Allan Harding MacKay
With an essay by Terrance Heath
6 X 9 inches, 208 pagesArchives of Canadian Art (& Design)
JUST WHAT IS "ORIGINAL"? Source/Derivations is the first full-length monograph on the important contemporary Canadian artist Allan Harding MacKay. Its focus is the series of installations in which MacKay pays homage to fellow artmakers past and present, spinning mixed-media variations on potent source images, such as Tom Thomson's Northern River, Lawren Harris's Isolation Peak, and Ron Benner's As dark as the grave wherein by friend is laid (the title of which alludes to a posthumously published Malcolm Lowry novel). These complex, multi-layered works challenge such loaded notions as "original" and "originality," while leading us back to the true fons et origo of creative so(u)rcery itself.
Robert Stacey is a Toronto-based writer, art and design historian, curator and editor with a special interest in Canadian art, design, illustration, photography, architecture and cultural photography. A graduate of the University Toronto, Mr. Stacey was the first Fellow in Historical Canadian Art at the National Gallery of Canada in 1991-92 and was writer-in-residence at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1997. He is the instigator behind the imprint Archives of Canadian Art (and Design).
In his prolific output, recent publications and co-publications include J.E.H. MacDonald: Designer, Source/Derivations: The "Other" Art of Allan Harding MacKay, and North by South: Peleg Franklin Brownell.
Allan Harding MacKay
Born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in 1944, Allan Harding MacKay studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He has lived and worked as an artist, actor, and arts administrator in Halifax, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Bern (Switzerland), Toronto, and Calgary. He currently maintains a studio in Banf, Alberta, where he draws paints, makes prints, shoots videos, and plots his next derivational dip into the bracing waters of Andra Breton's "Objective Chance" and Hodlerian "Parallelism."