Hot on the heels of last year's opening of the photography galleries at the Ryerson Image Centre, the University has another new gallery, this time in its Architectural Science building. The Paul H. Cocker Gallery, named for its lead donor, a member of the Class of '70 and President and CEO of London Ontario's McKay-Cocker Construction, brings life to the entrance area to the building at 325 Church Street. It officially opened last week with an exhibition entitled Cover & Spread, which highlights seven projects of classic Canadian Modernism, mostly from the 1960s, as covered in The Canadian Architect, the country's leading architectural review.
David Campbell, an architectural grad student at Ryerson, acted as co-curator of the exhibition along with Prachi Khandekar. David's statement about the exhibition is this:
"Cover and Spread showcases selected projects from the Canadian Architect Photo Archives which contains both originals and negatives that were donated to Ryerson University by Canadian Architect Magazine. We aimed to present these images of architectural projects and ideas in a way that was representative of the period of Modernity -during which many of the archival images were taken. The images displayed evoke themes that are part of our understanding of Modernity as it occurred in Canada, demonstrate changing social norms, new innovations in technology, and regional variations responding to Canada's diverse locales and landscapes. The projects are represented as a series of narratives and compositions, showcasing archival images with graphics and excerpts from Canadian Architect’s coverage of each project at the time. Cover and Spread seeks to illuminate the various editorial positions that were taken in describing and promoting these works, allowing students of architecture a chance to revisit iconic projects in a contemporary setting."
The gallery setting is simple, elegant, and a welcome addition to the building itself, Ryerson's improving physical plant in the larger sense, and by extension to a culturally richer Toronto.
The exhibition's seven selected projects, each a milestone for Canadian Modernism, will no doubt leave you wanting more, as every good book or movie or exhibition should, and in fact Cover & Spread gives you a little more by allowing you to take home a piece of it, so to speak. Short essays covering Ryerson's acquisition of The Canadian Architect's photography archives, Canada's Modernist movement, the role of The Canadian Architect, and the role of architectural photography are yours to take away. If that does not sound fun enough (each were quite a good read!), then six lovely black and white postcards celebrating all but one of the selected projects are yours as souvenirs, along with a keepsake folder. Those postcards could become collector's items…
We have only given you a small hint of the seven projects chosen for inclusion through the image above. To see what made the list, you will have to visit! Cover & Spread will only be showing until November 14th, so get yourself there to see the new space and exhibition soon. The Paul H. Cocker Gallery is free, and is open from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekdays.