OCTOBER 5 – OCTOBER 27, 2018





Evans Contemporary is pleased to present Notes on Plot, an exhibition of paintings by Montreal artist, Jamie Macaulay.

Jamie Macaulay’s paintings and drawings grow out of an interest in landscape, topography, and architecture. Oriented towards patterns of settlement, growth, habitation, and inheritance, they are more broadly engaged with an abstract logic of sensation, structure, and event, and how this logic may be revealed through the coalescence of drawing and writing, image and text, as well as through asymmetries or differences between them.

Compelled by what literary critic and theorist Viktor Shklovsky called the energy of delusion – willful error and incompletion – coupled with methodical doubt and deceleration, the artist’s work aims to cultivate maximum negative capability and differential perception, pointing to the paradoxical concurrence of private language and a communal vocabulary of visual form.

Just as poetry takes down all signs but preserves the form of the letter, so painting and drawing translate the “impure potential” of abstract form by maintaining gaps in the order of the visible. As in performative speech, painting and drawing must be sufficiently enveloped or enmeshed in a field of intelligibility that they themselves provoke, prolong, and in some sense describe.

In The Energy of Delusion, Shklovsky describes the sudden shifts in meaning in Chekhov’s stories as “signatures under drawings.” A signature under a drawing is what is typically referred to as a sketch: temporary, provisional, and incomplete: written over or crossed out in the making of something else. However, for Shklovsky, the sudden and irrepressible distortions and contortions of the sketch, its lack of coordinated direction, points to an irreducible and atomic power in its own right.

Rooted in daily observation, memory, and imagination, the works included in this exhibition reflect Macaulay’s continuing preoccupation with abstraction, individuation, reference, and plot.  Persistent, emergent, and recalcitrant, what links the works together is less a common thematic accord than signature attributes of the sketch – signatures under drawings – a perpetual and provisional naming and crossing out of names.





Jamie Macaulay holds a BA in philosophy from the University of Victoria and an MFA from Stony Brook University. His work has been exhibited in Canada, Europe, and the United States, including recent exhibitions at Modern Fuel Artist Run Center (Kingston, ON), Point Gallery (Salt Spring Island, BC), Le Ranch Project Space (Montreal), and Bowery Gallery (New York). He has received awards from the Chautauqua Institute, Stony Brook University, and the Federation of Canadian Artists.

Macaulay currently lives and works in Montreal where he teaches studio arts and art history at John Abbott College.





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