2013 Acquisitions

The Mendel Art Gallery acquired 153 new works of art in 2013, bringing the number of objects in the Permanent Collection to 7,699, with a total value of approximately $33 million. Thirteen of the artworks were purchased with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance program, and 140 of the works were gifts.


Gift from the estate of Chester Pelkey, Saskatoon SK:
Paul Sisetski, Island of the Damned, Deliverance of the Damned, 1993, ink, pastel, acrylic on paper

Gift of BMO Financial Group, Toronto ON:
Kim Adams, Love Birds, 1998–2000, kitbashed Ford Econolines, grain silo caps, perforated water barrels

Gift of Elizabeth & Robert Bowes, Burnaby BC:
George Campbell Tinning, 28 artworks, 1939–1964, watercolour on paper/board

Gift of Paul Ziff, Calgary AB:
Anthony Scherman, Oscar Peterson & Vladimar Horowitz’s Dog, n.d., oil, encaustic on canvas
Hans Herold, Borden, Saskatchewan, 1978, acrylic on canvas

Gift of Drs. Ron and Alice Charach, Toronto ON:
Janice Gurney, Portrait of A.S. (with disk errors), 2002, colour photographs, Plexiglas
Janice Gurney, Past Self-Portrait, 2000, colour photographs, Plexiglas
Janice Gurney, Portrait of R&J, 2002, colour photographs, Plexiglas
Janice Gurney, Grasslands, 1995, cibachromes, computer-generated photos
Andy Patton, An Inn Near Tokyo, n.d., acrylic on paper

Gift of Claire Mowat, Port Hope ON:
Ernest Lindner, Gale, 1937, oil on canvas board

Gift of Judith Lermer Crawley, Montréal QC:
Judith Lermer Crawley, You Can’t Hug Kids with Nuclear Arms, 1984, (#s 2, 3, 4, 6) 4 b&w photos

Gift of Bruce Morrison, Coombs BC:
Mashel Teitelbaum, untitled (portrait of Stanley E. Brunst), 1945, watercolour on paper

Gift of Eleanor Mackenzie Green from the estate of C.J. Mackenzie, Ottawa ON:
Augustus Kenderdine, Cleaning Up Haystacks, n.d., oil on canvas

Gift of Alison Norlen, Saskatoon SK:
Alison Norlen, Varanasi, 2012, welded stainless steel wire
Alison Norlen, Zeppelin II, 2013, welded stainless steel wire

Gift of Stephen Hutchings, Ottawa ON:
Stephen Hutchings, Branch (Messiaen #6), 2010, oil and charcoal on canvas

Gift of Rodney LaTourelle, Winnipeg MB:
Rodney LaTourelle, Leaves, 2013, sculptural installation, mixed media

Gift of Robert Youds, Victoria BC:
Robert Youds, Wood is Resilient in Earthquakes, 2012, yellow cedar, glass panels, lamps

Gift of Robert Dilts and Eleanor Miller Dilts, Victoria BC:
Wynona Mulcaster, Forty Below, 1977, acrylic on paper

Gift of Indra McEwen, Montréal QC:
Jean McEwen, la folie conduisant l’amour (Love Led by Folly), 1966, acrylic on canvas

Gift of Guy Vanderhaeghe, Saskatoon SK:
Margaret Vanderhaeghe, J.B., 2004, oil on canvas
Margaret Vanderhaeghe, G.N., 2005, oil on canvas

Gift of Maureen McPherson, Saskatoon SK:
Sandra Semchuk, Charlie Beiswanger, outside Meadow Lake, Sask, 1973, b&w photo

Gift of Mrs. Elsie Gunn, Kyle SK:
Robert Hurley, untitled, 1950, watercolour on paper
Leslie Saunders, untitled, 1947, watercolour on paper
Ernest Lindner, Moonlight Madonna, 1949, linocut on paper
Ernest Lindner, untitled, 1948, watercolour on paper
Antonia Eastman, The Deserted Market Place, 1948, linocut on paper

Gift of Cheryll Woodbury, Saskatoon SK:
James Rosenquist, Mirage, 1975, multicolour lithograph with painted window shades

Gift of Kim Adams, Toronto ON:
Kim Adams, Mini-Ride, 1983, sculpture, metal car parts, track
Kim Adams, 3 lithographs, 1998
Kim Adams, 3 grease etchings, 1998
Kim Adams, 3 models, 2001 – 2003, plastic model parts

Gift of John Hartman, Tiny ON:
John Hartman, Manitou, 1993, oil on linen
John Hartman, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ In The Garden, 1994, oil on linen
John Hartman, Mont Royal, 2010, oil on linen
John Hartman, Shanghai, Pudong, From Above The Bund, 2010, oil on linen
John Hartman, 20 prints, 1987–2010

