RICK RIVET INSIDE A FLOATING WORLD
The conceptual consumerism of
SARAH BECK Building the
CREATIVE CITY FEATURED ARTISTS John Chalke, Lynn Richardson, Sorel Etrog, Jean-Paul Riopelle
450 fine art
Display until April 30, 2008
galleries in the west
Emily Carr, French Girl, circa 1911
watercolour 20 1/4" x 12 1/4"
The Art of Collecting Quality MASTERS GALLERY LTD. 107, 2115 Fourth Street SW, Calgary, AB T2S 1W8 (403) 245-2064 Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 AM –5:30 PM
Baigneuse, 1939 Unique proof, first state Provenance -Marina Picasso Exhibitions “Picasso as Print Maker” Dallas/Brooklyn/Detroit/Denver Art Museums 1983-84 Museum of Modern Art New York 1994-95 Pg. 45 Fig. 15
Douglas Udell Gallery Edmonton
w w w . d o u g l a s u d e l l g a l l e r y . c o m
VI RGINIA CHRI STO PH E R FI N E ART
Douglas Haynes, “Red-Green Tangle”, Dec. 1979, 66 1/4" x 56 3/4", acrylic on canvas
CELEBRATING 28 YEARS IN CALGARY
Through January 19, 2008 LES GRAFF A continuing exhibition of new works from his latest series
March 6 - April 12 DOUGLAS HAYNES An Overview of a 50 Year Career Opening Reception with the Artist, Thursday, March 6, 5 - 8 PM
January 26 - March 1 HOUSE WINE A rotating selection of gallery artists featuring new paintings by RICK RIVET
April 17 - May 10 ROY LEADBEATER Sculpture & New Paintings Opening Reception with the Artist, Thursday, April 17, 5 - 8 PM
Location of the
VUE CAFE OPEN FOR LUNCH Tues to Sat 11 am - 4 pm Private function inquiries welcome at email@example.com
816 11 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0E5 (in the heart of Calgary's Design District)
(403) 263-4346 firstname.lastname@example.org www.virginiachristopherfineart.com
Amber Mist, by Doug Ritter, art photography
NEW GALLERY INAUGURAL EXHIBITION GROUP SHOW - Serenity in Nature
Watercolor, prismacolor and acrylic by accomplished artist Judith Panson
Into the Lake, oil on canvas by M. Wheeler
Snow, by Judith Panson, acrylic on canvas
Art Photography by Manitoba Photographer of the Year, Doug Ritter
Landscapes in oil by M. Wheeler
GARRY STREET GALLERY Art and Serious Whimsy
Watercolour by Val Romanow
57-81 GARRY ST In Fort Garry Place Mall near Fort Garry Hotel Winnipeg MB R3C 4J9 â€˘ T 204-221-3795 email@example.com www.garrystreetgallery.com
Call to children's book artists/illustrators for September 21-28, 2008 Exhibition
Collectorâ€™s Choice Exhibition January 2008 Including original prints by: Antoni Tapies, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Sam Francis, Joan Miro, Josef Albers, Claes Oldenburg, Willem de Kooning, Luigi Kasimir, Henri Matisse and others.
WINCHESTER GALLERIES 2260 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, B.C. V8R 1G7 Tel. (250) 595-2777 www.winchestergalleriesltd.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TH E B E S T O F TH E CON T E MPORARI E S: Group Show, February, 2008
PE T E R SAWAT ZKY: Bronze Sculptures, Opening March 8th, 2008 Artist in Attendance Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. 1516 - 4th Street S.W. Calgary, Alberta T2R 0Y4 Tel: 403 209 8542
Please email us for a copy of our catalogue: email@example.com
www.lochgallery.com Calgary Toronto Winnipeg
C O N T E N T S
Spring 2008 Vol. 7 No. 1
Previews and Profiles
News and events from across the region Spotlight on: Mixed media artist Chai Duncan; Saskatoonâ€™s Aneco public art project; the Corridor Collective artistsâ€™ space; Norval Morrisseau
Shows scheduled for the fall season: John Chalke Sorel Etrog Lynn Richardson J.C. Heywood Michael Markowsky Eve Kotyk Sylvain Bouthillette Sydney Lancaster Dream House David Graff Ronald Boaks Maynard Johnny, Jr. Craig Yeats David Wilson
Exclusive reviews of recent shows throughout Western Canada: Cartographies at Elissa Cristall Gallery; Michael La Rocque at Kamloops Art Gallery; Grant McConnell at The Gallery; George Vergette at Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery; Peter John Voormeij at Elliott Louis Gallery; Carin Mincemoyer and Jefferson Campbell-Cooper at ODD Gallery; Roy Arden at Vancouver Art Gallery
Where to find fine art galleries across the west Alberta ............................ 70 British Columbia .............. 80 Manitoba ........................ 89 Saskatchewan ................. 92 Northern Territories ......... 94
94 Directory Services and resources for art buyers
Galleries West Spring 2008 9
C O N T E N T S FEATURES
Building for the New Bohemians
Homage: Rick Rivet
Tasked with attracting members of the “creative class”, Western Canadian cities are all confronting the challenges of developing truly vital cultural districts By Richard White
With recurring imagery, this BC painter’s vision moves into the world of myth and metaphysics By Portia Priegert
It’s a Mall World
Installing Mother at Saskatoon’s Mendel Art Gallery, artist Sarah Beck makes us complicit in the culture of consumption By Steven Ross Smith
Jean-Paul Riopelle, Abstract Composition (1950) By Jill Sawyer
58 Masters of Miniature First Nations sculptors scale it down By Beverly Cramp Plus, Collecting 101: Northwest Coast artwork
Galleries West Spring 2008 11
Reviews Editor Art Director Contributors
Publisher & Director of Advertising
Mailing address and production deliveries
Prepress Printed in Canada
Jill Sawyer firstname.lastname@example.org 1-866-415-3282 P.O. Box 5287, Banff, Alberta, T1L 1G4 email@example.com Wendy Pease Rob Alexander, Nicole Bauberger, Amber Bowerman, Beverly Cramp, Amy Fung, Amy Karlinsky, Portia Priegert, Heather Ramsay, Ann Rosenberg, Steven Ross Smith, Helena Wadsley, Katherine Wasiak, Richard White Tom Tait firstname.lastname@example.org 403-234-7097 Toll Free 866-697-2002 Published in January, May and September. $17.50 per year including GST. For USA $22.50. For International $29.50. Subscribe online at www.gallerieswest.ca or send cheque or money order to: #301, 690 Princeton Way SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 5J9 #301, 690 Princeton Way SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 5J9 403-234-7097 Fax: 403-243-4649 Toll free: 866-697-2002 Island Digital Services Ltd. Quebecor World
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Publications Mail Agreement # 41137553 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Galleries West Circulation Dept 301, 690 Princeton Way SW Calgary, AB T2P 5J9 ©All rights reserved ISSN No. 1703-2806 Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. Galleries West makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it publishes, but cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from errors or omissions.
This month’s cover: Rick Rivet, Jacob’s Ladder (detail), 2002, acrylic on canvas, 43" X 43". Courtesy of Gallery Gevik, Toronto. Image courtesy of the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon. 12 Galleries West Spring 2008
FRANKLIN CARMICHAEL RC A , OSA , CSPWC, CGP, (1890- 1945)
Grace Lake, North Shore Lake Huron - 1940 oil on panel, 10 x 12
Specializing in historical works by Canadian impressionists the Group of Seven & contemporaries as well as Canadian masters of today
Mayberry FINE ART
www.mayberr yfinear t.com
Mayberr y Fine Ar t, 212 McDermot Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0S3 Winnipegâ€™s landmark gallery, located in the historic Exchange District Tel: (204) 255 5690 firstname.lastname@example.org Member of the Art Dealers Association of Canada
CHARLES VAN SANDWYK “TWENTY ONE YEARS - TWENTY ONE PRINTS” Opening Reception Thursday, February 7th 6-9 pm
Spirit Owl’ - Hand coloured etching , Charles van Sandwyk
Twenty One Years - Twenty One Prints and Suites, Charles van Sandwyk
A special exhibition of hand pulled etchings & limited edition books by noted Vancouver artist, small press publisher and printmaker Charles van Sandwyk. Featuring Charles’s Magnum Opus, Twenty One Years - Twenty One Prints and Suites, copy John Ronald Reuel. (JRR Tolkien). The issue is limited to ten, named, copies featuring sixty plus, original sepia etchings and an essay by van Sandwyk. The book is bound in a full leather binding with elaborate gold tooling, onlay and a clamshell box by Seattle bookbinder Claudia Cohen.
