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Montreal: Genevieve Cadieux, Landon Mackenzie
and Lyne Lapointe, Galerie France Morin

by Martha Fleming
Art Forum
- April 1982

In this exhibition, the evidence that Geneviève Cadieux, Landon Mackenzie, and Lyne Lapointe gave of the community in which they work and show was strong and comprehensive. The cultural specificity of Montreal—a city in relative isolation from the comparatively uniform sheen of what lies west of it in Canada—makes for heady fare.

Landon Mackenzie’s “Lost River Series” of paintings, of a river in northern British Columbia, also follows a sequential pattern. Within the paintings there is affectionate allusion and homage to the kind of earlier Canadian landscape painting that tended to cut off its awe just to spite its realism. Mackenzie’s paintings are not landscapes, however; they are more like mystery plays unfolding on a tundra. The planes of the large dark canvases often seem to include aerial views and horizon lines at the same time. The forms are generalized—animals drinking at water’s edge could be dogs or bears—but their relations are oddly specific: the pool from which they drink becomes a lake when seen in scale with the mountain forms that surround it. There is a topsoilness to the work—things are hidden in the land, hidden in water. The cave-drawing animals, unmanageable beasts, are some of them wounded, some of them trapped, most of them unconscious of being observed, and impossibly human in the animism lent to them by Mackenzie’s representation.