Gift of Joyce & Karl Lenz, Saskatoon SK:
Robert Hurley, untitled, 1967, watercolour on paper
Robert Hurley, untitled, 1968, watercolour on paper

Gift of Dama Brener-Hanks, Victoria BC:
Roland Brener, Ghost of Table Top Sculpture, 1997, wood
Roland Brener, Five Disks, 2004, rotating illuminated Plexiglas disks

Gift of Bill Burns, Toronto ON:
Bill Burns:

6 paintings (watercolour on paper), 5 diazo prints, 4 photos, 5 booklets, 1 giclée print, 1 ceramic plate, 4 hankies, 1 skateboard, 1 Safety Gear for Small Animals greenbook, 2 invitation cards, 5 trading cards, 1 brochure, 5 press clippings, 1 set of 3 crests


Purchased from the artist with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance program:
Alison Norlen, Fireworks-Thrower, 2012, welded stainless steel wire
Alison Norlen, Brighton Pier Macquette, 2012, welded stainless steel wire
Bill Burns, Safety Vest, 1994/2005, from the Safety Gear for Small Animals series
Bill Burns, Rubberized Work Gloves, 2002, from the Safety Gear for Small Animals series
Bill Burns, Floatation Device, 2004/2005, from the Safety Gear for Small Animals series
Bill Burns, Hard Hat, 1995/2000, from the Safety Gear for Small Animals series
Bill Burns, Dust Mask, 1994, from the Safety Gear for Small Animals series
Bill Burns, Leather Work Gloves, 1994/2005, from the Safety Gear for Small Animals series
Joanne Lyons, Submerged Memory #25, 2012, graphite on Mylar
Joanne Lyons, Submerged Memory #31, 2012, graphite on Mylar
Joanne Lyons, Submerged Memory #35, 2012, graphite on Mylar
Honor Kever, The Good Dishes, 2012, oil on wood
Robert Youds, Urban Tribe, 2011, pine wood slabs, LED lights

Bruce W. Ferguson Lecture

Public Lecture with Bruce W. Ferguson

Bruce W. Ferguson will present a public lecture, Not in the Age of Pharoahs, at the Mendel October 30 at 7 p.m. The event is the latest in the Museums 3.0 program series.

In his illustrated talk, Ferguson presents a case for how art can be symptomatic of larger cultural and political issues. He does this by examining the period prior to the Egyptian revolution or Arab Spring, through the works of four artists in Cairo. His lecture will show how art can be read as a series of indices of the conditions that produced change in that tumultuous period. His expertise in this topic relates to his recent tenure as Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

Ferguson is now Vice Chairman of LB Media, a print and online publishing company in New York. He has served as Dean of the School of Arts at Columbia University, and as President and Executive Director of the New York Academy of Art. He has curated exhibitions for the Mendel Art Gallery, the Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, among many others. He also organized exhibitions within the international biennales of Sao Paulo, Sydney, Venice, and Istanbul. As founding director and curator of Site Santa Fe in New Mexico, he articulated a vision for an international art biennial that now has a successful 20-year history and is central to the city’s identity.

Ferguson received his B.A. in Art History from the University of Saskatchewan, and his M.A. in Communications from McGill University in Montreal. He has an honorary doctorate from the Kansas City Art Institute.

Bear Witness video still

ABCs of A-R-T series starts Oct. 23

ABCs of A-R-T fall discussion series at the Mendel

This easy-breezy discussion series introduces art appreciation and teaches viewing skills that can be applied again and again. It is inspired by the Mendel’s 50th anniversary exhibition, Modern Visions. The series features lots of discussion and some hands-on activities. The series is free; you can drop in, and no registration is required. Attend one session or all on Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m.

Thursday, October 23, 7-9 p.m. —Taking Art Apart
Expand your understanding of art by learning how the elements of art and principles of design function within specific artworks in the Modern Visions exhibition. Learn the language of art interpretation through formal analysis, looking at how art is put together. Break down the experience of viewing art through discussion and hands-on exercises, and gain the ability to approach any work of art.

Facilitator Kelly Van Damme has been taking art apart as a Public Programs Assistant and Guide at the Mendel Art Gallery for 10 years. She has a Master’s degree in visual art, and enjoys helping people of all ages understand and make art. As a sessional instructor at the University of Saskatchewan, she has taught introductory to senior-level drawing, painting, art theory and education courses.

Thursday, November 6, 7-9 p.m. — I Know What I Like
Why are we profoundly moved by some works of art, while others leave us cold? Each individual’s response to art is deeply personal and unique. Learn how art “makes us feel” through viewing the exhibition Modern Visions, along with writing, and playful discussion.