Winter 2008 Exhibition Schedule JANUARY - Joël Pelerin “A Montage of Reunion Island Women” Fine Art Photography • Reception Friday January 11th 6-9 pm FEBRUARY - Juan Dawn “Be Careful with your Heart” Mixed Media Sculptures • Artist Reception Thursday January 31st 6-9 pm MARCH - Sydney Lancaster “Souvenirs” Mixed Media Works • Artist Reception Saturday March 1st 1–5 pm “Flight” - A Book Arts Exhibition • Artist Reception Thursday March 13th 6–9 pm APRIL - Carol Nelson Meleshko “New Works” New Oils & Acrylics • Artist Reception Thursday March 27th 6–9 pm
Preview shows online at artsonatlantic.com
Charles van Sandwyk
Carol Nelson Meleshko
1331 - 9th Avenue SE - In Historic Inglewood • 403 264 6627 • artsonatlantic.com
Dealers in Fine Canadian Paintings and Sculptures
John Hoyt, Parrot Love, 2006
23” x 30”, oil on canvas
THE COLLECTORS’ GALLERY OF ART 1332 - 9 AVENUE SE, CALGARY, AB T2G 0T3 TEL (403) 245 8300 • FAX (403) 245 8315 MAIL@COLLECTORSGALLERYOFART.COM
The visual arts season in Western Canada
REGINA CERAMIST HONOURED Rory MacDonald, a Regina-based ceramic artist known for work that blurs the line between functional and decorative ceramics, has won the 2007 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramists, one of the biggest visual arts awards given to Canadian ceramists. Given annually by the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery in Waterloo, Ontario in partnership with local patron Winifred Shantz, the award provides $10,000 toward professional development. An assistant professor in the Fine Art department at the University of Regina, MacDonald has established a practice that easily breaks the boundaries of ceramic art. His work weaves the functional history of fired 18 Galleries West Spring 2008
clay — as architectural embellishment, building material, and industrial component — into innovative fine art. Most recently, his work was included in a group show organized by Regina’s MacKenzie Art Gallery called Mobile Structures, about the line between architecture and ceramic art.
BETWEEN THE COVERS One of the most heralded art books to hit the market in the past few months is Roald Nasgaard’s Abstract Painting in Canada, a lavishly illustrated compendium of almost one hundred years of Canadian painting history. Written over the course of five years by the former chief curator of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the book traces early attempts to break from the figurative
and realist techniques by painters such as Kathleen Munn and Lawren Harris. It leaps through eras defined by artists, notably Jean-Paul Riopelle, and includes western Canadian masters such as Jack Shadbolt and Takao Tanabe. Published by Douglas & McIntyre, Nasgaard’s book concludes
graffiti kiln (flow blue), Rory MacDonald, portable kiln, glaze.
with a forward look to the promise of the 21st century. Other notable books recently published include the long-awaited study of the life and work of celebrated Saskatchewan-born abstract painter Otto Rogers. Published by Radius Books and called, simply Otto Donald Rogers, the book finely illustrates the breadth of Rogers’ talent. The book is available through galleries that represent the painter, including Gallery Jones in Vancouver and the Paul Kuhn Gallery in Calgary. Roald Nasgaard’s Abstract Painting in Canada www.gallerieswest.ca
first impressions FIRST LOOK CHAI DUNCAN For Chai Duncan, the medium matters less than the exploration process. His work is varied and includes short narrative and experimental films, encaustic drawings, installations, and found objects encased in wax and resin, just to name a few. Recently, he’s returned to photography. “I grew up in a family involved in the photography business and have always used a camera the way some people use a sketch book.” His most recent series of works involve juxtaposing porcelain bird statues with old nature pictures and paintings, then photographing the results. “There’s a naivety and sweetness to how nature is represented in the figurines,” he says. “There’s a pathos captured in the images that speaks of a nature lost and a longing for what may have been. Yet in reality, it’s just fake on fake.” He has a sense of play and mystery in that creative process, often not knowing what will happen or where explorations will lead. He’s fascinated by the tension generated by the desire for a corporeal security and the reality that nothing in this world is permanent. “I'm interested in the illusion of security,” he muses.
Duncan earned an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan shortly before
moving to Lethbridge in 2006, where he teaches art at the University of Lethbridge. His recent exhibitions include a group show at Third Space Art Gallery in
St. John, NB, and a video collaboration with Toronto artist Andrew Taggert for
an exhibition called Emerging Landscape at the Nickle Arts Museum in Calgary.
Nouveau Gallery in Regina represents him, listing him as one of their new artists.
In his studio surrounded by sketches, completed works, raw materials and
experiments in progress, Chai is never bored. “There’s always something that excites me and pulls me into the studio.”
— Katherine Wasiak
PORTRAITIST AWARDED Joshua Choi, a painter based in Vancouver and Etobicoke, Ontario, has been awarded the 2007 Kingston Prize, given biannually for portraiture. His painting, titled Emily, was chosen from 30 finalists among more than 200 entries for the 2007 award, this year increased to $10,000 through an endowment from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation.
BC FUNDS ARTS SCHOOL With an influx of cash from the BC government — almost $50 million announced in November — work conSimon Fraser University’s new School for the Contemporary Arts. Design by Henriquez Partners www.gallerieswest.ca
tinues on one of the most ambitious creative revitalization projects in Vancouver. Breaking ground in a location that’s popularly known as “the old Woodward’s building,” Simon Fraser University is building their new multi-disciplinary School for the Contemporary Arts on the city’s East Side. Part of a larger redevelopment of the site that is expected to become a cultural magnet for the city, the School is set to move there in late 2009. The school has a 30-year track record in education for a variety of fine and performing arts disciplines, including dance, theatre, and visual arts, and this new site, designed by the Vancouver firm Henriquez Partners, will include a ground-floor contemporary art gallery that will have
an artistic and curatorial teaching component.
KELOWNA ATTRACTS OLYMPICS GRANT Noted BC artists Dana Claxton, Jayce Salloum and Henry Tsang have been commissioned to create new original work in contemporary media as part of a unique funding program tied to the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. The work is underway through the Alternator Gallery for Contemporary Art in Kelowna, which was awarded $107,000 for creation and development of the commission by the Arts Partners in Contemporary Art, a partnership between a group of funders including The City of Vancouver, the Canada Council, and the Vancouver Organizing Committee Galleries West Spring 2008 19
first impressions COMMUNITY SOUNDS OF SASKATOON An unexpected respite from the angst of public transit, Charles Fox’s audio installation Wildurban brings the soothing sounds of nature to Saskatoon’s downtown bus mall. Piped in on an eight-channel outdoor system, Fox’s meadow sound effects are interspersed with the gusting exhaust noise of the city’s buses, and Saskatoon Transit’s own Muzak soundtrack. It’s part of Aneco, a three-year civic initiative to break out of the box of public art with site-specific works including video projection, new media and photography. Curated by Saskatoon artist Ellen Moffat, the project includes works by a cross-Canada selection of artists — Terry Billings, Micah Lexier, Wendy Peart, Arthur Renwick, Stacia Veregin, Charles Fox, Jen Hamilton and Chris St. Amand. Aneco stems from the establishment of Saskatoon as a Cultural Capital of Canada, and Moffat’s proposal for a project that would bring new audiences and new thought to public art was accepted last spring. A whirlwind of collecting existing pieces led to the installation of most of the work this fall in sites including the Frances Morrison Library, City Hall, and the bus depot. Lexier’s work is set to be projected on the city’s new Persephone Theatre. “My drive was to put the artwork first,” says Moffat, who also participated in a wide-ranging professional forum in Saskatoon in November on the future of public art. She wanted to look for sites that fit the work, rather than choosing sites then looking for artwork that fit. She also
ABOVE: Delegates: Chiefs of the Earth and Sky,
wanted to push the
Arthur Renwick, photographic prints mounted
boundaries a bit, and
on aluminum with copper, 2001, 59" X 30"
surprise people. “My
(one of seven)
goal is to increase the vocabulary of public
LEFT: Rolling Composter, Wendy Peart, steel and
art in Saskatoon.”
organic material, 2003
for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The project, titled Edges of Diversity, shares a $1-million grant with only seven other arts organizations in the province, and is earmarked for development of a creative project that underscores the province’s diverse culture.
ART PRIZE GOES TO KEN LUM Acclaimed Vancouver-based multidisciplinary artists have had a good run at the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Awards. The first annual $25,000 Hnatyshyn Award, given in 2006, went to Stan Douglas, and this year’s was won by painter, sculptor, photographer and conceptual artist Ken Lum. Known for his large-scale site-specific 20 Galleries West Spring 2008
works, including There is no place like home, installed on the façade of Vienna’s Kunsthalle, and Four Boats Stranded: Red and Yellow, Black and White, on the roof of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Lum’s work as an artist, teacher and curator is dedicated to
dissolving the boundaries between art, culture and politics. Established by the late Right Honourable Ramon Hnatyshyn, former Governor General, the Foundation supports a selection of important awards in the arts, volunteerism and law. The Visual Arts Awards are given annually, one to an artist in mid-career, and one to an outstanding Canadian curator. This year’s curatorial award was given to Montreal-based gallery director Louise Déry.
PEOPLE & PLACES Steve Loft, who until very recently was director of the Urban Vancouver artist Ken Lum, winner of the 2007 Hnatyshyn Award
Shaman artist-run centre in Winnipeg, has been appointed to the position of first aboriginal curator-in-residence at Ottawa’s National Art Gallery. Further sign of the Gallery’s commitment to bringing Canadian aboriginal art to a more prominent place in the public consciousness, Loft’s appointment is particularly promising because of his track record for developing and supporting the work of contemporary artists in photography, video, and new media…With the retirement of president and CEO Mike Robinson, Calgary’s Glenbow Museum has appointed noted artist Jeffrey Spalding to the position. President of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Spalding was most recently director and curator of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. He was also instrumental in building the www.gallerieswest.ca
first impressions GREAT SPACE CORRIDOR COLLECTIVE STUDIO AND GALLERY
the Collective an “exciting, generative space” that allows artists to disappear into
A unique artistic endeavour is taking place in a nondescript building in the moun-
their work while staying connected. “I really believe you can’t operate in isolation
tain town of Canmore, Alberta. For the past year, the Corridor Collective Studio
as an artist,” she says. “I find that’s one of the biggest values to me as an artist.
and Gallery, the brainchild of Cheryl Baxter, who runs Canmore’s Elevation Gallery,
The Collective gives me a chance to work with a diverse group.” Baxter is now
and her husband Chris Beck, has provided five Bow Valley artists with a place to
looking at expanding the space, opening it to more artists. “I think the most excit-
work, experiment and show their work.
ing thing about this place is the potential for growth,” she says.
