Ian Wallace, detail of Clayoquot Protest (August 9, 1993) I-IX (1993-95), photolaminate, ink monoprint, acrylic on canvas, 9 panels [Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Oct 27-Feb 24] Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, gift of the artist / Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery
At the Intersection of Painting and Photography is a major survey exhibition of the work of Ian Wallace, a significant contemporary Canadian artist. As an art historian, critic and Emily Carr instructor, Wallace has been influential in the development of contemporary art practice in Canada since the 1960s.
Wallace was among the first in Vancouver to use large-format photography during the 1970s. He equated photography with cinema, advertising and history painting, thereby helping to elevate it to its present status. Other Vancouver photo-conceptual artists of the time included Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham and Jeff Wall.
Two important themes in Wallaces work were the studio, which he presents as a site of contemplation and production, and the street, a source of documentary information. Wallace often juxtaposes his photographic images next to painted panels to heighten the contrast of visual information. In the 1970s and 80s, he produced several monumental staged works. Throughout, he has been interested in how concepts are transmitted via the pictorial, and how photography superceded painting and illustration during the 20th century for the mass distribution of concepts.
A fully illustrated, 352-page catalogue accompanying the exhibit has been organized in sections that mirror the motifs present throughout Wallaces work.