In her recent works, Halifax artist Marilyn McAvoy employed recycled fragments of flats from film sets as supports for sensuous still life and flower paintings. Combining these paintings, in varying scales and degrees of finish, with other salvaged elements (faux marbled panels, wallpaper, brown crackled wainscotting) McAvoy created assemblages that, while pleasing in their formal design, raise teasing questions about perception and visual representation.
Monica Tap continued her painterly investigation into floral motifs, which began withi her reconstructive analysis of 17th century Dutch flower paintings. Tracing the use of stylized flowers and foliage from their historical origins to more recent wallpaper and fabric patterns, Tap created intriguingly layered works, in which contemporary distancing techniques in painting, such as appropriation, seriality and repetition, were combined with painterly brushwork and a sensuous palette, to reinvest the vegetal traces with meaning.
In her catalogue essay for this comprehensive survey of the last five years of Halifax artist Gerald Ferguson's work, guest curator Susan Gibson Garvey writes:"In his latest and perhaps most productive period...Ferguson has given himself permission to plunder the treasury of Western painting, manipulating imagery from sources as early as classical antiquity and as recent as commercial advertising.
This four-part installation explored questions of human nature in relation to the natural world. Using a variety of formal and photographic techniques (from lush, gold-framed colour enlargements, through cyanotype and selenium-toned prints, to digitized photographs in light boxes) McEachern combined images and text in a personal narrative that both delights and disturbs.
In 1966, three exquisite China sculptures believed to be from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1911) were added to the Dalhousie Art Gallery's permanent collection from the bequest of Mr. George T. MacKenzie. These elegant figures in blanc de chine and cream crackle glaze were displayed in the front alcove gallery, accompanied by an informative brochure written and researched by Krista Bennett (NSCAD study of ceramics and craft history).
What are the relationships between folk art and forms of contemporary art which adopt folk idioms? Co-curators Cliff Eyland and Susan Gibson Garvey tackled this question in a vibrant exhibition of paintings, assemblages, prints, sculptures, and fibre works by contemporary Nova Scotian artists Nancy Edell, Gerald Ferguson, Kyle Jackson, Janice Leonard, Charlie Murphy, John Neville, Leslie Sampson and Eric Walker.
Through a fortuitous combination of people, place and time, Halifax became a prominent centre of experimental video production in the 1970s. Video artist and NSCAD professor Jan Peacock focused on the early development of video as an art form, on its often transgressive behaviour and obsessive preoccupation with body and language, in a selection of works by Acconci, Askevold, Birnbaum, etc..
Guest Curator Sandra Paikowsky took a close look at the period 1940-66 in Nova Scotia, focusing mainly on painting and on the activities of organizations, such as the Nova Scotia Society of Artists and the Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Arts. This exhibition presented works by over 40 artists, including Robert Annand, Marion Bond, Mabel Killam Day, Horst Deppe, Carol Fraser, Siegfried Haase, C. Anthony Law, D.C. Mackay, Aileen Meagher, Alex Tissington, Ruth Wainwright, and LeRoy and Marguerite Zwicker. It was accompanied by an illustrated bilingual catalogue containing Ms.
Charlottetown artist Robert Harris' historic painting The Fathers of Confederation earned him fame throughout Canada and a huge number of portrait commissions during his lifetime (1847-1919). This prolific artist also painted genre scenes and produced hundreds of sketches, prints and watercolours of daily life in the provinces. But it is in his figure work that we see the Robert Harris who yearned to follow the great historical artists of Europe, particularly in the study of classical forms, and in that cornerstone of the European tradition in art: the nude figure painting.
Rarely seen book illustrations and dust jackets created between 1900 and 1960 by such artists as Will R. Bird, Robert Chambers, Mabel Killam Day, Winifred Fox, William de Garthe, Jack Gray, Donald C. MacKay and Charles Payzant. Guest curated by John Townsend with loans from Schooner Books and the Public Archives of Nova Scotia
Nova Scotian women artists have been active producers, teachers, exhibitors and promoters of art throughout the history of the province. Haligonian Tony Saulnier has gathered a remarkable collection of both better-known and lesser-known women artists, focusing on those who were most active in Nova Scotia in the early and middle decades of this century, including, to name a few, Marion Bond, Lucy Jarvis, Mabel Killam Day, Edith Smith, Margaret Semple, Ruth Wainwright, Helen Weld and Marguerite Zwicker. An informative essay by historian Scott Robson accompanied the exhibition.
This exhibition included nine of Suzanne Gauthier's mixed media works made between 1987 and 1992. Crossing the boundaries of a variety of mediums and techniques, Gauthier draws her rich, allusive imagery from sources as wide-ranging as classical wall paintings, mediaeval sculpture, oriental mythology, modernist abstraction and current literary texts. Themes of loss and recovery, sexuality and death, memory and identity recur throughout these complex works.
The six artists approached the idea of landscape photography from six different perspectives. The artists were selected by curator Susan Gibson Garvey from participants in the 1991 summer photography residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, which concentrated on aesthetic, environmental and social questions surrounding images of the land.
Vigorous brushwork, saturated colour and biomorphic imagery characterized this exhibition of 28 figurative paintings by Harlan Johnson, Alex Livingstone and Leslie Sasaki, all of whom have strong connections to this region. Their individual approaches to the problem of reinvesting painting with"content" drive partly from personal biography and partly from literature, both fiction and non-fiction, relating to culture, myth and natural history. All three artists employ allegorical, metaphoric and emblematic devices and an eclectic range of images.
In conjunction with the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Associations' Biennial Convention to be held in the Dalhousie Arts Centre in July, and also to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Mozart's death, the Dalhousie Art Gallery organized an exhibition of works selected from the Permanent Collection and from local private and public collections. These works were presented in conjunction with audiotapes containing music relating to the period or location in which the artwork was produced, with commentary supplied by members of the Dalhousie University Music Faculty.
Halifax artist Robert Pope drew on his own experiences as a survivor of cancer in these haunting images of illness and healing. His paintings and drawings combined a realistic technique with visual symbols, heightened tonal contrasts and compositions often cropped into almost unbearable intimacy, in order to explore the emotional and psychological dimensions of cancer treatment. The exhibition was organized by the Dalhousie Art Gallery, in conjunction with the 1991 Year of Medicine and the Humanities at Dalhousie University.
The tenth and last of the Gallery's biennial series of artist-curated exhibitions which explored the definitions of drawings and its use by contemporary artists. This year the guest curator was Nova Scotia artist and writer Susan Gibson Garvey, whose selection of nine artists presented viewers with a wide range of work from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.