Baxter and Beck started the Collective in October 2006 in a 3,000-sq.-ft. space
— Rob Alexander
in Canmore’s Elk Run industrial area as a means to help artists learn the business of art, and at the same time offer a space where the process of art-making would
Painter Pascale Ouellet in the Corridor Collective space
be more important than the need to sell work. “I wanted to know what the artist’s experience is from start to finish,” says Baxter. “I wanted to understand why the outcome is what it is.” Collective members pay a low monthly studio rent and a nominal portion of each sale goes to cover group expenses. Baxter takes care of the administrative duties and acts as an advisor. Otherwise she tries to keep out of the way, allowing the five artists – currently Chrissy Nickerson, Landon Giauque, Pascale Ouellet (Bigoudi), Susan Padula and Janice Tanton – to make the decisions. The Collective PHOTOGRAPH: ROB ALEXANDER
is separated into six studios with a large central gallery used to host shows and workshops. The gallery is also available for artists of all disciplines, in fine and performing arts, to host an opening or an event. Given the multi-faceted approach, Tanton calls
permanent collection of the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery by thousands of important works. As an artist, Spalding has participated in solo and group exhibitions at venues including the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the McMichael Canadian Collection… One of Jeffrey Spalding’s protégés, Ryan Doherty has been appointed curator at Lethbridge’s Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG). Returning to Lethbridge after finishing a Master of Arts from Bard College in New York, Doherty previously worked as a curatorial assistant at the University of Arabella Campbell, winner of the 2007 RBC Painting Competition with her winning work, Physical Facts Series #6 22 Galleries West Spring 2008
Lethbridge Art Gallery, and as assistant curator at SAAG. In his spare time he also curated the current show of abstract work at the U of L, Big Bangs …The MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina has recently appointed Michelle LaVallee as assistant curator. An interdisciplinary artist and curator originally from Newmarket, Ontario, LaVallee was a recipient of the Canada Council’s grant program for aboriginal curators, and had been developing programming in 2007 for A Space Gallery in Toronto.
PAINTERS HONOURED BY RBC Arabella Campbell, a painter based in Vancouver, took home the national prize for the 2007 RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Awarded the www.gallerieswest.ca
Galleries West Spring 2008 23
first impressions IN MEMORIAM NORVAL MORRISSEAU One of the most iconic painters in Canadian history, Norval Morrisseau passed away in Toronto on December 4 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. There are very few artists who are as strongly associated with a particular style as Morrisseau, who created and defined the Woodland style of painting. A unique update of traditional Ojibwa PHOTOGRAPH: STEFFICH FINE ART
iconography, his style is instantly recognizable, and has been widely imitated. Born in 1932 near Beardmore, Ontario, Morrisseau was self-taught, and over 50 years as a paint-
Norval Morrisseau near Beardmore,
er, he created masterful works
Ontario with his wife, Harriet, 1962
with a remarkable emotional depth. He developed a way to communicate his own interpretations of Ojibwa legend, and his experience with spirit worlds and contemporary, non-native religion. His iconic figures are most often presented in a skeletal or X-Ray style, revealing segmented and symbolic interiors. Given the Ojibwa name Copper Thunderbird as a boy, his story was recently told in an original play of the same name that debuted at the National Arts Centre in 2007. In 2006, Morrisseau became the first aboriginal artist to be given a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Ottawa.
$25,000 top prize for her work Physical Facts Series #6, Campbell was among 15 semi-finalists, chosen from almost 700 entries from across Canada. Another western-based painter, Chris Millar from Calgary, received one of two Honourable Mentions for his work FACEBITOR 24 Galleries West Spring 2008
FACEBITOR – The Untimely Transmogrification of the Problem, Chris Millar, acrylic on canvas, 2006, 33" X 40"
— The Untimely Transmogrification of the Problem. Established by RBC to
recognize emerging Canadian painters, www.gallerieswest.ca
W the weiss gallery april 17 - may 17
march 13 - april 12
A White Mast Tickles the Belly of a Cloud, oil on linen, 80” X 70”
B (detail), pencil on paper, 10” X 14”
Still Life, After Fontin, ed. of 10, fujiflex print, 42” X 42”
february 7 - march 8
ronald boaks: paintings & still life photographs
1021 sixth street southwest calgary alberta canada T2R 1R2 403 262 1880 email@example.com www.theweissgallery.com
being human an international juried exhibition celebrating the human ﬁgure march 15 - april 26th, 2008 opening reception: Saturday March 15th 2-4pm
Leighton Art Centre
“Exuberance” 30”x36” Oil by: Amy Dryer
Box 9, Site 31, RR #8 Calgary, AB T2J 2T9 (403) 931-3633 www.leightoncentre.org Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10am-4pm
Galleries West Spring 2008 25
Patrick Meagher, Double Helix Cat, bronze on granite with Lapis Lazuli stones, 18" x 9" x 9".
Noctuary 16 - 29 FEBRUARY Gordon Harper, Ian Rawlinson and David Wilson
Abstract Paintings 8 - 22 MARCH Scott Plear R.C.A.
New Watercolours 5 - 18 APRIL Jerry Heine
AGNES BUGERA GALLERY 12310 JASPER AVENUE EDMONTON, AB T5N 3K5 T: 780.482.2854 • F: 780.482.2591 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.agnesbugeragallery.com 26 Galleries West Spring 2008
the annual competition leads to a traveling exhibition showcasing all the semi-finalists.
Martha Sturdy's recent sculptural
STURDY SCULPTURE GRACES GARDEN
fine and decorative art in steel, brass and resin.
Vancouver-based sculptor Martha Sturdy has brought a splash of colour to the Wellness Garden at the Vancouver General Hospital with the donation of a steel sculpture painted poppy red. Made of two abstract figures, at 28 feet and 24 feet, Sturdy says the work symbolizes the bonds between beings — doctor and patient, parent and child, husband and wife. It was donated as part of the hospital’s Art Committee initiative, which has brought more than 500 artworks by mostly Canadian artists to the foyers, lobbies and waiting rooms of VGH buildings. A long-time supporter of the hospital, Martha Sturdy is known for her three-dimensional works of
donation to the Vancouver General Hospital
CORRECTION Galleries West regrets that the cover
photograph for the Fall 2007 image was misidentified. The work, Illuminations of Kamloops by Shima Iuchi, was photographed in installation at the Kamloops Art Gallery in 2005, as part of a group show called Urban Insights. The photograph should have been credited to Victor Hamm.
Shima Iuchi, Illuminations of Kamloops, 2004 – 2005, copper tubing, handmade Japanese paper with Kamloops mountain soil, acrylic medium, digital sound, lights www.gallerieswest.ca
...introducing... April 3 - 12, 2008
...colour my world... February 28 – March 8, 2008
www.stephenloweartgallery.ca Suite 251, 255 Fifth Avenue SW • Calgary, AB • (403) 261-1602
28 Galleries West Spring 2008
AVENUE GALLERY Group Show
B O TA N I CAL ENCOUNTERS
MARCH 2 – 15 Op en in g , a r tis ts ’ pr e s e nta tion a nd r e c e ption M a r c h 2nd, 12 – 4 pm
2184 OAK BAY AVENUE, VICTORIA www.theavenuegallery.com 250-598-2184
fine art gallery
Artspace Gallery is pleased to showcase two new artists
Danseuse a la jupe en plumes, 22" x 28" acrylic on canvas by Marianna Mikhaylyan
Reaching Shadows, 30" x 40" oil on board by Mark Berens
Quebec artist, Marianna Mikhaylyan, uses her background in ballet and figure skating to create works of art filled with unrestricted movement and colour
Mark Berens, who currently resides in Toronto, finds inspiration in our uniquely diverse, breathtaking Canadian landscape
Work available now
New work arriving regularly
2nd floor of the Crossroads Market, 1235 26th Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1R7 For exhibition information call the gallery (403) 269-4278 or www.artspacegallery.ca To host an event, contact Colin (403) 863-9771 or email@example.com www.gallerieswest.ca
Galleries West Spring 2008 29
Daniel Lindley presents
abstraction Since opening Keystone Art Gallery in April, I have been pleasantly surprised to detect an interest in abstraction among some clients and I wanted to pursue it. When I had a cancellation of a non-abstract show this past November, there was a brief window of opportunity to put together a survey show. With an unbelievably short lead-time I assembled nearly 100 pieces by approximately 40 artists. The show became so large I had to rent a second space and, in fact, it prompted my move to larger premises in December. Here are some highlights from the show. Don Kottmann, Radapa, 2004-6
Dick Der, Chinatown Tango #7
This painting was one of three I selected for the show – from the same year the artist had a large retrospective exhibition of his ‘sunspot paintings’ at the Art Gallery of Calgary. All the works selected, like this one, are transitional in feel. The abstraction is obvious but there is also the sense that his earlier figurative paintings shown at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery during 1989 are just waiting to emerge from within.
