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Natalka Husar, Burden of Innocence

Natalka Husar, Burden of Innocence (2007), oil on ragboard [Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 31-Apr 21]

Natalka Husar: Burden of Innocence:
Trial and Banquet, Act 2 and Act 3

Douglas Udell Gallery
Vancouver BC – Mar 31-Apr 21, 2012

Natalka Husar, Seedspitter

Natalka Husar, Seedspitter (2006-2008), oil on linen [Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 31-Apr 21]

Burden of Innocence is the last stop of a nine-gallery tour that began in 2009. Organized by McMaster Museum of Art, the travelling show of figurative paintings by Canadian artist Natalka Husar is a curatorial collaboration among McMaster, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, MacKenzie Art Gallery and Tom Thomson Art Gallery. The exhibit premiered in Hamilton, then travelled to Guelph, Museum London, Tom Thomson Art Gallery and MacKenzie Art Gallery among others.

Husar uses her work to express conflict between her Ukrainian-American identities, to characterize the place of her parents’ birth, and to portray people and events in Ukrainian communities in North America. Since 1980, she has made images and portraits of Ukrainian immigrants as they adapt to American and Canadian life.

The complex Burden of Innocence project resulted in a unique set of narratives that are unusual for their medium, painting. Like a historical play, Husar stages her sketchy images in three “acts”: masked and costumed self-portraits in Act 1; fictitious characters in Act 2; and a banquet combining subjects from Acts 1 and 2 in Act 3. In each series she examines the role of the artist, the value and purpose of painting itself, notions of cultural identity and issues of ethnicity. The Ukraine – as a geographic place and a culture with a particular history and politics – informs all three acts.

Natalka Husar graduated from Rutgers University in 1973 with a degree in Fine Arts and moved to Toronto, where she currently works and lives. She has exhibited extensively across North America in both solo and group exhibitions, and received grants from the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council, Toronto Arts Council and SSHRC. Husar teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Mia Johnson

Natalka Husar, Firing the Mus

Natalka Husar, Firing the Muse (2011), acrylic on medical linen bound artist book [Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 31-Apr 21]

Natalka Husar, Trespasser

Natalka Husar, Trespasser (2012), acrylic on medical linen bound artist book [Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 31-Apr 21]

 Thu, Apr 5, 2012