Sonny Assu (Ligwilda’xw of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations) has been recognized for his mashups of Indigenous iconography and popular culture. Through a variety of mediums including sculpture, painting, prints, large-scale installations and interventions Assu’s work maintains a profound connection to past traditions while speaking to pertinent issues of our time.
Assu’s work is included in numerous major public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver), and the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Dempsey Bob is a distinguished Tahltan and Tlingit artist of the Wolf Clan. Born in 1948, he began carving in 1969 under the tutelage of Freda Diesing who was his earliest mentor and teacher. At once a traditionalist and vanguard, Dempsey Bob’s sculptures blend traditional narratives and iconography with contemporary influences. His dynamic sculptures re-imagine convention with highly animated sculptures that acknowledge the lineage to which they are indebted while incorporating an expansive view and understanding of sculpture.
Bobbie Burgers is interested in the process of decay, transformation, and metamorphosis in nature. With a distinct style that merges abstraction with representation in increasing degrees, her work brings together instinctive compositions while revealing her precise powers of observation. Remarkable for their compositional rhythms, bold coloration, and sweeping gestural brushstrokes, Burgers’ paintings bring alive the fundamental quest to express something personal, subjective and emotive, in a poetic, abstract way.
Kim Dorland’s practice reflects a fascination with the enigmatic Canadian landscape as it comes into contact with contemporary urban experience. The psychological atmosphere represented by Dorland is confrontational and hallucinatory, disrupting conventional ideas that the natural world is a place of solace and contemplation. Using a dense matrix of intense colours, delirious textures, and passionate painterly touch, Dorland brings a paradoxical sense of displacement in which the artist’s relationship with nature is simultaneously one of awe and fear. In parallel with this, fragments of contemporary urban life materialize themselves in the form of ghostly figures and graffiti remnants. It is through these dueling representations of the landscape that Kim Dorland has created a body of work endowed with an emotional charge whose potential far exceeds the formal confines of the canvas.
Marten Elder’s photographs offer a reconsideration of the way that images are captured in light of digital and technological developments. Through careful interpretation of the raw data, Elder produces photographs that disrupt spatial hierarchy and that are intensely vibrant in their tonal range. The colours may seem synthetic at first, but they all exist in the world in the same relative relationship to one another, and it is this representation of the world that is of great interest to Elder.
Gathie Falk’s practice meticulously transforms objects of everyday experience into extraordinary things. Working in a variety of media that includes performance art, sculpture, ceramics, painting and drawing, Falk has produced works that feel surreal and dreamlike, reinventing clothing, fruit, plants, shoes, or baseball caps into objects of much greater significance. Although these objects are relatable in their familiarity, it is the personal symbols they carry – not the universal – that are of interest to Falk. Her practice has been aligned with the traditions of Surrealism, Funk, Fluxus, and Pop Art, but the influences are rarely direct. Indeed, Falk is most comfortable when poised on the edge of contradictions.
For nearly four decades, Angela Grossmann has been recognized for her relentless probe into the complexities of identity, gender politics, and displacement. The subjects of her paintings, photo-based collages, and mixed-media works largely reference the female form, culled from a vast archive of images collected by the artist that includes art-historical references, postcards, and found snapshots.
Angela Grossmann lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.
Adad Hannah explores historically trenchant themes through elaborate bodies of work that include installation, video, and photography. Inspired by the historical practice of tableaux vivants (translated as “living pictures”), Hannah’s overall practice invokes the durational form of early cinema, while also making reference to early photography by mimicking paintings at a time when it was the very goal of photography to do so. Time occupies a prominent place in Hannah’s production, forged by a lasting interest in temporality and its complex relationship with photography and video. Hannah adds to this history by bridging, or blurring, the divide between the tableau in photography and its originating form as living, i.e., live picture.
Fred Herzog was born in Germany in 1930, and immigrated to Vancouver, BC in 1953. Throughout his career he worked almost exclusively with Kodachrome slide film, and only in the past decade did technology allow him to make archival pigment prints that match the exceptional colour and intensity of the Kodachrome slide. Herzog’s use of colour was unusual in the 1950s and 60s, a time when art photography was almost exclusively associated with black and white imagery. In this respect, his photographs can be seen as a pre-figuration of the “New Colour” photographers of the 1970s.
CLICK HERE to see Fred Herzog featured in The New York Times.
Shawn Hunt is a Heiltsuk artist born inWaglisla (Bella Bella), British Columbia.Hunt’s practice is directly informed by his Scottish, French and First Nations background and the visual culture and traditions that accompany it.He works with the traditional Northwest Coast design principle, known as formline, to create abstract, surreal, and sculptural artworks based on ancestral Heiltsuk Cosmology that often reference contemporary aboriginal life.Hunt is always seeking to push the boundaries of the art form, often combining non-traditional ideas with innovative uses of materials and motifs in his work.