Charles Pachter’s Canada (II)

Digital installation on the interior walls of the ROM’s Hyacinth Gloria Chen Court

On Saturday, October 6, 2007 the east wall of the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Hyacinth Gloria Chen Court will become the digital canvas for Canadian multimedia artist Charlie Pachter’s imaginative art work. An important component of the ROM’s A Season of Canada, over 50 of Pachter’s celebrated images of Canadian icons, symbols and landscapes, combined with digital effects, will be projected in a vibrant and whimsical presentation titled Charles Pachter’s Canada (II) until February 28, 2008.

“It is a great pleasure to have Charles Pachter return to the ROM after more than a decade,” said ROM Director and CEO William Thorsell. “Pachter’s exceptional pieces of Canadiana are a wonderful addition to the ROM’s A Season of Canada.”

In 1994, visitors to the ROM experienced Pachter’s inaugural exhibition in the Institute for Contemporary Culture, Charles Pachter’s Canada, where many of Pachter’s iconic pieces for his current installation were first displayed at the Museum. Many Torontonians will be familiar with his Hockey Knights in Canada series, which adorns the walls of College Street subway station. Canadians will recall Pachter’s paintings of the Maple Leaf flag, Canadian icons like the majestic moose – his steel and granite moose silhouette sculptures have been installed across Canada – as well as portraits of prominent Canadians Pierre Trudeau (Pierre Blanc) and Margaret Atwood.

Pachter has elevated Canada’s familiar icons to an aesthetic realm – in particular the moose, an awkward majestic creature that meanders in every province and territory as seen in Tour de Force; the flag, the country’s elegant post-modern, easily recognizable emblem beautifully rendered in The Painted Flag; the queen, our long-lived head of state who stays mostly in her castles across the ocean but loves to visit; the butter tart, Canada’s crunchy sweet gift to the world of pastry deliciously painted in State of the Tarts; and the swift and elegant canoe.

“Canada is so vast and diverse. It has been my ongoing quest to explore our shared visual iconography that is often agreed upon but not always celebrated,” said Pachter. “I gave myself a challenge: to re-create common objects as visual tone poems, or filters for dream-states, or memories intensified. Many of these images grew into sequential variations on the same theme. I came to delight in unexpected juxtapositions, such as the two monarchs – queen and moose [Love Pat] – who together can been seen as pop art symbols of post-colonial Canadian art. I don’t mind being called a humorist, but serious minded humorists hopefully possess the gift to be roguish and poignant at once.”

Charles Pachter’s Canada (II) is one of the feature components of the ROM’s Fall 2007 A Season of Canada. Celebrating the inaugural year of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, the ROM presents Canada Collects: Treasures from Across the Nation, featuring approximately 70 vital objects from leading Canadian institutional and private collectors, on display in Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall on Level B2 from October 6, 2007 to January 6, 2008. Also opening is the thought-provoking exhibition Shapeshifters, Time Travellers and Storytellers, presented by BMO Financial Group, in the new Roloff Beny Gallery, featuring 25 new and exciting works from eight leading contemporary Aboriginal artists, on Level 4, October 6, 2007 to February 28, 2008. Rich in Canadian historical decorative and pictoral arts, the new Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada in the ROM’s historic Weston Family Wing features the country’s best collection of early Canadiana, and forms a complement to the Daphne Cockwell Gallery of Canada: First Peoples, which opened December 2005.

About the Artist:

Often described as a northern Warhol, Charles Pachter, one of Canada’s leading contemporary artists, has created an indelible impact upon the public. His quirky visions are a feast for the eyes and the intellect. With continuing grand gestures, he has staked out cultural territory of his own and celebrated it unabashedly. Pachter’s paintings hang in public and private collections around the world. His flag paintings hang in the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Canadian Embassy in Washington, and in the Parliament buildings in Ottawa. He lives and works beside historic Grange Park in downtown Toronto in a residence designed by award winning Canadian architect Stephen Teeple. His work is on permanent display at his adjoining Moose Factory Gallery. More at