Canada Arts Part II

By | December 25, 2021

In conjunction with the cultural and political crisis of 1968, General Idea and a new group of younger artists came forward, who in 1971 created the A-Space cooperative, such as M. Lewis (b.1948), S. Cruise (b.1949), R. Bowers (b.1943) and J. McEwean (b.1945), began – with video artperformance, installations, earth artcorrespondence art and body art – to transform the concept and the frontiers of art itself. General Idea, founded in 1968 by immigrants from Winnipeg to Toronto, AA Bronson (b. 1946), F. Partz (b. 1945) and J. Zontal (b. 1944), has practiced a satirical critique of the fetishes of the consumer society “which formats the future “, with a ritual election of ” Miss General Idea ” and the publication of a parody remake of Life Magazine (File, 1972-89). In the more moderate Eighties, characterized by ecological interests, a more recent group, the Fast Wurms (circa 1983), collective pseudonym of Kim (” Kozzi ”) Kozolanka (b.1950), David (” Dai ”) Skuse (b.1955) and Napoleon (” Napo B. ”) Brousseau (b.1950), continued in the Dadaist furrow, parodying the Snow-She-Bones, 1983) and rediscovering, in re-proposing the images of indigenous art and nature (Know-By-Heart Lodge and Six Feet By Otter Spot, 1985), the aura and almost sacred fabric of the primitive landscape American (Birch Girls, 1987).

In 1981, when in Canada there were more than forty spaces managed by the artists (twelve in Toronto alone), the young Toronto artists, influenced by German and Italian neo-expressionism and postmodernism, returned to painting and drawing, founding the ChromaZone in the autumn. Gallery and holding in 1982, under the aegis of the YYZ space, a figurative expressionist exhibition, Monumenta, in which more than 70 artists from the city participated. Leading figuresof this movement are A. Fabo (b.1953), O. Girling (b.1953), R. Johnson (b.1953), S. Nislock (b.1953) and H.-P. Marti (b. 1953). This new wild and vigorous figurativism incorporated stylistic themes and ideas – violent television colors, superimposed screens, video scenes – from the multimedia and critical-cultural processes of the previous two decades. For Canada 1999, please check

Throughout this period, of course, painting continued to exist, abstract, realist, hyperrealist, metaphysical, often concentrated in specific areas, such as the Prairies, the Maritimes or the city of London in Ontario: this town in the rich southwestern agricultural belt of the province, in the seventies and eighties, it was an important center of artistic production. It worked WP Ewen (n. 1925), whose representations, violently expressionistic and grotesque – almost looking like cartoons – storms, rain, clouds and other weather phenomena, often chiseled, nailed, painted, scratched on rough plywood, they have extended and enriched the great Canadian tradition of landscape painting, even though Ewen’s landscapes are more internal than external.

Another London artist, J. Chambers (1931-1978), made 8 experimental films between 1964 and 1970, and after making use of dream images in his 1960s paintings, he turned to precise and intense representations of reality. based in part on the phenomenology of M. Merleau-Ponty, which Chambers had elaborated in a famous essay-manifesto, Perceptual Realism (1969). In addition to this Chambers with his life and his works has profoundly changed the economic and social condition of Canadian artists: came into conflict in 1967 with the National Gallery of Canada on reproduction rights, he founded CAR (Canadian Artists Representation), of which he was president from 1967 to 1975 and which established the tariffs and modalities of the rights now in force throughout Canada. Another London artist, G. Curnoe (b.1936), integrating pop and collage techniques, in hundreds of stylistically eclectic and strongly allusive paintings, drawings, watercolors and prints, represented his life, friends and its environment in the city. T. Urquhart (b. 1931) with an equally intense philosophical awareness explored the intricacies of London’s human and natural landscapes.

Montreal has developed its own style from the 1980s. The theoretical tendency, preserved in P.-E. Borduas (1905-1960), in the Refus Global manifesto (1948), in the Plasticien manifesto (1955) and in the Maoist extravagances of the 1960s (Quebec Underground), survived the conflict between nationalists and internationalists (the exhibition Quebec 75 with G. Molinari against the nationalists) and collective disillusionment with the ruling Parti Québecois (1976-85) and continued to lend an elegant intellectual tone to much of Quebec art.

Tousignant (b. 1932), for example, continued to paint purely abstract works, increasingly focusing on the effect of color or a single color on the viewer. G. Mihalcean (b.1945) uses a minimalist language to invent in the 1980s a series of ingeniously transformed sculptural combinations, with poetically reductive titles: LundiLe PoissonLe Petit PoucetL’Averse. B. Steinman (b.1950) creates installations that are lucid reflections on national and local identities, such as Borrowed Scenery (1987), where television images are projected on a snowy and ice-enclosed landscape, similar to a billiard table: as in the case of B. Goodwin, the Holocaust in his works is a continuous presence in the background. G. Cadieux (b.1955) uses hieratic and sensual photographic installations to examine seductions and illusions of representation (Ravissement, 1985), hidden wounds, alterations and reflections of the identity of the body and psyche (The shoe at right seems much too large, 1986; La Blessure d’une scar ou Les Anges, 1987) or plays on surfaces and depths, as in A fleur de peau (1988), where a text written in the Braille alphabet is embossed on a gigantic burnished mirror. R. Racine (b.1956), reflecting on the central and conscious role of language in Quebec, uses the French dictionary of the Robert French language to elaborate conceptual installations that are mathematically constructed projections of the French language and literary tradition, such as Salammbô (1980), Terrain du dictionnaire A / 2, and Les pages miroirs.

Canada Arts Part II