I was happy to get this one work by Dick Der. For whatever reason he seems to slip under the radar in Canada and was overlooked in the recent Abstract Painting in Canada book. No doubt his higher international exposure had something to do with it. He often works with various found and collected objects, in a very dense manner. The work is heavily laboured and thoughtful.
Royden Mills Above - Inside Orientation: Below - Barrier: Inside, Over, Under, or Through: These large, human-scale sculptures are two of four works by the artist included in the show. His work shows a simple elegance combined with a formal orientation, following in the tradition of Peter Hide and Sir Anthony Caro. This tradition combines with influences from his time in Japan. The pieces speak of solidity, timelessness, elegance and physicality but still have an ethereal quality.
Phil Darrah, Breaking Pillars, 1994 This is one of the two large works from the same year. Both are refined, elegant and simple in their execution, but neither had ever been shown before. They were preparatory to the artist’s subsequent large commission at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton.
Suite 202, 100 - 7 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0W4 • Phone: 403-237-6637 www.keystoneartgallery.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
previews and profiles
A sampling of art and artists exhibiting in the West this season
LYNN RICHARDSON ALBERTA: Business as Usual, Feb 28 to April 5, Harcourt House Gallery, Edmonton
By Amy Fung Our great Canadian north, a place as elusive as it is majestic, has suffered from serious ecological and industrial upheavals. The trials of technological affects on the northern landscape often remain silent in the media, but installation artist and sculptor Lynn Richardson has playfully re-imagined the northern landscape in Business as Usual. Richardson imagines an industrial life lived on icebergs for a contextualized sculpture installation that questions the presence of corporate and government influences on the land. Motors and small engines, industrial symbols of labour and manufacturing, align themselves along the pristine lines of colonized icebergs. Coming off a series of works that recently exhibited during the Open Spaces project at the Toronto International Art Fair last year, Richardson continues this light-hearted investigation into northern themes. Known for creating product-friendly survival kits for an impending ice-age, and abstract sculptures on both vast and minimal scales, this current body of work reveals Richardson’s trademark aesthetic hovering between the bleak and the cheeky. Elegant three-dimensional decorative patterns conjuring colonial autocracy contrast stark looming towers of abstract hydro electric stations. Infusing symbols of both product and process, the capitalistic corporatization of the landscape is projected as a manufacturing (and not manufactured in the vein of Edward Burtynsky) landscape. As an Assistant Professor at Keene State College in New Hampshire, the former Winnipeg-based artist has been accumulating this body of work since 2005. Continuing to search for ABOVE AND RIGHT: Lynn resolution in the work, her liminal Richardson, at work on residency between Canada and the U.S. has provided much of the serious Business as Usual and contextual inspiration behind her pieces. During three years of traveling back and forth over the border, she thought about the lingering effects of the attack on the World Trade Centre, Canada’s involvement with the Kyoto Protocol agreements and the ongoing softwood lumber arguments running through the loopholes of NAFTA. Richardson started merging all of these concerns into a body of work that looked specifically at consumerism and resources, and their irrevocable effects on the Canadian landscape. www.gallerieswest.ca
artist index Since moving to New Hampshire, a state that has historically predicted the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections, political rivalry over the Arctic and its resources has loomed large in her work. She received a Canada Council grant to explore Canada’s north, and took in the visceral effect of the ecotourism boom on the region. The result is Business as Usual. “It’s interesting to look at the survival aspects in a future that looks both grim and humorous,” says Vince Gasparri, executive director of Harcourt House Gallery. “I’m especially interested in (Richardson’s) perspective on man’s impact on the environment. It has humorous qualities at first, but upon deeper reflection, you see some serious investigation that will inspire dialogue.”
Lynn Richardson ..........31 John Chalke .................32 Sorel Etrog ..................34 J.C. (Carl) Heywood .....36 Michael Markowsky.....36 David Wilson ...............36 Dream House...............38 David Graff ..................38 Maynard Johnny, Jr......38 Ronald Boaks...............40 Sydney Lancaster. ........40 Craig Yeats ..................40 Eve Kotyk.....................41 Sylvain Bouthillette......41
Galleries West Spring 2008 31
previews and profiles
JOHN CHALKE ALBERTA: January 17 to 21, Willock & Sax Gallery, Banff
By Amber Bowerman It was 20-below on a November weekend, closer to 30-below with the wind chill, but ceramists John Chalke and his wife Barbara Tipton were headed to their rustic cabin west of Sundre in the Alberta foothills in spite of the bitter cold. They would be firing up their three-chamber wood-fired kiln for the last time until spring. It’s a huge undertaking. Packing the more than 100 clay pieces — pots, bowls, plates and more — into the chambers takes six or seven hours itself. “It’s not the firing that’s a problem,” Chalke explains. “It’s that you have to pack the kiln in a certain way. It’s like you’re moving and you’re packing a chest.” After packing the kiln, the next step is a lot of waiting — at least 14 hours. Shift after rotating shift of monitoring, and a dose of humble surrender. Once the pieces are packed and the long process of firing begins, Chalke has no control over the way the flames mark the clay. One piece might be darkened subtly by the heat, another scarred black in places by the licking flames. Some will inevitably be ruined. In the end, about 40 per cent of the pieces will turn out. “There is some surrender,” Chalke says. “It’s not difficult for me to feel there are other forces at work. There’s no ego attached to it.” ABOVE: Grey Pod Up, Grey Pod Down, John Chalke, wall piece, stoneware clay, multiglazed, multifired. RIGHT: Artist John Chalke LEFT: Clouds and Sun, John Chalke, wall plate, stoneware clay, low fire,
Chalke first became interested in ceramics in the early ’60s in his native England after he saw an old coal kiln being fired for the last time. The way he describes it, the glowing coals and the flames “dancing on the walls” provided the only light that night, as the roaring heat fired delicate porcelain teacups. “That left such an impression on me,” he says. “I thought, ‘I’m witnessing something very special.’” In 1962, he fired a wood kiln for the first time himself, and since then, he’s been building and firing kilns consistently and concocting glazes with an alchemist’s aplomb. His work has been shown in more than 250 exhibitions around the world. In 2000, Chalke was the first recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Media and Visual Arts for Fine Craft. Two years later, he became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. And in 2005 he was awarded an Alberta Centennial Award for Excellence. This spring, an exhibition of his new work — much of it from that last winter firing in November — will be shown at the Willock and Sax Gallery in Banff along with the work of Barbara Tipton and Robert Sinclair. Many of Chalke’s pieces will 32 Galleries West Spring 2008
feature pod-like forms, like the bean-shaped objects in his 2006 Grey Overtakes on the Bend. The pod theme emerged quite recently, and Chalke describes the forms as similar to the skin of an avocado after you’ve scooped out the insides, or the shape of ballet slippers. But Chalke doesn’t like his work to be too literal, preferring instead to have the viewer reflect a little longer and a little more deeply to find resonance. Like “a piece of music that sticks with you,” Chalke thinks meaning can come to a viewer long after they’ve left a sculpture behind in a gallery. Similarly, the themes that emerge in his work often come from experiences long past and sometimes forgotten. “Making art is a great way to act out our lives and I don’t see much wrong with that,” he says. “Otherwise, what’s the point of living?” Back in the warmth of his Calgary home, Chalke speaks fondly of his cold weekend “tucked away in the poplars,” firing up the wood kiln. “I think it’s the contact with the country that I really like,” he says. Still, he won’t make the drive for a wood firing again until spring. The Alberta winters are just too cold to spend in the log cabin. But when warmer weather comes, Chalke will return as he has for the last dozen or so years. “When the first birds are thinking of coming back,” he says, “I come back too.” Represented by: Willock & Sax Gallery, Banff; Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary; Harbinger Gallery, Waterloo, Ont. www.gallerieswest.ca
PHOTO: BARBARA TIPTON
hand formed, multiglazed, multifired
Our new gallery in Gastown. Welcome. Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery
Yaletown 1024 Mainland Street Vancouver BC V6B 2T4 604.685.9298 email@example.com
Gastown 312 Water Street Vancouver BC V6B 1B6 604.684.9222 www.coastalpeoples.com
Galleries West Spring 2008 33
previews and profiles
SOREL ETROG BRITISH COLUMBIA: The Links: Meditations on the Human Condition, opens March 6, Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver
By Beverly Cramp Famous for the large modernist sculptures he began creating in 1959, Sorel Etrog actually started his practice drawing and painting. Michele Becker, the curator of his March show at Buschlen Mowatt Gallery says that few people realize Etrog continued to draw and paint while he worked on his famous sculptures — work reminiscent of the human body merging into the massive bolts and hinges of heavy machinery. “He often worked things out in paintings and drawings before proceeding to sculpture,” says Becker, who chose only paintings and drawings for the spring Etrog exhibition, none of which have ever been exhibited before. “These paintings and drawings represent a treasure trove of the ideas Etrog was working with. They reflect the style of his sculpture — nuts & bolts, links and hinges.” Born in Romania, Etrog moved to Israel with his family in 1950, then to New York on a scholarship in 1958 and Toronto in 1959. When he was lured back to Canada to settle in 1963 by art patron Samuel J. Zacks, Etrog found a utilitarian eye-hook on a Toronto street. “He turned it in his hand and played with it for a few days before it disappeared into his studio,” Becker says. “But it began to ferment ideas in his mind — the idea of links as a motif.” Becker adds that the banal eye-hook tool was one of the cues that Etrog used to begin his period known as “Links”, epitomized by visual points that clasp together and join with other points. But Etrog had also been influenced by the Etruscan sculpture he viewed on a trip to Florence in 1963. “I saw in them a strong device for connecting and creating tension, mirroring the tension in our very existence with and within the outside world,” he later wrote.
