Varley launches spring exhibitions

The Varley Art Gallery of Markham launches three new exhibitions featuring a panel discussion, pop-up tours, and activities.

Make sure to check out filling the Klein bottle (x) {, the first part of a multisite exhibition series exploring speculative fiction and its insights into land, sea, and migration; Emotional Landscapes, a political view of nature and landscape; and To make an auspicious home, a look at cross-generational nostalgia in Chinese-Canadian homes.

“The team at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham has done it again with another set of exciting exhibitions,” Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti says. “This series speaks to who we are as a diverse, inclusive and connected community, remembering the past as we create the present together. Annie Wong’s To make an auspicious home is an interactive work that invites second-generation Canadians and their parents to reflect and engage over a shared heritage that is subtly changing because of the place they call home.”

“Spring 2020 marks the centenary of the first-ever Group of Seven exhibition in Toronto, making new perspectives on their practice long overdue,” Varley director Niamh O’Laoghaire says. “The exhibition Emotional Landscapes is, therefore, perfectly timed. It juxtaposes long-familiar Group of Seven imagery with works by contemporary artists Jessica Karuhanga and Alex R. M. Thompson in order to underscore the fact that the genre of landscape is never neutral. It always bears the marks of the social and political belief systems within which it was made.”

filling the Klein bottle (x) { by Xuan Ye and Wenxin Zhang runs until  April 26. Presented in partnership with InterAccess, Bunker 2 CAC, and Trinity Square Video. Featured in Canadian Art’s “What to See in 2020.” Belinda Kwan curates the exhibit.

Using mathematic ideas of space and time, artists Xuan Ye and Wenxin Zhang explore alternative ways of understanding tourism and its relationship to land, sea, and diaspora.

Emotional Landscapes by Jessica Karuhanga and Alex R. M. Thompson, with F. Carmichael, A. J. Casson, A. Y. Jackson, J. E. H. MacDonald and F. H. Varley runs until April 26. The exhibit is curated by Tak Pham.

The Group of Seven captured the raw, emotional nature of Canadian landscapes, empty but with marks indicative of human activity. This response proposes a political view of nature and landscape that acknowledges the humans that live and work in it.

Partners in Art are the lead sponsor of this exhibition. This sponsorship was made possible by support from the Varley-McKay Art Foundation of Markham.

To make an auspicious home by Annie Wong was curated by Anik Glaude. 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 runs until April 26 and will comprise of objects borrowed from the living rooms of local Chinese residents in Markham and beyond.

Free admission to the Varley Art Gallery of Markham is proudly sponsored by IBM.

For more information, visit


Photo (l-r): [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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This