saskatoon Hotel. Join us for an evening of fine dining, music, and wonderful Mendel memories with entertainment featuring Jon Ballantyne, Thomas Yu, and Karrnnel. Funds raised by the gala will support the Mendel International Lecture at Remai Modern. This annual lecture will honour the contributions of Fred Mendel and family and the legacy of the Mendel Art Gallery.
Tickets: $300. To reserve your ticket, contact Judy: or 306-975-7669.
6:00 p.m. Cocktails
7:30 p.m. Dinner


Convoluted Beauty: In the Company of Emily Carr

June 27 to September 14, 2014

The work of Emily Carr (1871-1945) is nationally respected for its pioneering of modernity in Western Canada. In her early career, Carr travelled to the United Kingdom to study art, determined to expand her creative vision. Instead, her time there (1899 to 1904), proved to be among the more challenging ordeals of her life, culminating in an 18-month hospitalization with the diagnosis of “hysteria.” Surprisingly, it became a formative point in her career, one where she resolutely declared her sense of her own Canadian as well as artistic identity.

This project, curated by Lisa Baldissera, Chief Curator, Mendel Art Gallery, is the first significant presentation of Emily Carr’s work in Saskatchewan in almost 20 years. It considers Carr’s London years to explore notions of the artistic imaginary and artistic identity. It touches on a variety of critical frameworks: the theme of exile, readings of affect and interspecies theory; an examination of hysteria and the clinic which moves beyond the psychoanalytic frameworks of the 1990s, and the concept of “unproductivity” in creative work.

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A Vital Force: The Canadian Group of Painters

June 27 to September 14, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, June 27 at 8 p.m.
Talk/Tour: Sunday, June 29 at 1 p.m. with curator Alicia Boutilier

The significance of the first exhibition … is that it sums up the growth and development of the liberal spirit and demonstrates what a vital force it is. — Robert Ayre, The Canadian Forum, 1933

The Canadian Group of Painters (CGP) was the first to aspire to cross-country representation of modernist artists. It lasted from 1933 to 1967, but its strength of influence lay in the first two decades of its existence. When it burst upon the scene in its founding year, the Group pronounced itself “a direct outgrowth of the Group of Seven … drawn from the whole of Canada.” Twenty years later, it proclaimed a “tremendous development” had taken place: “This does not necessarily mean that localized imagery has been abandoned by artists, but it does mean that the imagery employed has become more cosmopolitan.”

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Adad Hannah

Sympathetic Magic

June 27 to September 14, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, June 27 at 8 p.m.
Talk/Tour: Saturday, September 13 at 1 p.m. with curator Troy Gronsdahl

Canada has cultivated and maintained a strong symbolic connection with the northern landscape. The artistic production of Canada’s renowned early painters, the Group of Seven and their ilk, has both defined artistic practice at home and Canada abroad. As art historian John O’Brian observes in Wild Art History, “The land and its representations are knotted together, not unlike two other words with an affinity to landscape in contemporary thought — nation and nationalism.” The country as depicted by the progenitors of the Canadian landscape tradition is a pristine, untamed, and unpeopled place. A history of colonization and the development of the modern Canadian state are registered on countless paintings and postcards. Popular depictions of the landscape are telling: Canada is rich in natural beauty, abundant in resources, and open for business.

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Sean Weisgerber

Marie Lannoo and Sean Weisgerber: Ricochet

June 27 to September 14, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, June 27 at 8 p.m.

Sean Weisgerber and Marie Lannoo have shared studio space for close to three years and they have developed their project in response to working in such close proximity. Although working independently, through ongoing critical dialogue and feedback they have created new pieces that are in conversation with one another. Ricochet includes a selection of recent paintings and sculptural works by Weisgerber and Lannoo that reflects their rigorous process-driven practices.

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Exhibition Tour

Free exhibition tour every Sunday at 1 p.m.
Meet in the lobby. No registration required.

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Location & Hours

950 Spadina Crescent East
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Regular Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Free admission