For Buschlen Mowatt’s The Links show, there are a number of portrait paintings from the 1963 to 1971 period paying homage to people Etrog admired. They included artists, writers, poets, and musicians like Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Paul Klee, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Marshall McLuhan, Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok and Arnold Schoenberg. In the portrait pictures, including Portrait of Francis Bacon, the faces are usually masses of interconnected links. From a series of paintings and drawings of dancers, Etrog created several sculptures that aren’t in this show, but can be seen in the Buschlen Mowatt gallery in Palm Desert, California. The links that Etrog saw and explored in this work connected the human body and human experience, with points of movement and composition during a critical period for him in his evolution as an artist. Represented by: Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver; Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto ABOVE: Tribal Dancers in Blue, Sorel Etrog, 1968 1969, oil on masonite, 60" X 47.75" LEFT: Two Dancers at the Bar, Sorel Etrog, 1969, charcoal on paper, 18" X 24"
34 Galleries West Spring 2008
MONOLOGUES April 3 – 12, 2008
2001 West 41st Avenue Vancouver BC • 604 266 6010 www.lindalandofineart.com
Camille and the Elegant Art of Attitude, 2007, oil on canvas, 36" x 36"
Pretty. Boy. encaustic and oil on canvas, 36" x 36"
ANN-MARIE BROWN Galleries West Spring 2008 35
CITY OF BURNABY PERMANENT ART COLLECTION
previews and profiles J.C. (CARL) HEYWOOD
BRITISH COLUMBIA: A Life in Layers, Jan 22 to March 9, Burnaby Art Gallery
ALBERTA: Nocturne, opens Feb 14, Agnes Bugera Gallery, Edmonton
One of Canada’s pre-eminent printmakers, J.C. (Carl) Heywood will have his first major retrospective at Burnaby Art Gallery. Having spent more than 40 years executing his ideas through a variety of printmaking techniques, the exhibition called A Life in Layers will show his progression as an artist. “Evolution is a good word to describe this show, because it explains how he arrived at his unique style,” says curator Geraldine Davis. “The prints in the exhibition will illustrate the influence of Carl’s art history inspirations, his experience living in Paris where he was mentored by Stanley Hayter, and how his printmaking changed with the international exposure he’s had throughout his life. Carl is like a chameleon, an adventurer, the way he absorbs experience.” The Great Carpe Diem, J.C. Heywood, serigraph, After graduating from the Ontario College of Art 2000, 29.5" X 41" in 1963, Heywood soon became dissatisfied with the art scenes in the small Ontario towns where he lived. In 1967 he found his way to Paris, where he worked at Surrealist painter and printmaker Hayter’s Atelier 17. The studio’s printmaking techniques influenced artists including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Max Ernst, as well as the developing styles of American artists Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko. “Because of these influences, Carl’s style came from a whole range of historical references that blended with his visual sensibility,” Davis says. “But his work is not just historical. Carl finds ways to bring these influences to life, and even though these influences are modernist and recognizable, he re-invents them. Carl is extremely articulate and formal, which is not very common today.” Davis talks about a screenprint called Little Schwitters Suite-Monumental, which Heywood made in 1999 (part of a series he called the UV Screenprints from 1996 to 2000): “Carl is updating the role of collage and assemblage, brought to prominence by Karl Schwitters and later taken up by cubists. But Carl uses his own ephemera.” An image of a fish has been borrowed from earlier Heywood works, for example. Davis also refers to a work called Japan Flowers with Water (part of a series called The Etchings from 1981to1991), which uses the common technique of cross-hatching in new ways. Ultimately, the Heywood retrospective illustrates the artist’s unique way of working. “It’s his absolute love of detail and attention to tone and texture that is central to Carl’s art-making,” Davis says. “That and the fact he likes to display all the nuances of printmaking technology.” — Beverly Cramp
When he started painting his popular night scenes about five years ago, the subject helped to free David Wilson from an earlier style he found restrictive. Formerly working in high realism, he began to experiment with a looser technique that appears to tie in well with the blurring of night and neon in his new work. Wilson is particularly fond of the effect of headlights on rain-slick streets, blending the shiny streaks of red and yellow with the blinking signage and glowing streetlights of the city at night. His night paintings are dominated by buildings and vehicles — with an occasional shadowy figure crossing the street or disappearing into a late-open shop. Painting full time in his studio in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood — a likely spot for urban inspiration
Represented by: Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary; Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto; Jean-Claude Bergeron Gallery, Ottawa
MICHAEL MARKOWSKY ALBERTA: April 3 to 13, Axis Contemporary Art, Calgary
While art can often be dangerous, the practice of making art is rarely death-defying. Michael Markowsky may prove that theory wrong with his latest series of drawings and paintings which he calls “Driving Artworks.” Originally created on a sketch pad while Markowsky drove the freeways of Los Angeles, he quickly reconsidered that technique and enlisted friends to do the driving while he sketched from the passenger seat (or in some situations, while strapped to the top of his car). Remember that this is California, where anything goes. And the technique is not completely unusual — contemporary artist and envelopepusher Matthew Barney recently completed a series of artworks sketched on the outside hull of a boat while he sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. The results of Markowsky’s efforts make up a series of Impressionistic and very colourful scenes that move with a lightness and freedom that easily suggests the open road. Originally from Calgary, where he graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 1999, Markowsky also attended Cooper Union in New York and the Royal College of Art in London before getting his MFA at the Art Center in Pasadena, California. Since then he’s been living and working in southern California, where the freeway systems and scenic drives provide an endless source of inspiration. — Jill Sawyer Represented by: Axis Contemporary Art, Calgary
36 Galleries West Spring 2008
On the Surface, David Wilson, acrylic on canvas, 72" X 54"
— Wilson’s new work is unwaveringly popular. “I literally can’t paint enough,” he says. The work will be featured as part of a night-themed group show in February at Edmonton’s Agnes Bugera Gallery, alongside work by other artists including Gordon Harper and Ian Rawlinson. — Jill Sawyer
Melon Truck on the road to Giverny, Michael
Represented by: Agnes Bugera Gallery,
Markowsky, oil on canvas, 2007
Edmonton; Atelier Gallery, Vancouver www.gallerieswest.ca
Feb 14 - March 15, 2008
CLAYTON ANDERSON March 20 - April 19. 2008
April 1 - 16 Opening Saturday April 5 Artist in attendance
RFM McInnis Les Quatre Soeurs (detail) 36” x 36” o/l 2007
RFM McINNIS New Works www.gallerieswest.ca
12312 Jasper Avenue Edmonton AB T5N 3K5 tel: (780) 488 2952 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thefrontgallery.com
Galleries West Spring 2008 37
previews and profiles DREAM HOUSE MANITOBA: Opens Feb 15, Plug In ICA, Winnipeg
Winnipeg is famous for its art fundraisers — posh spreads at the Hotel Fort Garry, the now legendary, wall-to-wall frenzies at aceart, MAWA’s carnivalesque Dollhouse where bidding comes under pressure of time, Platform’s triple exposure . . . the list goes on. Even the dreaded Bingo nights, run by the provincial lotteries corporation are prairie ritual for non-profits — where stoic board members and tense volunteers pace the floor, recovering from the anxiety of providing ten warm bodies to ensure they’ll profit from the event. Ten is required, or it’s a “no go” on the easy $3,000. Plug In has been an Institute of Contemporary Art for some time, shifting its mandate from an artist-run centre to. . . still something like an artist-run centre where seriously good art, architecture and design reign. It’s still trendy and naughty, ambitious and committed to excellence, but like other arts organizations, Plug In ICA requires funds beyond what membership, publication sales, equipment rentals, and the public sector can provide. Its recent art fundraisers begin with novel premise for artistic interpretation. Like the Fabulous Fakes with a Twist, a send up of Group of Seven painting and the subsequent Fab Fakes, a riff on Pop Art, the upcoming Dream House is
an exhibition and a fundraiser. Curator Steven Matijico explains that the show “explores the uncanny topography of the domestic environment.” The premise is a foil for artists to reconsider the built environment from multiple points: consumer driven, fantasy laden, consumption infused, gender making, material expanding, and body encoding. Will it be an average “contents sale?” I doubt it. The early images are intriguing, raising hopes for more imaginative and provocative work. The preliminary roster of artists and furniture designers includes Keith Oliver, Lynn Richardson, Bernie Miller, Elvira Finnigan, Ken Lum, Germaine Koh, Douglas Coupland and Chris Dorosz, a roster sure to change and expand as the opening draws near. Painted Room, Chris Dorosz, Canada’s climate ensures that mixed media, 2006, from most of us construct our domesticity Dream House in some way through the perennial engagements with food, shelter, pleasure, comfort and nurture. Dream House opens February15, when curbside snowbanks crunch and thicken, car exhaust obscures pedestrians, and weary Winnipeggers peek out their doors, suffering from cabin fever. The show’s six-week duration may be ample time to heal the worst afflicted. — Amy Karlinsky
MAYNARD JOHNNY, JR.
