Abstract Objectives Painting and Sculpture, 1950–Present
We Are On Treaty Land
Until May 15 • Gallery 5 Curated by Andrew Kear
Until May 22 • Gallery 6 Curated by Jaimie Isaac
Since its beginning around the turn of the last century, modern abstraction has incorporated a broad range of approaches, intentions, and associations in the Western world. In the decades that followed World War II, abstract art went from being a crucial but misunderstood tendency within modernism, to a dominant mode of creative expression embraced by artists, art museums, and much of the general public. The increasing popularity of abstract painting and sculpture through the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st has bred heterogeneity. Historically, abstraction was construed as a vehicle for heroic self-expression, and formal experimentation. Even today, the look of abstract art is being redrawn, its motivations reconceived, and its objectives re-evaluated. This exhibition draws from the WAG’s permanent collection, bringing together paintings and sculptures by mostly Canadian artists created between 1950 and the present day. These works underline some of the shifting parameters and motivations that have shaped abstract art over the past 60 years.
We Are On Treaty Land is Jaimie Isaac’s first exhibition as Curatorial Resident of Indigenous and Contemporary Art at the WAG, which is located on Treaty No. 1 Territory. Interdisciplinary work by Indigenous artists provides reflections that are influenced and informed by the territory's land and treaty relations. The exhibition focuses on contemporary paintings, mixed media, and photography over a 40-year period from the WAG's collection. Together they generate narratives that examine what it means to honour and recognize the enduring treaties and long-standing relationships between the First Nations and the Crown. We Are On Treaty Land provides an opportunity to learn where we are today, and to move forward in collaboration. The art is complemented by historical objects generously loaned by The Manitoba Museum, including the Treaty 1 Medal and a beaded bandolier bag. These works serve as tangible witnesses to the historic treaty, transcending traditional and contemporary aesthetics.
left to right: Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline. DST RZ FLD, 2013. Oil on canvas. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Acquired with funds from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor, funds administered by The Winnipeg Foundation and with funds from the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance program/Oeuvre achetée avec l’aide du programme d’aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des Arts du Canada. 2014-51; Robert Houle. Premises for Self Rule: Treaty No. 1, 1994. Acrylic, photo emulsion, vinyl lettering on canvas, Plexiglas. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Acquired with funds from the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program/Oeuvre achetèe avec l'aide du programme d'aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des Arts du Canada, G-96-11 abc
4 | WINTER2015
24 page magazine containing articles about upcoming and current exhibits, along with information on upcoming events.