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May 27, 2011

Robert Bourdeau, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto

Exhibition: Robert Bourdeau 
The Station Point 
Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto
Through June 11, 2011

Exhibition of work by artist ROBERT BOURDEAU  is on view in Toronto at Stephen Bulger Gallery.  THE STATION POINT presents a survey of Bourdeau's work in conjunction with the release of a major monograph co-published by the Stephen Bulger Gallery Press and the Magenta Foundation. This exhibition also marks the first time in his career that Bourdeau has shown enlargements of his large format negatives.

Robert Bourdeau (b. Kingston, On, 1931) spent several years photographing before being drawn into a deeper understanding of the medium by his discovery of Aperture Magazine. This led to a crucial encounter with Minor White in 1958, and a spiritual, decade-long friendship.  The tie with the school that emerged from Camera Work was further enhanced by Bourdeau's friendship with Paul Strand in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Taken over the past four decades throughout Europe and North America, these large format photographs are of age old landscapes, historical treasures of architecture nestled in the countryside and inactive industrial sites reclaimed by nature.  Bourdeau is deeply interested in how certain structures lose their identity and take on other feelings and ambiguities, and at other times become guardians or sentinels of physical and emotional space.  He is also fascinated by the dark mysticism of mediaeval architecture and by brooding landscapes; the exactness of his photography disclosing the hidden geometry of nature.

Working with a large-format view camera, Bourdeau favours long exposures.  Most of his photographs are contact printed, either from an 11 x 14 inch or an 8 x 10 inch negative, a method that allows for a minimal loss of definition in reproduction.  Robert Bourdeau has exhibited internationally since 1967.  His work is in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois;  University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; The Renaissance Society, Chicago, Illinois;  Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas;  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Quebec; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario.

STEPHEN BULGER GALLERY, TORONTO

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