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Tutt Art Galleries, Kelowna
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Pacific Prints 2008, Jan 8 to Feb 29, Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria
David Graff came to art-making through craft, and has applied the techniques learned as an artisan to create a thoroughly unique painting style. Beginning as a singer-songwriter with a lengthy career behind him, in 1994 Graff took up the craft of faux-finishing, working on residential and commercial interiors in Canada and the U.S. Through that, he began to incorporate the old-world artisan technique of gilding — hammering metal leaf onto surfaces, and it transformed his work. In 2000, he began showing a series of paintings that combined gilded metals with standard paints, dyes, and chemical effects, etching into the surfaces of his artworks to create unique effects. Originally from the Alberta foothills town of Edson, Graff’s creative work, both in music and painting, has given him an international career. The success of his gold-leaf and gilded paintings has drawn collectors from around the world. He continues to experiment in a studio in Bowen Island, BC, where he works with his wife, Holly Graff, an artisan who has incorporated many similar gilding and burnishing techniques to a series of bowls, urns and other vessels. — Jill Sawyer Represented by: Tutt Art Galleries, Kelowna; Stephen Lowe Art Gallery, Calgry; Whistler Village Art Gallery, Whistler, BC. Phases of the Moon, Maynard Johnny Jr., serigraph edition Morning Light,
of 100, 10" X 30"
Represented by: Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria; Inuit Gallery,
David Graff, mixed
38 Galleries West Spring 2008
With a simplicity of design that combines traditional forms with modern lines, it’s no surprise that painter, printmaker, and carver Maynard Johnny, Jr. has a sideline in creating logos for First Nations organizations. Affiliated with the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw people of Vancouver Island, Johnny’s work incorporates the classic symbols and forms of the region — killer whales, grizzly bears, salmon, frogs — and splashes them with bright modern colours or places them in unusual repeating patterns. Working with a variety of materials — acrylic on canvas, acrylic on paper, serigraph — he’s largely self-taught. Originally from Campbell River, BC, Johnny also often works in wood and precious metals. Victoria’s Alcheringa Gallery will feature his print work as part of their popular Pacific Prints exhibition along with a selection of other gallery artists, including works from Canada’s Northwest Coast, Australia, and Papua New Guinea. New and limited edition prints by Susan Point, Johnny and lessLIE will join rare works by noted printmakers including Wayne Young, Art Thompson and Ron Hamilton. — Jill Sawyer
Vancouver; Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery, Vancouver; The Path Gallery, Whistler, BC;
30" X 60"
Stonington Gallery, Seattle. www.gallerieswest.ca
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CRAIG YEATS AND SHIRLEY THOMPSON Please join us at our spectacular new location – Corner of Howe and Cordova Streets Show and sale of recent works Opening reception: Wednesday, March 5, 2008, 4:30 -7:30 pm (Artists in attendance)
Craig Yeats, Arbutus Shore, 30" x 48", acrylic
Shirley Thompson, Florio, 48" x 48", acrylic
323 Howe St, Vancouver, BC, V6C 3N2 604-687-7466 • Toll Free 1-877-787-7466 email@example.com www.rendezvousartgallery.com www.gallerieswest.ca
Galleries West Spring 2008 39
previews and profiles RONALD BOAKS
ALBERTA: Paintings & Still Life Photographs, Feb 7 to March 8, The Weiss Gallery, Calgary
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Vancouver Paintings, opens Feb 6, Rendezvous Art Gallery, Vancouver
There are many artists who work in more than one medium, but it’s rare to find an artist who combines media in the way that Ronald Boaks does. He began as a painter of delicate and muted abstracts, canvases that have evolved to become bolder and more colour-saturated. Then, maintaining his painting practice, he discovered a new way to represent the work —as backdrop in a series of lush still life photographs shot with a large-format Linhof camera. The technique began as an experiment — Still Life, Pomegranates on Green, Ronald Boaks, Fujiflex print, Boaks discovering the possibilities in still life edition of 10, 2005, 54" X 48" photography, and looking around for subjects at hand. His house in Toronto is full of objects and art — his wife’s aunt was acclaimed early Canadian abstract painter Kathleen Munn — and Boaks says that in his house it’s “common to see objects in front of paintings.” So the still life subjects suggested themselves readily. Putting up an old plywood table as a shelf, he began placing things in front of his paintings, posing them for the camera. His photographs are a mix of living and inanimate objects — flowers and fruit, sculpture, china, books, bowls — the accoutrements of a life full of intellectual curiosity. The balance of colour is clearly important to Boakes — both in his paintings and in the photographs. Some of the photographs have an almost otherworldly richness of colour — deep apple greens and burnished oranges that suggest the extremes of nature found only in tropical regions. Others frame a paleness and simplicity that’s more in the context of his earlier paintings. In fact, Boaks says now that he’s finding it more difficult to feature his newer paintings as photographic subjects. The newer paintings are too active, and don’t work well in his compositions. The work is all in balance — both structurally and in terms of colour, and he describes the simple technique forced on him by the medium of large-format photography. “When I look through the camera, everything appears upside down to me, and that helps me to check the composition.” He likens it to the old painters’ technique of looking at a subject through a mirror to see it anew. This show at Calgary’s new Weiss Gallery, which will combine paintings and photography, is the first Boaks has had in western Canada. He describes the new work in its connection to moments in time. The paintings represent this moment, now, while the photographs capture a moment that has already passed, but has been preserved. — Jill Sawyer
A master of the palette knife, Craig Yeats’ newest acrylic landscapes continue in his expressionist style. “About six or seven years ago I started using the palette knife extensively,” he says. “It’s what distinguishes my work.” Texture, color and design are overriding concerns, though Yeats doesn’t ignore subject matter entirely. “My work isn’t literal, but I get it close enough to the place it represents. I’m trying to get to the heart of the place.” The geographical areas that interest Yeats are often in the greater Vancouver area, and this show will be no exception. It will include paintings from Vancouverarea landmarks like Fishermen’s Cove, Horseshoe Bay, False Creek, Coal Harbor and Vancouver’s Inner Harbor. Boats and sailing are often featured prominently in his work. Yeats began working in watercolours as a teenager, painting ocean scenes from near his
Represented by: The Weiss Gallery, Calgary; Moore Gallery, Toronto; The David Kay Gallery, Toronto
SYDNEY LANCASTER ALBERTA: thought & memory: curiosities, March 1 to 23, Arts on Atlantic, Calgary
Like the crows and ravens that figure so prominently in her work, Edmonton-based artist Sydney Lancaster is a collector. She collects found objects to use in her work, and also the memories and ideas that form the basis of the mixed-media pieces. “I’m really interested in the relationships we establish between memory and tangible reality, and how part of the human path is really about re-writing our own stories as we go,” she says. “Sometimes this is absolutely conscious, sometimes less so.” Her current work mixes assemblage and collage to create something unique and powerful with an underpinning of good design. Incorporated found objects — bark, inkjet prints, fragments of text — are layered with oil and acrylic paints, inks, plaster and beeswax, sometimes carved through to reveal new surfaces. “I’m focused on the intersection between an outward reality (what we want to or choose to see and reveal) and what lies below the surface,” Lancaster says, adding that she’s also trying to impart a sense of the risk involved in revealing what’s hidden. On the staff at Latitude 53 artist-run centre in Edmonton, Lancaster has participated in a series of group shows and festivals, both as an artist and as a poet. — Jill Sawyer Represented by: Arts on Atlantic, Calgary
Coal Harbour, Craig Yeats, 40" x 30", 2006, acrylic on canvas
West Vancouver neighborhood. It spurred him on to do university studies in fine arts, including an MFA from the University of North Carolina in 1977. — Beverly Cramp Represented by: Rendezvous Art Gallery,
40 Galleries West Spring 2008
Souvenirs, Sydney Lancaster,
Vancouver; Brights’ Gallery, Burlington,
mixed media, 2007
previews and profiles EVE KOTYK SASKATCHEWAN: The Muse, April 4 to 26, 2008, McIntyre Gallery, Regina
Eve Kotyk began as an abstract painter, under the influence of Otto Rogers and Robert Christie in the University of Saskatchewan Fine Arts program in the late 1980s, but eventually she felt a need to “seek something more human” in her art. Images — trees at first, and more recently people — have emerged, renSeason’s End, Eve Kotyk, encaustic dered in encaustic on panel. Kotyk on panel, 2007, 15.75" X 17.75" enjoys the challenge of heating and blending beeswax and damar resin, then adding oil pigment, preferring to mix her own colours to achieve a softer palette. She feels that the encaustic medium creates a toned-down softness, yet gives luminescence and warmth. She says it creates a distance between the viewer and the subject, yet draws the viewer in. The paintings for this exhibition — in sizes ranging from 2 feet by 18 inches to 4 feet by 3 feet — will include a series of portraits. She’ll also produce new paintings of expressive, even vivacious trees, which she also considers portraits. — Steven Ross Smith
Represented by: McIntyre Gallery, Regina.
