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Remai Modern exhibition traces seven decades of Saskatoon artist Eli Bornstein

For immediate release — July 26, 2019

SASKATOON, CANADA — Remai Modern is pleased to host a new exhibition of works by Saskatoon artist Eli Bornstein. Now 96, Bornstein has had an active art practice for more than 70 years.

Artist in Focus: Eli Bornstein traces his development into abstraction, from watercolours influenced by Impressionism, to various iterations of his constructed reliefs. Finished works, maquettes and sketches from Remai Modern’s collection and the artist’s personal collection offer a glimpse into his seven-decade career.

“Eli’s ability to translate his experience of nature into constructed reliefs is very compelling. There’s something almost musical about experiencing his compositions, which are meticulously created to evoke qualities of light one experiences in nature,” said Sandra Fraser, Curator (Collections). “Eli Bornstein’s long teaching career at the University of Saskatchewan embedded him in Saskatoon’s creative community and allowed him the freedom to follow his own course as an artist.”

Bornstein is best known for his Structurist reliefs, rooted in a tradition of early 20th-century geometric abstraction. Bornstein encourages viewers to slow down in order to experience the subtle nuances of colour as it responds to the light around it.

Bornstein has played an important role at both Remai Modern and its predecessor, the Mendel Art Gallery. He was the first artist featured in a solo exhibition at the Mendel in the 1960s and, in 2017, his work Quadraplane Structurist Relief, No. 15 II, was part of the Remai Modern’s inaugural exhibition Field Guide. Bornstein donated the piece to the museum’s collection.

Artist in Focus: Eli Bornstein runs from July 27, 2019 to until January 5, 2020 in Remai Modern’s Collection Galleries.

About Eli Bornstein

Eli Bornstein (b. 1922) is originally from Wisconsin. He came to Saskatoon in 1950, when he started teaching in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1960 Bornstein founded the journal The Structurist, Canada’s longest-running art journal.

Bornstein’s contributions were most recently acknowledged when he became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2019.

His large-scale commissions include pieces at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Regina’s Wascana Centre Authority and the Canadian Light Source in Saskatoon.

About Remai Modern

Remai Modern is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Traditional Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respects to First Nations and Métis ancestors and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

Remai Modern is a new museum of modern and contemporary art in Saskatoon. The museum is committed to affirming the powerful role that art and artists play in questioning, interpreting and defining the modern era. Open since October 2017, Remai Modern is the largest contemporary art museum in western Canada and houses a collection of more than 8,000 works, including the world’s foremost collection of Picasso linocut prints.

Remai Modern would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Frank & Ellen Remai Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, SaskCulture through the Sask Lotteries Fund, the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the City of Saskatoon.

For additional information contact:

Stephanie McKay, Communications Manager