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 Back  Vignettes | Alberta | February-March 2011

By Robin Laurence

QUIET MUTINIES: ART IN QUEBEC IN THE 1950s Triangle Gallery of Visual Arts, Calgary, closes February 23 International modernism meets Québécois sensibility in this survey of paintings and sculptures from the 1950s. With its focus on La Belle Province, the show explores how Canadian art-making in the mid-20th century challenged the Group of Seven’s vision of Canadian cultural identity (located in wilderness landscape) and explored, instead, the expressive figuration, geometric abstraction, and abstract expressionism bursting out of the United States and Europe. Among the stellar artists feature here are Paul Emile Borduas, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Marcel Barbeau, and Rita Letendre.

KELLY RICHARDSON: THE ERUDITION Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, closes March 6 Internationally acclaimed video artist Kelly Richardson is known for the cinematic sweep of her work and her ability to create surreal and sometimes fantastical scenes and environments. She shot The Erudition during an Intersectional International residency at the Gushul Studio in Blairmore, Alberta, then digitally manipulated her still and moving footage. The result is a three-channel video installation that reads like a chilly, starlit, lunar landscape twitching with holographic life.

KATHERINE L. LANNIN: THE PILE PROJECT The Art Gallery of Calgary, February 4-April 9 Toronto-based artist Katherine L. Lannin has created and photographed a series of architectural “interventions”; piles of everyday objects dislodged from the spaces in which the artist found them. From chairs and desks to plants and items of interior décor, Lannin removes things from their usual placement and alignment and heaps them in the middle of the floor, throwing their functionality – and that of the rooms they occupy – into question.

DENNIS EKSTEDT: EVENT HORIZON Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary, March 5-April 2 During the day, many North American cities are ugly in their suburban sprawl and utilitarian architecture. At night, however, they become dazzling galaxies shining through the darkness. Montreal artist Dennis Ekstedt paints high, atmospheric, night-time views of unnamed cities, finding in them evidence of living organisms whose forms and complex nervous systems are articulated by a myriad of electric lights.

HAIDA ART: MAPPING AN ANCIENT LANGUAGE Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, March 5-June 5 Curated by renowned Haida artist Robert Davidson, this show highlights more than 80 historic objects created on Haida Gwaii in the 18th and 19th centuries. Whether produced for ceremonial use (masks, rattles, feast bowls) or for trade (argillite sculptures), the works on view demonstrate the highly evolved “visual language” of the Haida, used to tell histories, depict animals and mythical creatures, and designate family crest figures. The exhibition also includes a selection of Davidson’s own works.


Paul Emile Borduas


Kelly Richardson


Katherin Lannin


Dennis Ekstedt


Unknown Haida Artist

 Mon, Feb 7, 2011