SYLVAIN BOUTHILLETTE SASKATCHEWAN: Dharma Bum, Jan 8 to April 6, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon
In the catalogue that accompanies his exhibition Dharma Bum, Sylvain Bouthillette writes, “My work is a form of meditation incarnated into action.” It is action and art that appears to be wild, but is underscored by the Montreal artist’s Buddhist meditation practice. This travelling exhibition — the first mid-career assessment of the artist’s prolific output — features more than 30 works selected from the period 1990 to 2006 by curator Bernard Lamarche. It includes paintings, sculpture, photographs, sound works, and prints. Influenced by Joseph Beuys, the American “bad painting” movement, punk rock and popular culture, tattoos, advertising, trash aesthetic, and more, Bouthillette has created a mischievous and irreverent phantasmagoria of sights and sounds. A manic quality energizes the work, but is accompanied by the artist’s driving intention. “These works are meant to be a manifestation of wrathful compassion,” he says. There are rotating clown heads, scratched up tiger images, cute stuffed squirrels, elegant horses, and a gyrating hare. Bouthillette’s materials and media are boundless — aerosol, oil, latex and acrylic paints, charcoal, wood, crayon and chalk; there are silk-screened images, installations, gouged effects, photographic collages, lino and inkjet prints, sculptural and sonic elements, and more. He writes: “Through my art I try to bring forth a space where it is possible to see things with an uncertainty that is enlightening, intelligent, and filled with curiosity.” — Steven Ross Smith All Part of the Inexpressible and
bill laing, rca
1111 - 11 avenue s w c a l g a r y, a b t 2 r 0 g 5 p. 403.228.4889 w w w . h e r r i n g e r k i s s g a l l e r y. c o m
Unthinkable, Sylvain Bouthillette, oil, spray paint, chalk on wood, 2005, 90.5" X 96" www.gallerieswest.ca
Galleries West Spring 2008 41
What we saw at exhibitions in the West CARTOGRAPHIES When: Where:
July 12 to August 11, 2007 Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver Reviewed by: Helena Wadsley
posely degenerates specific locales based on the life of Canadian painter Homer Watson using low-resolution video. The results, in White Pine and Marina, are compressed landscapes reinvigorated by Tap’s brushstrokes. Not only are these artists influenced by their environments, whether natural or altered, they each reveal an intensely analytical awareness of painting’s history, and each brushstroke responds eloquently and volubly. There is an ongoing conversation amongst these works, but both Kissick and Smith insist that any similarity among the group is due to physical proximity. Any pedagogical relationship is downplayed, and rightfully so. All five painters consider themselves to be professional artists and colleagues but, while there is a very faint wisp of competitiveness, there is also support. In a Renaissance painting workshop, apprentices would gain skill by emulating the masters, gradually emerging as masters themselves. Though this system is archaic, there is much to be said for working closely with those who share similar investigative practices.
Successful students are often the products of good teachers, and each artist in Cartographies is either a professor or a recent graduate of the University of Guelph. The Masters program there is rigorous, one where, as graduate Martin Golland suggests, the timid artist would be out of place. While the work of each artist in this show is distinctly individual, there resides in each work an unmistakable affection for paint paired with a process that involves both accumulating and dissolving tangible subject matter, and the results are stunning. Perch, Melanie Authier, 2007, oil on Organizer Pete Smith has been the force behind the canvas, 20" x 16". From Cartographies at show, and his fresh energy shows in his own work, which Elissa Cristall Gallery culls from the visual debris that constantly bombards urbanites, such as graffiti and advertising. He concentrates each form into a brushstroke, shape or spill on the canvas, and further distills the resulting vibrant colours by applying MICHAEL LA ROCQUE a self-leveling resin to evoke the plastic, manufactured Exhibition: Staged Affects quality of the detritus around us. When: August 25 to Swirls and vortexes merging with multi-faceted crystalSeptember 23, 2007 line growths are part of Melanie Authier’s investigation Where: Kamloops Art Gallery into the emotional aspects of landscape painting. They are Reviewed by: Portia Priegert a sidelong glance at the conventions of painting, and defiThe dissimulation of identity, with its promise of temporary nitions of beauty and the sublime. Inspired by the physical release from social norms, has long intrigued artists. phenomena of icebergs, glaciers and tropical underwater Cultures around the globe have exploited the potential of environments, they seek to represent another realm altocostumes and masks, including Western artists as diverse gether, one that feels precarious and overwhelming. as Pablo Picasso and Matthew Barney. Disguise plays a Where Authier’s sinuous contours have an othercentral role in the concept of the carnivalesque as develworldly feel, John Kissick’s visceral brushstrokes writhe The Watchers, Michael La Rocque, 2001, oped by cultural theorist Mikhail Bachtin. He sees it as a like intestinal folds. He counteracts what he refers to as acrylic on canvas mechanism that reveals subconscious truths and opens ‘opticality’ — where an illusion starts to emerge, it is new avenues of social access. broken by the contrast of what is contiguous to it. Extrusive Kamloops-based figurative painter Michael La lines weave among flat shapes and dot patterns, and his Rocque’s exhibition, Staged Affects, engages with this use of paint plants the work firmly in the material world of rich cultural history without breaking new critical ground. abstraction. Comprised of six acrylic paintings created from 1996 to Martin Golland’s piece, Cactus, is a close-up view of a 2001, the exhibition makes reference to masked figures, houseplant with blue and grey archways in the backsurreal creatures and pop-culture icons and includes one ground. Golland blends the real with the imagined, pushpiece, The Watchers, that evokes the invisible psychologiing the viewer right up against the plant, as if in a game of cal masks of daily life. The exhibition is less a cohesive hide and seek. There is no arbitrariness about his choice of subject matter — he might take hundreds of photographs Comes Through Snow, Grant McConnell, body of similarly executed work and more a loosely the2007, acrylic on wood, 23" x 37" matic medley reflecting the tensions of social constructs for one painting in order to engage multiple viewpoints. specific to Western culture. The depicted space, where the foreground switches with Formally, the works are largely executed in photo-realist style and demonstrate the background, achieves a slightly hallucinatory effect. a concern with the division of space, particularly through the use of framing and An awareness of history is most evident in the work of Monica Tap, who pur42 Galleries West Spring 2008
Reviews borders that increase the narrative pulse. There is a tentative exploration of alternative materials, including a red-feathered boa attached to one edge of the canvas in Swing You Dawg. But the boa, which echoes the painted neckwear of a pancakefaced woman clutching a man wearing a dog mask, seems a self-conscious afterthought, and is integrated less successfully than the patterned fabric substrate of several other works. The triptych Jumping Through Hoops uses the vanity of a sad-eyed clown, who soars horizontally through blurred space on the central canvas, one arm extended in Superman style. His red, black and green socks are echoed in the coloured strips adhered to the lower portion of the right canvas. To the left is the hoop, a painted circle positioned centrally in a square canvas. A cerulean sky seems to hold promise, but the dark-toned Ferris wheel and shrubbery creates a sharply somber counterpoint. Contemplating Batman, another psychologically impenetrable painting, shows a man peering through his fingers, which are held in mask-like formation around his eyes. Shadows cast by his sleeves create the tufted ears of the superhero costume, while a burned-down cigarette is gripped in his lips. The figure is enclosed in a cartoon-style bubble, within a painted pseudo-frame of diagonal red and blue stripes. The final two works, both painted in 1996, seem related in their use of surreal elements. The central figure in Square Shooter appears to be a female clad in polka-dot bra, white panties and rollerblades. But one beefy hand suggests an alternative reading of a male in drag. The other hand, an oversized lobster claw gripping a camera, and the head — a fish face with gaping maw preparing to puff on a hookah, disrupts attempts at analysis. As if in a dream, meaning skitters just beyond reach. Fishy Tales, meanwhile, offers another curious juxtaposition. The background setting resembles an Impressionist painting of fishermen along the Seine with an elderly man grasping a small fish, perhaps to remove a hook. In the lower foreground, two odd reptilian creatures, one playing an accordion and the other equipped with shower cap, bow tie, high heels and guitar, sway across the picture plane. Like the woman caught in a moment of private reflection in The Watchers, this exhibition flirts with the tensions between revelation and mystery, reality and imagination, voyeurism and exhibitionism. But La Rocque reflects more than he disrupts. Ultimately, he leaves his subjects’ masks in place, revealing little of their inner psychology. Staged Affects seems infused with resignation about the inevitability of disguise and the futility of seeking authentic social contact.
