Toronto specializing in contemporary photography

Shelagh Keeley: Barcelona Pavilion

Shelagh Keeley, Barcelona Pavilion I, 1986/2012
Shelagh Keeley, Barcelona Pavilion I, 1986/2012


Canadian artist Shelagh Keeley to premiere Barcelona Pavilion photographs in new solo exhibition at Circuit Gallery

Toronto, ON, December 29, 2014Circuit Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by senior Canadian artist Shelagh Keeley. These images were taken in 1986 in the newly reconstructed Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona, Spain, just before it was reopened to the public.

Keeley is well known for her highly visceral and embodied drawing practice. She has always used photography, incorporating it into her site-specific installation work and drawings through collage, however Keeley’s own photographs are rarely the focus of attention in an exhibition.

Barcelona Pavilion, presented here for the first time, reveals an approach to photography that is consistent with this artist’s broader practice. Here is a subjective and embodied kind of ‘drawing with light’ and poetic engagement with space that is refreshingly irreverent, inconsistent with both our expectation of photography and for pictures of such an iconic work of modernist architecture.

Albeit attracted to the iconic aspects of the celebrated building—the materials (marble, glass, and metal), the key spaces, and light—they seem like asides, as her focus is more ambient and on the mundane. She uses photography in a subjective way, where her “less is more” minimal and abstracting compositions are less about describing these sober and rational spaces, than they are about a poetics of space, and about being in them.

Shelagh Keeley: Barcelona Pavilion is the fourth exhibition for Circuit Gallery @ Prefix ICA, a new presentation partnership where the commercial gallery is sharing exhibition space with Prefix ICA in the destination landmark arts building at 401 Richmond Street West in Toronto.

The exhibition is curated by Claire Sykes, with catalogue essays by Joel Robinson and Mark Kingwell.

Shelagh Keeley (born Oakville, Ontario) lives now in Toronto after spending 23 years in New York City and Paris. She received her Honours BFA in Art History / Anthropology from York University, Toronto.

Keeley has an extensive international exhibition history over the last 30 years and has travelled across the globe. Keeley’s recent production includes a commission by the Power Plant, Toronto, to create two new installations for the venue’s large clerestory walls (2014/2015), and by MoMA, Library and Archives, NYC, for a new research project / performance with choreographer Lin Snelling (2014/2015).

In 2013 she created a major on-site commissioned wall drawing installation at Stadtisches Museum Abteiberg, Monchengladbach, Germany, for the exhibition In Order to Join (2013). This exhibition will travel to the Goethe-Institut / Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (former Prince of Wales Museum), Mumbai, India (2015), and will include the Barcelona Pavilion photographs.

Keeley’s larger record includes exhibitions at: Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, India (2013); Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto (2013); Nuit Blanche, Paris (2012); McMaster Museum of Art / Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa (2010); Vancouver Art Gallery (2010); Caoyang Village Public Art Project, Shanghai (2009); National Gallery of Canada (2008, travelling exhibition), RAM Foundation, Rotterdam (2008); Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto (2007); Nature Morte Gallery, New Delhi (2004); Printed Matter, NYC (1998), Indianapolis Museum of Art (1995); John Gibson Gallery, NYC (1994); Exit Art, NYC (1993); MOMA P.S.1 Museum, NY (1992); and DIA Art Foundation, NYC (1989).

Her work is in the collection of major international public institutions including: the Museum of Modern Art, NYC; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain Paris; the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; the Musées de la Ville de Paris, Paris; the Getty Museum, Santa Monica; the Harvard Art Museum, Boston; the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh; the Yale University Art Gallery, CT; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA.

Shelagh Keeley: Barcelona Pavilion runs January 8 through the 31st at Circuit Gallery @ Prefix ICA, with an opening reception on Thursday, January 8, from 6 – 9 PM. The artist is in attendance.

Shelagh Keeley

Barcelona Pavilion

January 8 – 31, 2015

Reception: Thursday, January 8, 6-9 p.m.

Circuit Gallery @ Prefix ICA
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 124
Toronto, ON, M6R 2G5
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Gallery Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Shelagh Keeley Barcelona Pavilion
Shelagh Keeley, Barcelona Pavilion III, 1986/2012
Shelagh Keeley Barcelona Pavilion
Shelagh Keeley, Barcelona Pavilion II, 1986/2012
Shelagh Keeley Barcelona Pavilion
Shelagh Keeley, Barcelona Pavilion VIII, 1986/2012

Visit Circuit Gallery for more information and to see more images:

Circuit Gallery specializes in contemporary photography. Established in 2008 by Susana Reisman and Claire Sykes, the Toronto based commercial gallery represents both emerging and established Canadian and international artists.


Phone: 647-477-2487


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