Sympathetic Magic June 27 to September 14, 2014 Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Canada Canada has cultivated and maintained a strong symbolic connection with the northern landscape. The production of the Group of Seven and their progeny has both defined artistic practice at home and Canada abroad. As art historian John O’Brian observes in Wild Art History, “The land and its representations are knotted together, not unlike two other words with an affinity to landscape in contemporary thought – nation and nationalism.” The country as promoted by the authors of the Canadian landscape tradition is a pristine, untamed, and unpeopled place. Popular depictions of the landscape are telling: Canada is rich in natural beauty, abundant in resources, and ripe for development. In recent years, changes to Canadian domestic and foreign policy have reconfigured the political landscape. Aggressive resource development has radically altered the physical environment. Yet Canadian landscape tropes of northern wilderness are incredibly difficult to displace. Why is it so? Sympathetic Magic is an exhibition about the Canadian landscape that does not strictly operate in the recognizable idioms of the genre. Visitors to the gallery will not see the familiar snow-capped peaks of Lawren Harris’ iconic work*, but it’s most […]
The names of things Terry Billings, Zachari Logan, Stacia Verigin September 28 to January 6, 2013 Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Canada In their diverse mixed media works, drawings and sculpture, Terry Billings, Zachari Logan, and Stacia Verigin explore the complex relationships between human experience and the natural world. Their work engages with natural forms and imagery to challenge assumptions about nature and consider the beauty and mystery of the world around us. Terry Billings’ mixed media works sit in the charged space between knowledge and intuition. Billings has created works of art using wasp nest paper and plumage to explore the contradictions between the established scientific understanding of biological life forms and her personal experience of the non-human world. Zachari Logan’s provocative drawings investigate masculine representation in contemporary society. The large-scale chalk pastel drawing from his Eunuch Tapestry series is based upon a number of remarkable, 15th-century textile works featuring unicorn subject matter. Logan extrapolates on the historical unicorn narrative to explore notions of sexuality, desire, domesticity, and love. Stacia Verigin’s sculptures are inspired by her enchantment with the beauty and diversity of nature. Through a process of experimentation, discovery, and play, she eloquently transforms materials such as sawdust and […]
Forced Perspective March 30 to June 10, 2012 Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Canada Drawn from the Mendel Art Gallery permanent collection, Forced Perspective employs the dynamics of scale and vantage point to develop themes related to culture and place. Working in scales ranging from the miniature to the monumental, artists in the exhibition represent diverse aesthetic traditions that have helped shape cultural life on the prairies. The interplay of contemporary and historical paintings, sculptures, and photographs activate the exhibition. Fred Moulding’s expressive carvings that depict homesteader life animate the pastoral English landscapes of pioneer artist Augustus Kenderdine. Modernist abstract painting connects international art movements to homegrown art production, while contemporary works by Douglas Walker, Bill Burns, and Janet Werner turn art on its ear. Forced Perspective brings together diverse works in the permanent collection, including sculpture, photography, paintings, and mixed media. They present a multiplicity of viewpoints to contemplate the Saskatchewan experience.
Works on Paper is a term used by museums to classify a range of artifacts produced on paper. Taking playful liberty with the designation, this exhibition presents work from the Mendel Art Gallery Permanent Collection that reconsiders the medium and explores its material and conceptual potential. This alternate take on the thematic exhibition showcases the cheeky and inquisitive spirit of artists working in the past half century and offers insight into the business of collecting, sorting, and classifying objects for preservation and display.
Crossing the pond (artist emergings, there and here) is an artist-initiated international screening series featuring video works by emerging artists from Canada, England and Belgium. Organized by Canadian artist, Troy Gronsdahl and his English co-conspirator, Matt Giraudeau, Crossing the pond is a collection of six short videos presented in the spirit of curiosity and collaboration.
Royal Red — pretty much the best gallery ever — was founded by Troy Gronsdahl in 2004 and officially christened on November 4th, 2005. It was a unique little spot nestled in and amongst the city’s commercial galleries, Artist Run Centres and lovely, well funded Public institutions. No artist fees were ever paid but the parties were really fun. The gallery shared space with Phonographique, a boutique record shop, which closed in 2007.