GRANT MCCONNELL Exhibition: When: Where: Reviewed by:
Selections from Time and Place October 25 to November 15, 2007 The Gallery / art placement, Saskatoon Steven Ross Smith
Hovering is the word that comes to mind, in both the literal and figurative senses, when viewing the eleven large acrylic paintings on plywood, and ten small pastels on paper, in Grant McConnell’s latest show at The Gallery in Saskatoon. His paintings hover between representation and abstraction, between the literal and the metaphoric, between light and dark, between the airborne and the earthly, between surface and image. The tiny — 6 1/4 x 4 1/8 inch — pieces are intense, bright and evocative. Seven are land- or sky-scapes and three are more object-based, and in them, McConnell explores elemental composition. The artist takes his sense of composition and texture to a large scale in the acrylic works including the luminous L’Apres-midi Dugout. At 143" by 18", the proportions are panoramic. The painting is a broad natural scene, a view from the water toward the cusp of skyline. Sky and forest loom as backdrop, and a buck, not seen in this viewer’s first few glances, drinks near the right edge of the painting. A small shack and a red boat just off centre suggest a human presence, though no www.gallerieswest.ca
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Reviews by his expert use of resin. The application of many person is seen. A sense of darkness resonates in this layers, often over bits of acrylic- or oil-painted text, painting, as McConnell prepares his wood panels with produces a sense of depth. Vergette’s latest mixed tinted or black gessoes; possibly it’s twilight, but the media show at Bjornson Kajiwara gallery in Vancouver, work is also gloriously alive with colour in daubs and The Waning Light, works with maquettes and found strokes that remind me of the techniques of impresobjects, bringing together past technique and introsionists or post-impressionists such as Van Gogh. And ducing forays into new territory. The show is alive with there are streaks and paint that add depth and colour, notions of nature and man. and create a veiling effect, an attention to surface that The work titled Perspective #2 - variation in anodis a contemporary gesture. With this technique McConized aluminum with bullet holes is shot through the nell doubles attention to surface — he is already using upper right-hand quarter. On its own, Perspective #2 the roughness and irregularity of utility-grade plywood is cold and dark but, hung near a grouping of other as a textural plane. Homage to Mondrian, Peter John Voormeij, works, together they act as a set piece with broader The moody and moving painting Comes through acrylic on canvas, 30" X 36" meaning and perspective. Snow is less grand in scope at 23" x 37", but its The other pieces include two silkscreens with the subject matter is more unsettling. Paint is economically word “flee” in white against a black background — a brushed, scratched and dripped on the board to show mixed media piece with a stuffed deer cut in half, with a wolf emerging from darkness toward the viewer. Is each mounted on a wood base and the inside of each it walking on land, water, or through sky? Is it a spirit half revealing a white cavernous interior that contains or a living animal? Some of its body remains indistinct, one of Vergette’s maquettes (titled Reason Alone is and a part-moon sits in the sky. The wolf, its head Sufficient Enough to Govern a Rational Creature), and slightly lowered, looks right at the viewer. The wolf has a small black resin panel. The five pieces together say us in its cautious, feral, vulnerable gaze. much about man’s relationship with nature. McConnell is well-schooled in the traditions of Vergette places stuffed animals in four mixed mepainting, as evidenced in his engagement in three dia works, covering them in clear resin, as if encased radiant still-life works. Again the paintings are poised George Vergette (from left), Fugitive Material in ice. There are three pieces with resin-coated birds between image and abstraction. The largest is Eclipse #1, 2007, ptarmigan, resin, wood, acrylic, sitting on plastic stands suspended from the wall, Bouquet, and its bulbous blossoms float in space; steel, powder coat; Fugitive Material #2, 2007, titled Fugitive #1, Fugitive #2 and Fugitive #3. The brushed suggestions of shape and colour rendered ptarmigan, resin, plaster, cheescloth, steel, resin preserves the birds, but can also be seen as a from a rich palette of reds, yellows and occasional smothering shroud. blues and greens, and the light diminishes from left to powder coat; Fugitive Material #3, 2007, A stuffed squirrel is part of a different series of right. Looking at this painting, this viewer thinks of the pigeon, resin, plaster, cheesecloth, steel, powder coat; Perspective #2 - Variation in maquettes, called Study for a Unique Structure #10. Dutch still-life painters of the 17th and 18th century, The squirrel’s back is covered in melted wax-like resin, such as Jan Davidsz de Heem. And McConnell’s fascina- anodized aluminum with bullet holes, 2007, anodized aluminum with compositions reminiscent of an architect’s tion with light emerging from darkness is reminiscent model, an idea for a built society literally superimposed of Rembrandt. on nature. Finally, there are images that truly hover — airThe tranquility of Vergette’s exquisite resin panels borne hot air balloons. McConnell has painted three with text, such as Wane, gives viewers some relief in large acrylic pieces and one small pastel with the the midst of the darkness, but even Wane has a cauballoons as subject matter, but with no evidence of tionary note. Floating at the forefront of the blue resinpassengers. The compositions are shapely, and the layered panel is the word ‘waning’ printed in white roundness suggests buoyancy and seems to affect the letters. Behind the white lettering, in the background land itself. In Winter from Above, the background is layers of resin and printed in shadowy text, is the same white, and the land and increasingly blue sky lift from word from Perspective #1 and Perspective #2: flee. left to right, counter to gravity. These pieces are lighthearted in subject, but serious as paintings; the dense Grounded, Dawson City, Carin Mincemoyer, PETER JOHN VOORMEIJ application of paint re-affirms McConnell’s reference to Exhibition: Through Dutch Eyes 2 2007, Styrofoam, plant material the surface, and the abstraction exists within the image. When: October 23 to Grant McConnell’s technique is refined to a sophisNovember 13, 2007 ticated degree. He’s a true master of shape, layering and light. While his sense of Where: Elliott Louis Gallery, symmetrical composition is pleasing, his darkness is disquieting — yet it pushes the Vancouver colour forward. McConnell has the ability to balance, to make the viewer hold both Reviewed by: Ann Rosenberg — the feast of colour, and the dark edge — simultaneously in his or her gaze. At this time of year, jolts of colour are welcome, and the hues in Peter John GEORGE VERGETTE Voormeij’s paintings, when viewed at a distance through the generous windows Exhibition: The Waning Light of the Elliott Louis Gallery, have an exhilarating effect. Moving in closer and examinWhen: September 6 to 29, 2007 ing the individual pieces and their titles, pondering the rationale behind the show, Where: Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery, Vancouver certain questions arise. Reviewed by: Beverly Cramp According to the short version of the artist’s biography, the titles of Voormeij’s George Vergette is known for creating mixed media panels that are made luminous pieces might be triggered by poems or political events. Titles lead him into paint44 Galleries West Spring 2008
Reviews ings, then direct his colour choices and compositions. Several of the most successful works in the show (for example, You Have Chosen, Victory of Painting and New Values) appear to express that integrity and I single them out because these are technically and thematically in sync with the central thrust of Voormeij’s art, which is to offer his own visual proof that the Abstract Expressionism that has flourished in North America since 1945 is, at his hand, not only still alive and well but joyful. In this solo show, the viewer is surrounded by art that appears particularly influenced by the rich impasto of Jean-Paul Riopelle, who had returned to Montreal after decades in Paris just a couple of years before Voormeij immigrated to that city from Holland. In the late 1960s Voormeij, under many influences, abandoned the Realism in favour of adopting more up-to-date non-objective, North American styles. One of the important forerunners to the new school of purely abstract art was Voormeij’s countryman Piet Mondrian. In Through Dutch Eyes 2, Voormeij references Mondrian in Broadway Boogie, Homage to Mondrian and Mondrian’s Utopia. I doubt that the dour, reclusive Dutchman would have appreciated any of these tributes because they stray so far from the strict principles (and philosophy) on which his highly personal art was based. Voormeij’s 2007 works are omnivorously coloured, palette-knife-delivered concoctions that are completely over-the — stop flamboyant — the opposite of the reductive palette, quiet surfaces and ordered formats of precedents offered by the canvases of the Dutch master, who listened to boogie-woogie as he painted but likely never danced. Voormeij’s Counter Compositions also references the series of ‘tilted’ (diamond-shaped) paintings that Mondrian created before his death in 1943. At least two of these are rendered in muddy, knife-applied square swatches of blue/ grey/green, while others feature the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows that caught my eye before I entered the gallery. A look at Voormeij’s website will reveal that he typically produces series of 48 works under the same title, so I am guessing that there are (or will be) more in this group from which to chose. While there are paintings shown on his website that are successful abstract works convincingly inspired by Willem de Kooning and Jack Shadbolt, I think Voormeij should just get on with producing the best, Expressionist, painterly paintings he can and leave Mondrian’s highly disciplined art to rest in peace.
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CARIN MINCEMOYER AND JEFFERSON CAMPBELL-COOPER Exhibition: When: Where: Reviewed by:
The Natural and the Manufactured August 16 to September 7, 2007 ODD Gallery, Dawson City Nicole Bauberger
The Yukon provides an excellent context to consider opposites — the easy assumption that natural is good and manufactured is bad falls away in a place where a person can die from lack of manufactured shelter. In this place, The Natural & The Manufactured, a project that has entered its third year of residency and exhibition at Dawson City’s Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, marks out a conceptual territory. The artists’ talks, with Carin Mincemoyer and Jefferson Campbell-Cooper, take place before the viewers are allowed to see either exhibition, and the series is serious about exploring ideas. This year’s exhibitions offer an interesting contrast. In her show Grounded, Dawson City, Pennsylvania’s Carin Mincemoyer playfully critiques the American inclination to commodify nature. In his outdoor, site-specific installation Shove: Fill, 2007 Jefferson Campbell-Cooper of southwestern Ontario undertakes a Whitman-esque labour to become more intimate with the world, both natural and manufactured. Mincemoyer creates a “nature park” in the Odd Gallery. The sculptor has built a boardwalk through the gallery space to keep the viewers on the “proper viewing path.” She constructed several landscapes from Styrofoam packaging from computers and other consumer products, and has planted hundreds of plants from various ecosystems in the hollows left inside the clean white foam shapes. The www.gallerieswest.ca
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