Facilitator Carol Wylie, an artist and art educator, has been part of the public programs team at the Mendel Art Gallery for nine years. She has a Master’s degree in studio art and teaches drawing, painting, and portraiture for the University of Saskatchewan’s Certificate of Art and Design program.

Thursday, November 13, 7-9 p.m. — What Were They Thinking?
Ever wonder what prompts artists to make the art they do? Using specific examples in the Modern Visions exhibition we will discuss some of the ideas behind selected artworks. Learn about some of the “isms” or art movements of art on display. Although there are no simple answers and viewers always bring their own perspectives, these art historical insights help provide additional clues.

Facilitator Sandra Fraser has a graduate degree in art history and a certificate in Museum Management and Curatorship. She has taught art history, curated more than 20 exhibitions, contributed essays for exhibition publications, reviews for Canadian Art and BlackFlash magazines. She has a passion for collection development.


Stronger than Stone conference Nov. 21-24

A Public Symposium in Calgary and Saskatoon

November 21-22, Alberta College of Art +Design, Calgary
November 23-24, Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Saskatoon

Produced by Alberta College of Art + Design, the University of Saskatchewan and Kenderdine Art Gallery, the Mendel Art Gallery (in conjunction with Museums 3.0), and Wanuskewin Heritage Park.

Stronger than Stone: Re-inventing the Indigenous Monument is a symposium on Indigenous monuments and counter-monuments. It brings together, for the first time, world-renowned artists and thinkers including: Maria Thereza Alves, Rebecca Belmore, Jimmie Durham, Ronald Hawker, Linda Hogan, Geir Tore Holm, Candice Hopkins, James (Sakej) Young Blood Henderson, Ashok Mathur, Neal McLeod, Paul Chaat Smith, Adrian Stimson, Michael Taussig, and Luke Willis Thompson.

Indigenous cultures have maintained ties to the same lands since time immemorial. Human-made physical markers were not necessary to preserve the history of a place and people. Rather, natural places are regarded as calling forth stories, so that the landscape provides a practical and moral guide to the culture.

What can the contemporary art world, urban planners, geographers and others learn from traditional Indigenous ways of memorializing and place-making? How could a re-invented approach to the memorial help us to better understand history, relationships to the land and human potential?

For further information, contact:
Wayne Baerwaldt, 403-284-7632 (Calgary)
Haema Sivanesan, 306-975-8051 (Saskatoon)
Registration: $60 per day and $20 for students / low-income (includes lunch)
See www.strongerthanstone.org for details.

Fred Mulder gives back, with wonder and delight

Following is the text of Frederick Mulder’s remarks at the September 17, 2014 announcement of his gift of a collection of Picasso ceramics to Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan.

When I sold my great Picasso linocut collection two years ago to the Frank and Ellen Remai Foundation, and the Foundation gave it in turn to you, I thought, “You know, I’m from Saskatchewan; I ought to do something for the gallery, too.”

I think the wish to make this gesture was born out of a continuing sense of wonder that I had been a prairie boy, growing up in the 40s and 50s in tiny Eston, SK, a long 35 miles from a paved road. Even when I came to the U of S in the early 1960s to do my first degree, I was unable to visit a museum, for there was none in Saskatoon then. Yet somehow I ended up in London, England, working with the families of the craftsmen who helped Picasso make his prints — including linocuts, etchings, and lithographs. And I managed to put together from these friendships the most extensive collection of Picasso linocuts in the world.

I’ve always thought that my success, in what you might imagine the most unlikely of worlds for a boy from a prairie town — the class-ridden London art world of the 1970s — was due partly to the fact that, out of a mixture of innocence and naivety, I treated London, England a bit like Eston, Saskatchewan. I felt entitled to go anywhere and talk to anyone, with no sense that anyone was better or worse than I, richer or poorer, or that I was any less worthy of anyone’s attention in London than when I was growing up in Eston.

Out of this sense of wonder and delight, I wanted to make my own contribution to complement the Picasso linocut collection that Ellen Remai bought with such vision. It didn’t take me long to realize what would do the trick: a group of Picasso ceramics. Picasso loved doing ceramics, and he made them roughly at the same time as the linocuts, in the same village, devoted to many of the same themes, and indeed motivated by the same democratic impulse. Picasso saw his editioned ceramics as a way for ordinary people to have a Picasso to eat off or drink from … though few ever have! I realized that the ceramics would also be a bridge between the linocuts and a tradition of art ceramics in Saskatchewan. What could be more appropriate?

