Art Bank celebrates Canada Scene 2017
Timootie Pitsiulak, Loadmaster (2007), coloured pencil, ink on paper
Annie Pootoogook, Brief Case (2005), lithograph
Doug Smarch, Homage to Chamber Maid (2002), pheasant feathers, cotton, abalone buttons
Mary Barnaby, Baby Strap (2004), cotton, wool, embroidery
Jimmy Manning, Gathering / Spring Fishing (1999-2000), photographsBritish Columbia as place is the most transient for this Scene’s artists. It is then no wonder that they draw on narratives ranging from Indigenous to immigrant, and combine cultures to create new meanings. The Scene includes abstract landscapes that defy the historical and geographical, and photos that fool audiences and disrupt perceptions of the medium.
Sonny Assu, Selective History (2012), inkjet on paper
Adad Hannah, Museum Security (2010), photograph
Howie Tsui, Mindbuggery (2006), ink, acrylic and archival digital print on mylar
Landon Mackenzie, She cruises ... (hockey rink, Regina) (1993), acrylic on canvas
Gordon Smith, Window series (1973), oil on canvasThere are no cowboys or big oil in Alberta's Scene, instead this group gives us pop art illusions of physical space and subject, and odes to Indigenous iconography. Abstract pieces make connections to place and sovereignty, and works feature titles that imply an inside joke, only meant for those who know their history, or the artists’ visual language.
Chris Cran, Large Purple Still Life (1991), oil and acrylic on canvas
Joane Cardinal-Schubert, Paul Kane's Tea Cozy (1989), mixed media on paper
Ron Moppett, Lime Street Dip (1972), acrylic and dye on canvas
Alex Janvier, The Insurance on the Teepee (1972), acrylic on paper
Ted Godwin, Tartan for the Green Puff Puff (1971), oil on canvasThe vast Prairies bring us more than wheat and blue skies, these featured artists go against popular styles and subject matter of their time, while others insert hidden moral messages, and challenge notions of Canadian identity, from championing colonial histories to breaking myths about Canada’s inherent, “goodness”.
William Kurelek, Cold Lake Plunge After Sauna (1973), oil on masonite
Joe Fafard, Clarisse III (1993), painted lasercut, stainless steel
Dorothy Knowles, Emma Lake 2 (1981), oil on canvas
Diana Thorneycroft, A People's History (Riel) (2009), photograph
Dana Claxton, Headdress (2016), photographOntario’s Scene features artists who work to reclaim Indigenous identities and subvert historical narratives. Pieces criticize environmental destruction, or deconstruct traditions in medium and modes of production. More than any other Scene, this group employs irony, artifice, and protest, boldly stating, “We’re Fucked” without apology.
Joanne Tod, Kiss This Goodbye (1984), oil on canvas
Kent Monkman, Rebellion (2003), acrylic on canvas
Edward Burtynsky, Shipbreaking #3, Chittagong, Bangladesh (2000), photograph
Shelley Niro, Ghost (2004), photograph
Colleen Heslin, Dead End (2014), ink and dye on cottonIn Quebec, abstraction is a key theme of the Scene. From artists who draw on international influences, the subconscious and existentialism, to works that focus on complex changes in environment and mass consumption, challenging what we believe about our “progressive” society. These artists continuously dare the bounds of their media.
Guido Molinari, Structure Triangulaire Bleu-Rouge (1971), acrylic on canvas
Jérôme Fortin, Solitude 1 (papier romans) (2002), folded books under plexi
Jacques Hurtubise, Peinture No. 40 (1962), oil on canvas
Isabelle Hayeur, Décharge (1998), photograph
Jean-Paul Riopelle, Sans Titre (1960), gouache on paperCanada’s Atlantic region may imply fiddle music, sad salty stories, and lighthouse paintings, but this Scene brings together artists whose work breaks regional stereotypes by contradicting idealized east coast landscapes, and by challenging gender and identity, commodification and consumption, and bring awareness to false representation in the age of information.
Ned Pratt, New Construction, Witless Bay (2007), photograph
Jordan Bennett, Why Are Native Americans (2012), acrylic and gesso on canvas
Sarah Maloney, Milk and Honey (1993), bronze and bees wax sculpture
Brian Burke, Foreign Exchange (1987), oil on canvas
Léopold Foulem, Théière (famille jaune) (1992), ceramic sculptureAbout the author: Julie Martin Julie Martin is an emerging professional in the cultural sector. She holds a B.A. in Honours History from Cape Breton University and a diploma in Applied Museum Studies from Algonquin College. Active in arts, culture and heritage on Cape Breton Island, she moved to Ottawa in 2015 to pursue her studies. Julie worked at the Canada Council for the Arts as a summer intern in 2016, and completed a field placement in 2017 at the Canada Council and Art Bank.