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Peculiar Culture: The Contemporary Baroque

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Victoria BC – thru Feb 25, 2007

Luanne Martineau - Nancy

Luanne Martineau, Nancy (2005), felt, yarn and teak [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC, through Feb 25]

Over a period of three months, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is presenting three exhibitions about the Baroque period in Europe between 1600-1750. Peculiar Culture: The Contemporary Baroque is curated by Lisa Baldissera, the AGGV Curator of Contemporary Art, and explores contemporary expressions of the Baroque. It features the work of Victoria-based artist Luanne Martineau and British artists/Turner prize nominees Jake and Dinos Chapman.

Luanne Martineau - Parasite Buttress
Luanne Martineau, Parasite Buttress (2005), felt and bed foam [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC, through Feb 25]

The works in this show do justice to the Baroque’s reputation as an opulent era of grotesquery and extravagance. The memorable woolly pieces of Victoria artist Luanne Martineau are strangely beautiful yet utterly repulsive. She manages to make apparently innocent assemblages of pulled felt appear inviting, comic and simultaneously taboo. Combining traditional women's handiwork and references to the erupting and undisciplined body, Martineau, an MFA graduate of the University of british Columbia (1995) addresses social realism, racism and high modernism’s conceit in her disturbing felted wool objects.

Collaborative artists Jake and Dinos Chapman are renowned for sculptures, prints and installations that examine contemporary politics, religion and morality through the lens of historical artworks. In this exhibit, they combine beauty, perversity, humour and horror in their recreation of Goya’s series of etchings ‘The Disasters of War’. The Chapman brothers have exhibited extensively, including solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1996), White Cube, London (1999), The Art Ginza Space, Tokyo (2000), and Museum Künst Palast, Düsseldorf (2003).

Mia Johnson

Jake and Dinos Chapman - Disasters of War, ed. 2/15

Jake and Dinos Chapman, Disasters of War, ed. 2/15 (1999), courtesy: Modern Collections [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC, through Feb 25]

 Wed, Feb 7, 2007