This e-publication documents the exhibition Rewilding Modernity, presented in the fall of 2013 at the Mendel Art Gallery. Essays by curator Lisa Baldissera and New York art critic, poet and editor Barry Schwabsky examine contemporary art and the unique history of modernity in Saskatchewan and internationally. Among the artists represented in the exhibition are: Polly Apfelbaum, Bob Boyer, Robert Christie, Wally Dion, Mina Forsyth, Roy Kiyooka, Kenneth Lochhead, Jules Olitski, William Perehudoff, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Robert Youds.
Lisa Baldissera, Vinciane Despret and Erika Dyck
Emily Carr (1871-1945) was one of the first Canadian painters to forge a modernist style. Convoluted Beauty focuses on a formative period, when Carr pursued art studies in the United Kingdom, but was hospitalized for “hysteria.” Nevertheless, she came to terms with her personal and artistic identity. Scholarly essays draw from various critical frameworks, including the theme of exile, the concept of hysteria, and the notion of “unproductivity” in creative work. The project presents works by major international artists who explore Carr’s legacy. Included are: Thomas Zipp (Germany), Louise Lawler (USA), Mark Wallinger, (UK) and Canadian artists Karen Tam, Marianne Nicolson, Joanne Bristol, and Cedric and Nathan Bomford.
Jen Budney, Vaclav Smil, Marcella Durand, and Pablo Neruda
Petroleum, in its extraction, distribution, economics, and social, political and environmental impacts, defines our world. Yet, in the developed countries most dependent on it, oil remains largely invisible. Taking its title from a phrase in Pablo Neruda’s 1940 poem, “Standard Oil Co.,” this publication surveys responses to the oil industry by 11 artists from around the world. Some focus on environmental impacts; others on oil’s social significance, its history, or the dramatic visuals of the industry’s infrastructure and detritus. Among the works exhibited: masks made from jerry cans by Yoruba artist Romuald Hazoumè of Benin; kinetic sculpture based upon the Alberta tar sands by Calgary artist Robyn Moody; lacey sculptures made from oil drums by New-York-based Canadian artist Cal Lane; and tar sands images by Toronto photographer Edward Burtynsky.
Sandra Fraser, Timothy Long, Peter White, Andrew Kear, Patricia Bovey and Ted Fraser
David Thauberger, one of North America’s leading contemporary artists, is the subject of this superbly illustrated monograph. The works of the Regina artist are defined by their iconic depictions of vernacular architecture, including legion halls, churches and homes. Employing diverse media, from watercolours to prints, ceramics and stencilled paintings, Thauberger balances between industrial and handmade. Among his varied sources are popular culture, postcard imagery, folk art, and urban planning. His practice combines a keen eye for popular idioms with encyclopaedic knowledge of 20th-century art. Six original essays link the artist’s work to a range of topics, notably his relationship to the Prairies, with its material and psychological richness.
By Shauna McCabe, Gilda Williams, and Troy Gronsdahl
This beautifully illustrated publication documentsthe Saskatoon artist’s exhibition, Luna. Her intricate welded installations, resembling three-dimensional drawings, reconstitute monumental, 20th-century sites of leisure, fantasy, and cultural artifice — from the Crystal Palace and Luna Park to Brighton Pier and Las Vegas. Norlen’s work is multi-faceted and contradictory; futuristic and nostalgic, sensational yet ephemeral. Her recent works on paper are inspired by monolithic structures, including obsolete industrial sites. Regardless of which material or format she embraces, she evokes the effects of time and the persistence of memory.
By Oliver A.I. Botar, Eli Bornstein, and Rodney LaTourelle
Eli Bornstein places the sensory experience of colour, light and structure at the heart of his practice of nearly 50 years. Bornstein is renowned for his abstract reliefs; later examples exhibit subtle shifts in colour under changing light. This monograph contextualizes the Saskatoon artist’s latest works in relation to early Modernist movements and the current revival of perceptual and experiential art. The book, which includes excerpts from Bornstein’s personal journals, also saluteshis achievement as editor and publisher of Canada’s longest-running art journal, The Structurist (1960-2010).