So I set aside some money and began to put together a collection of 23 Picasso ceramics representing virtually all the themes and shapes and techniques that Picasso used, and I paid particular attention to pieces that were closely connected to the linocuts. My timing was very lucky; while Ellen and two of the gallery trustees, Keitha McClocklin and Darrell Bell were in London to examine my Picasso linocuts, the largest-ever auction of Picasso ceramics took place at Christies. This was the archive collection of the Madoura pottery, the workshop where Picasso had made all his ceramics. It meant there was a huge range of pieces, virtually all the ceramics Picasso ever produced in editions, so I had an extraordinary opportunity to pick the pieces that would really complement the linocut collection. From this sale, I bought a number of pieces. I am now VERY pleased to present my collection to the Remai Modern, and I’d like to show you a few pieces.

First, I want to show you this wonderful big platter, inscribed Vallauris 1956 and based directly on this poster in the Remai collection. Picasso was living in Vallauris, a little town just behind Cannes and near Nice, which had been a pottery town since Roman times. He made this 1956 poster for the annual exhibition of ceramics there, and it is considered the best of all his linocut posters. Picasso obviously liked the design so much that he made it in both linocut and ceramic form.

Both this type of ceramic and all linocuts involve carving into wet clay or a soft linoleum block, respectively, in reverse of how you want the final object to appear. This includes the signature and date, and Picasso was notoriously casual about such things. Notice how in the poster, he gets the 6 the wrong way around. He corrects it in the ceramic, but then he gets the s of Vallauris the wrong way round! But it is for these small touches, among many others, that we love Picasso.

He also produced an uncoloured, unglazed version of the same platter, and this is called a pâte blanche, white plate. It is less spectacular than the colour version, but I love its minimalist, textured quality.

Next, I want to show you two ceramics of owls, another theme that appears in the linocuts, as you can see in this Bacchanale au Hibou (Bacchanal with an owl). Picasso made a number of these variations on an owl theme, but I’ve looked at a lot and I think this is absolutely the best variant. Why? Because the artist has taken the wet clay and twisted it so that the owl has its head turned slightly, and when you see this variant compared with the variants where the owl is looking straight ahead, it has a much greater sense of life, of energy. So naturally I went after this variant.

Picasso also experimented with different colour variations for the owl’s plumage, and so I bought two examples with slightly different colour palettes, which I think play with each other, and are different enough to be really interesting together.

Finally, I want to show you the ceramic with the greatest connection to the linocut of the same subject, only in reverse. It’s the Dejeuner sur L’Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass), and it is Picasso’s take on the famous Manet painting of this subject. Why the similarity between the ceramic and the linocut? Because Picasso got this idea that he could actually make a ceramic directly from a piece of linoleum that he had cut and carved. I won’t go into detail now, but both the ceramic and the linocut are made from exactly the same piece of linoleum, in one case via a mold, in the other case printed, and like the owls they are much more interesting seen together than they would be separately.

This is just a small taste of what you have in store when the Remai Modern opens. I am so pleased my linocut collection came here through the vision of Ellen Remai, and I feel privileged to be able to make my own small contribution to build on her gift. I believe Saskatoon may now have the largest public collection of Picasso ceramics in Canada, as well as the largest collection of Picasso linocuts.

While I can’t guarantee that your ceramics collection is or will remain the largest collection in this field, I do know that yours will always be the definitive linocut collection, not just in Canada but in the world. Why? Because only the printer, Hidalgo Arnera, and Picasso himself got to keep an impression of every print, even the experimental ones that were never editioned. Picasso’s own prints got split up after his death, while an impression of every linocut subject that Arnera owned came to me, and now they live with you.

There is ample evidence of how popular the Picasso linocuts and ceramics have become. Sothebys and Christies are now running regular sales of Picasso ceramics— live and even online sales — and museum shows of Picasso’s ceramics are proliferating. I recently sold two sets of working proofs, 11 sheets in all, to that great institution, the British Museum in London. This sale, one of the museum’s major acquisitions for the year, got excellent publicity in the English press. That was 11 sheets of two subjects. You have 405 sheets of 194 subjects. So you have a big treat ahead of you when the Remai Modern opens.

A few people have asked me, “Won’t you miss these pieces?” The truth is, of course I will miss them … but not NEARLY as much as I will get pleasure by thinking of you in this room, and others from Saskatoon, from the rest of Saskatchewan (not forgetting dear Eston), and indeed from the rest of Canada and beyond, seeing them, and enjoying their vitality and zest for life. I consider myself very lucky to have such an interesting and enjoyable way to give something back to this city and this province.


Classroom activities for the Mendel Art Gallery School Program Poster

The Mendel Potash-Corp School Hands-on Tours 2014-15 poster features a Vic Cicansky sculpture.

Activity Ideas to Teach Ideas Related to that Artwork…

Exhibition Tour

Free exhibition tour every Sunday at 1 p.m.
Meet in the lobby. No registration required.

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Location & Hours

950 Spadina Crescent East
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Regular Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Free admission