Canada Arts Part IV

By | December 25, 2021

Epistemological awareness is a prevalent theme in much of recent Canadian sculpture. I. Carr Harris (b. 1941) creates constructions and installations that are a complex philosophical reflection on language and on simple objects of common use. M. Goulet (b. 1944) uses ” found objects ” to create poetic places and stimulate reflections and curious resonances on the themes of similarity and difference. The complex gimmicks of R. Brener (b.1942) are elaborate concept games, puns and mechanical jokes, such as Small Talk (1987). R. Prince (b. 1949) builds mobile devices that are bizarre and metaphorical models of scientific processes and experiments. N. Harding (b.1945) moved from early romantic videos to perceptually and psychologically disconcerting installations and mechanisms, such as Monument to Decision Making (1982), Blue Peter (1984), Study for a Man with a Desease (1986). For Canada 2015, please check

Photography has become an element in art – especially in installations and performances – as well as an art in itself. G. Szilasi (b.1928) influenced an entire generation of Quebec photographers with his precise portraits, urban scenes, exquisitely composed images of kitsch and pathos of both domestic and urban decoration and architecture. R. Keziere, an art photographer, has developed a Zen-like meditation on the spaces of Sifnos in Greece and on details of Italian buildings. G. James (b.1942) uses an old panoramic camera to create enigmatic black and white portraits of Italian, French and English Renaissance gardens, and utopian landscapes. B. Astman (b. 1950), often making use of basic colors such as red and black and white, creates an overlapping of surfaces and illusions in highly stylized portraits and self-portraits, reflecting on identity as abstraction and stylization. B. Singleton (b. 1952) is decisively imposed with solidly constructed female nudes: identity as flesh. S. Lake (b.1947) combines performances and photography in self-portraits that are a critique of media restrictions, such as when presented as harnessed as a human puppet (Choreographed Puppets, 1977) or swaddled like a mummy (Impositions, 1978). Evergon (b.1946) has gained international fame with his gigantic and sumptuously colored Polaroid Mannerist photos, which are a pastiche and commentary on masters of painting, such as Caravaggio, Delacroix and others.

Traditional myths, images, objects, materials of indigenous art, both Indian and Inuit, have often been used by non-indigenous Canadian artists in order to give a mythical and local sense to the “ Canadian continent ” and the same indigenous art has continued to express itself in different veins, rituals, artistic, craft, folkloristic. But indigenous artists have increasingly adapted to the prevailing trends.

Reid (b.1920) recovered and transformed the 8000-year-old tradition in the Haida (tribe of northwestern British Columbia on the Pacific coast) of monumental sculpture (totem poles, canoes, masks, meeting houses) into works such as The Raven and the First Humans (1980) and The Chiefs of the Underworld (1984). K. Ashevak (1940-1974) adapted the traditional vocabulary of Inuit sculpture to a very personal modern expressionist approach, as in Spirit (1972). AS Janvier (b. 1935), a Chipewyan Indian, developed traditional color schemes to abstraction, pools of color of mystical resonance on negative spaces.

The video art began in Canada Halifax, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, between 1971 and 1973, with structuralist and formalist works and has since developed in Vancouver as a means to record the ” ‘ephemeral’ ‘(performances and events), in the rich and Anglo-Saxon Toronto as a means of subjective and individualistic artistic expression (often poetic autobiography with sexual and psychoanalytic implications), and in Montreal, both French-speaking and English-speaking, as a vehicle for political, ideological and feminist changes.

The video art, which normally involves equipment and teamwork, is closely linked to the development of cooperatives and artistic spaces managed by artists such as Intermedia in Vancouver, Vidéographe in Montreal, ASPACE in Toronto and Western Front in Vancouver. V. Frenkel (b.1938), sculptor, engraver, poet and writer, was one of the major exponents of video art with Signs of a PlotA Test True Story and Work of Art (a 1978 trilogy), The Secret Life of Cordelia Lumsden (1979) and The Last Screening Room: a Valentine (1984). In Quebec, the documentary tradition has influenced French-speaking video authors such as J.-P. Boyer, P. Falardeau, J. Poulin and the Vidéo Femmes group D. Dion and P. Poloni create videos on performance art. Among the younger Montreal video authors are also to be mentioned B. Hebert, L. Bourdon, R. Morin and F. Girard; the videos in collaboration with R. Morin and L. Dufour move between realism and surrealism. In and around Toronto, video artists such as L. Steele and Canada Campbell work in the fields of social, psychological and media analysis. Other notable video artists are T. Sherman, I. Murray, J. Watt, S. Britton and R. Werden. The video art has an uncertain relationship with intimate self-representation, with television and advertising, but has established its legitimacy in exhibitions such as Trajectoires (Paris, 1973), Videoscape (Art Gallery of Ontario, 1973), in many video exhibitions at Vancouver Art Gallery, and, more recently, in the ” Festival international Nouveau Cinéma et de la Vidéo ” in Montreal and at the Walters Phillips Gallery of the Banff Center in Alberta.

Canada Arts Part IV