Marlene MacCallum: Library of Shadows

9 December 2021 - 15 January 2022

United Contemporary is delighted to host a solo exhibition by multi-disciplinary artist, Marlene MacCallum, entitled Library of Shadows. This interactive body of work consists of a suite of book works, that are presented in conjunction with works on paper and web-based artwork. The artist’s book pieces take on a multi-dimensional art form, encompassing the two-dimensionality of the page, the three dimensionality of the structure and the fourth dimension of time. This installation invites the viewer/reader to interact with the work; to experience the unfolding and materiality of each thoughtfully constructed element.


Reflecting a longstanding attraction to the poetic potential of the overlooked and dismissed aspects of our daily lives, the core of this exploration is a series of artist books that exist in four cantos. The cantos are subtitled Still Life, Graffiti, Incidental Music and Travelogue and celebrate undervalued art genres.


A parallel artwork, Shadows Cast and Present, integrates imagery, writing, video and soundscapes. MacCallum’s web-based exploration aspect has been realised with the creative input of Matthew Hollett and David Morrish, and is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Originals grant program. 

View Shadows Cast and Present here.


Marlene MacCallum lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario, and is an Honorary Research Professor of the Visual Arts Program, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University where she taught printmaking, photography and book arts. The artist has exhibited prints and book works in 131 solo, invited and juried exhibitions in over 18 countries. With works held in numerous notable public and private collections, Marlene was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2006. She and David Morrish co-authored Copper Plate Photogravure: Demystifying the Process (Focal Press) published in 2003. Her research projects on Artists’ Publishing and The Visual Book were funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. MacCallum received the ABE Artist’s Book award for Shadow: Still Life in conjunction with the Art of the Book 2018. In 2020 her project, Shadows Cast and Present, was funded by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Originals Grant. 

Essay published in the Impact Printmaking Journal on Marlene MacCallum’s cantos.

Installation Views