Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Artwork of the Week!

Week 4:

Tony Tascona (1926-2006)
Silkscreen, 40/45
Gift of Tony Tascona and Doreen Millin

Educated at the Winnipeg School of Art and, subsequently, at the University of Manitoba School of Art, Tony Tascona is recognized nationally for his abstract paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings. Among his many honours, Tascona was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Winnipeg in 1994 and was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1996. Along with his contemporaries Winston Leathers and Bruce Head, Tascona led Winnipeg's modernist art scene.

Over the years, Tascona produced many prints and his folio, tellingly titled The Four Seasons, reflects the shift in his work that took place during the 1990s. In the last two decades of his artistic career, Tascona returned to softer colours, more delicate lines and organic themes. Art critic Alilson Gillmor has written about the quartet of silkscreen images:

"The Four Seasons print folio from 1994 takes on a traditional theme in art history and gives it a modernist twist, expressing the year not through peasants doing their seasonal tasks, but through colour and form..." (unpublished text, 1998)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Artwork of the Week!

Week 3:

Don Proch (born 1944)
Silkscreen, 9/75
Gift of Richard Nordrum and Family

Part of a folio of prints released by the Grand Western Canadian Screen Shop in 1978, Don Proch’s Firefly deals with the rural prairie landscape and its connection to technologies of the urban environment. Proch obtained Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Manitoba in 1966. He rose to fame in the early-1970s with the creation of unique sculptural drawings that he produced collaboratively with members of the Opthalmia Company, based out of his hometown Inglis, Manitoba near the Asessippi Valley. His early silkscreens, also printed by the Screen Shop, employed graphite powder and bronzing varnish to simulate delicate drawings or dry-point etchings, an effect that can be seen here in the building blocks that constitute the landscape.

Check out this artwork in the second floor hallway of the Bryce building!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Artwork of the Week!

Week 2:

Daphne Odjig (born 1919)
Nanabajou and his Daughter
Silkscreen, 4/60
Gift of Frank and Sue Hechter

An Ojibwe of the Potawatomi Nation, Daphne Odjig was born and raised on the Wikwemikong First Nation of Manitoulin Island, Ontario. From 1963 until 1976, she lived and worked in northern Manitoba and in Winnipeg. An accomplished artist in her own right, Odjig has done much to promote recognition of contemporary First Nations art across the country and internationally: in 1970 she founded Indian Prints of Canada to market reproductions of Aboriginal art and, in 1974, she opened the Warehouse Gallery (now known as the Wah-Sa Gallery) to exhibit the work of First Nations artists. In 1973 Odjig, along with fellow artists Jackson Beardy, Eddy Cobiness, Alex Janvier, Norval Morrisseau, Carl Ray and Joseph Sanchez, founded Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporated (popularly referred to as the ‘Indian Group of Seven’) to support one another’s artistic careers, establish sources of funding for other artists and inspire younger generations to celebrate ‘being Indian’.

Nanabajou and his daughter is a silkscreen print based on an original painting of the same title that was used to illustrate a traditional Aboriginal story in the publication Tales from the Smokehouse. According to the legend, Nanabajou was capable of transforming into any living creature. He used his supernatural abilities to fulfill his lustful desires toward his eldest daughter and seduced her by posing first as a caterpillar, then as a rabbit and, finally as a handsome young stranger. The solid colours and strong geometric shapes of this image recall Picasso’s Cubism, a style that Odjig admired. Although Nanabajou and his daughter references erotic subject matter, as signified by the emphasis on the young woman’s breasts and the embracing limbs, the general structure of the composition also resembles a Pieta, with the daughter’s tilted head and serene posture conjuring up that of the Madonna.

Check out this artwork during events in Convocation Hall in Wesley Hall!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Artwork of the Week!

This summer, Gallery 1C03 presents Artwork of the Week!, a weekly selection designed to acquaint our online audience with holdings from The University of Winnipeg’s Art Collection.

Artwork of the Week!
Week 1:

H. Eric Bergman (1893-1958)
Colour woodcut, 10/100
Gift of H. E. J. Bergman

Dusk (alternately titled After Dusk) is one of two colour woodcut prints created by Bergman in The University of Winnipeg Art Collection. Though it is undated, Dusk was likely completed in the late-1920s or early-1930s and it depicts the Lake of the Woods area, a favourite theme for this artist.

Bergman was best known for his wood engravings, which he began to create in 1926 and have been exhibited internationally. During the following three decades, Bergman printed nearly 100 different images, mainly of botanicals and landscapes. Regardless of subject, all of Bergman’s wood engravings reveal his keen sense of observation and exquisite attention to detail, planning and proportion. He was indeed a master of this medium.

Check out this artwork on display in Gallery 1C03 until the end of this week!