Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New Iconographies: Selections from the Permanent Collection

Exhibit on display now!
Location: The University of Winnipeg Archives, 
5th floor of Centennial Hall at the UofW

New Iconographies is a modest exhibition curated by Emily Doucet that includes a selection of five works by Manitoba artists from The University of Winnipeg’s permanent art collection. The pieces were originally chosen to highlight recent gifts to the collection and in consideration of the pedagogical and collegial relationships between the artists, all of whom were students and/or teachers at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art. Bringing together diverse images and media, works by Sheila Butler, Rosemary Kowalsky, Tom Lovatt and Ivan Eyre are displayed in The University of Winnipeg Archives. The juxtaposition of these works, created between 1977 and 2007, reveals the artists’ shared use of art historical themes.
Two pieces by Rosemary Kowalsky from the mid-1980s – one mixed media canvas and a second work on paper – employ the iconography of garden tools and floral imagery to reference the local sex trade. Kowalsky’s work is shown alongside Sheila Butler’s 1979 lithograph of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Both of these women artists touch upon issues of gender and power through the inclusion of canonical symbols or figures.
A recent oil painting by Tom Lovatt finds its focal point in the oft-depicted religious narrative of Christ’s descent from the cross which is contrasted with an etching of a wrapped figure created by Lovatt’s former teacher Ivan Eyre some thirty years prior. As with Lovatt’s Deposition, Eyre’s portrait explores visual traditions of Western painting and drawing in a contemporary manner. By employing art historical themes and iconography in their art, Eyre and Lovatt have resisted the allure of figurative and non-figurative abstraction used by so many artists working in the latter half of the twentieth century. The current exhibition of these five works is indicative of the ways in which these four artists have forged new iconographies throughout their respective practices.
Admission to exhibition is free and open to everyone. The University of Winnipeg Archives is located in the University’s Library which can be accessed on the 4th floor of Centennial Hall.

Exhibition Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Image: Rosemary Kowalsky, Fleur du Mal, 1988, Mixed Media, 195x 76.5 cm.

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