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MACDONALD BLOCK GALLERY
Queen's Park, Toronto, Nov. '76

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New Byzantine Lights and Other Paintings, 1960-76

This was a big two-stop travelling show with emplacements in Toronto, at the provincial government buildings downtown, and in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba.

It is a quintessential Bloore exhibition, recent works hung next to some old favourites for context and comparisons. Bloore's greatest hits were always reappearing at his public shows over the years but not at the commercial ones because they were not for sale. Wall space is very precious in a private gallery but super abundant in public institutions, as we see here.

   

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The MacDonald Block was one of the real treasures of Toronto. It was a beautiful, spacious, poetic building. (I say “was” because it is being renovated at the time of writing and there is no cause for optimism.) These installation photos show the large open space next the main lobby which accommodated four eight foot wide panels from Bloore's series of 1970-74. More works from that series, horizontal and vertical ones, can be seen in the photos of the opening.

   

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Bloore always included extraneous masterworks in his public exhibitions like The Table above on the right.

   

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Two more greatest hits can be seen here sitting on the floor, the old Sign 5 from 1961
at the left, and the recent but anomalous Unfinished Painting from 1974 at the far right.

A feeling completely opposite to the reception area obtains in the art gallery proper. This large single room which is well suited to its purpose was named the John B. Aird Gallery later, in 1986. Both spaces have light pouring sideways into them from the MacDonald Block's central courtyard.

   

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A marvellous triangular sun disk painting and a marvellous Dorothy Cameron Bloore
by the entrance next to two large and two small Byzantine Lights paintings.

This page is, to an unusual extent even for ronbloore.ca, a work in progress. We have no list of works, not even an accurate date for the show. A visit to the Bloore Archives at the University Of Regina is planned and these details will surely be added then. These photos were found in an album among many in the Dorothy Cameron Bloore fonds which are still resident among the Bloore Estate collection. And they just had to go on line right away.

   

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Ideally, the paintings would be outside and you wouldn't even notice them. *
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