Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft, recipient of the 2016 Manitoba Arts Award of Distinction, may be the master of the double take. At first glance, her images appear endearing, whimsical, even bucolic. Move in closer, however, and what you see may shock, alarm, or make you laugh out loud. Her photographs, sculptures and multimedia works are frequently sinister, dark and controversial. At other times, they are a wry commentary on human nature.
This month, Chris Cran, whose solo exhibition Chris Cran: Sincerely Yours opened at the National Gallery of Canada in May, responds to NGC Magazine's version of the Proust Questionnaire.
Canadian multimedia artist Paul Wong got his first professional commission — Earthworks in Harmony (1974), a 16-monitor, 4-channel video installation — for the Burnaby Art Gallery, when he was 18 years old. Since then, this self-schooled artist, curator, performer and photographer has gone on to become internationally known for edgy work that tackles even the most discomfiting of topics. His raw portrayals of racism, beauty, sexuality and death can be difficult to look at, but just as difficult to look away from.
On April 13, 2016, the National Gallery of Canada announced the longlist for the Sobey Art Award. From the conceptual work of artists like Raymond Boisjoly and Derek Sullivan to the perfomance-based work of Meryl McMaster and Lisa Lipton, to artists like Brenda Draney (painting), Jessica Eaton (photography), and Karen Tam (installation) who put a new spin on traditional media, the Sobey Art Award longlist not only serves as something of a who’s who in Canadian contemporary art, but also takes the pulse of current art practices across the country.
In this podcast, recorded earlier this year, Ian Wallace and National Gallery of Canada Director Marc Mayer explore a broad range of issues and ideas. From concepts such as problem-solving and play in contemporary art practice, to the “useful life” of works of art, to the influence of teaching methods and earlier art movements on innovation, this wide-ranging conversation offers plenty of food for thought on art today.
Canadian Artist Robert Houle’s paintings are a distinctive blend of traditional First Nations art and modernism. He draws deeply upon his Saulteaux heritage, history and poetry as well as contemporary art, politics and literature to produce work widely considered to be a distinctly Aboriginal visual language.
As the Sobey Art Foundation seeks to expand its national and international influence, the Sobey Art Award is moving to the National Gallery of Canada. Rob Sobey, Donald’s son and Chair of the Sobey Art Foundation, which funds the Award, explained the move as the “logical next step” in the process of building what has become Canada’s most significant contemporary art prize.
Luanne Martineau is best known for her felted wool sculptures that pack a punch. Born in Saskatoon, and now living, working and teaching in Montreal, she uses traditional craft techniques and materials to produce art that is in equal parts gory, glorious, intricate – and always politically engaged.
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