Organized and circulated by the MacKenzie Art Gallery in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada, the long-awaited Joe Fafard Retrospective began its tour in September 2007 at the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, followed by the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. After its run at the Glenbow Museum, the exhibit will be installed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, June 2009.
The full scope of this remarkable Saskatchewan artist's work can be seen in the retrospective, from his early caricatures and sculptures of friends, family members and politicians to life-size bronzes of cows and horses, as well as large bronze commissions for private and public spaces. The humour, mischief and intelligence of his ceramics, works on paper, bronzes, plasters and steel sculptures have contributed to his immense popularity in Canada and worldwide.
In 1981 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2002 he was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. He earned the Lieutenant Governor's Saskatchewan Centennial Medal for the Arts in 2005 as well as the Saskatchewan Arts Board Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Joe Fafard holds honorary degrees from the University of Regina and the University of Manitoba, among other awards.
The Glenbow Museum exhibition features about 70 sculptures, including many loaned from the artist's private collection and from institutional and private collections across Canada. Concurrently, the Udell Contemporary in Calgary is showing a selection of work from past exhibitions including figures, prints, laser cuts, and the animals for which he has become renowned.