Rebecca Belmore, Torch, 2009, C-print on aluminum. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Rebecca Belmore is an Anishinaabe artist whose work articulates the political and social realities of Indigenous peoples. Over the last three decades, her work has publicly addressed notions of history, place, and identity through sculpture, photography, installation, video, and performance.
Torch is a colour photograph of a woman’s arm, wrapped in an American flag, holding human hair that hangs down like an inverted flame. Contrary to the symbols of liberty that the human born torch typically connotes, this image of the bound arm holding hair is at once stripped of its power and holding on. It engages elements of performance and colonial ritual common in Belmore’s practice. Her performance-based photographs evoke life and death, bondage and liberation all in relation to colonial violence perpetrated against the Indigenous body, particularly the female Indigenous body.
A member of Lac Seul First Nation (Anishinaabe), Belmore is an internationally recognized multidisciplinary artist living in Toronto. Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; documenta 14; Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto; Vancouver Art Gallery; and Venice Biennale 2005. Belmore received the Gershon Iskowitz Prize 2016; Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts 2013; Hnatyshyn Visual Arts Award 2009; Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation’s VIVA Award 2004; and Honorary Doctorates from Emily Carr (2017) and OCADU (2005).
Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber, Autogestation, or Henri Lefebvre in New Belgrade, 2009 offset print on Gmund paper, 5 parts. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
The work of collaborators Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber offers insight into the critical role of architecture in public space and interrogates the notion of "public". Exploring the importance of architecture in shaping our social and urban imaginations, their gallery and public installations articulate the values that underlie the production of architecture.
Highlighting questions of agency and urban space, Autogestation articulates the situation of New Belgrade, former Yugoslavia’s capital city, and the postulations of Marxist urbanist Henri Lefebvre. The five red and white images depict blockades, brutalist architecture, spaces of political bureaucracy, slogans and signs (that could be propaganda or protest), and also function as interchangeable covers for an eponymous artist book. This work offers a critique of the relationship of architecture, the archive and urban change with social processes and economic forces.
Since 1993, Vancouver-and Vienna-based Bitter (SFU Visual Art Faculty since late 2000's) and Weber have collaborated on projects addressing urban geographies, architectural representation and related visual politics. Their work has been shown nationally and internationally including at SFU Galleries' Teck Gallery, Vancouver; The Power Plant, Toronto; MAK, Vienna; Vancouver Art Gallery; Camera Austria, Graz; Kunsthalle Exnergasse Wien, Vienna; Western Front, Vancouver; Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan. They are also part of Urban Subjects (since 2004), an urban research collective with Jeff Derksen.
Claude Cahun, Autoportrait, 1928, printed c. 2006, C-print. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Autoportrait is one of a series of self-portraits by Claude Cahun, née Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob. Her first recorded self-portraits date to approximately 1913, and she continued to use photography as a means of questioning, challenging and reinventing concepts of identity and gender throughout her practice. Many of her works were destroyed in the forties following her imprisonment by the Nazis for her political activism. Alongside her longtime partner, Marcel Moore (née Suzanne Alberte Malherbe), Cahun’s work as both an artist and writer was groundbreaking in its exploration of gender fluidity and sexuality at a time when such topics were otherwise suppressed.
Though Cahun was active primarily in the first half of the twentieth century, her work did not receive widespread recognition until the late twentieth century when French art historian François Leperlier reinvigorated interest in her work. Cahun’s early experiments with performativity, gender and identity re-emerged from the depths of history at a time when many artists, especially women and queer artists, were challenging mainstream constructions of gender, identity and sexuality.
Cahun was a Jewish-French artist who was an integral member of the Surrealist movement and a prominent political activist in the French Resistance. Born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob, Cahun took the gender-neutral name Claude around 1919. Cahun settled in Paris in the twenties where she became involved with the avant-garde and Surrealist movement. Cahun’s work has been widely exhibited with prominent solo exhibitions at the Jeu de Paume, Paris; Art Institute of Chicago; and Frye Art Museum, Seattle.
Allyson Clay, Stereo Library: Double Tower, 2010, mirrored and galvanized steel, C-print, edition: AP 1 of 3. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Allyson Clay’s Stereo Library: Double Tower is part of a series of works in which the artist uses images, taken with a stereo camera, of a plaza at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris as a document of urban and subjective geometry. Stereo Library: Double Tower is a horizontal work that uses twinned images on one half and mirror on the other half of the work. Seeing oneself and one’s current environment reflected adjacent to the space of a national depository of information demands a shift in reading the image through plays of light, reflection and abstraction, as well as the contrast in scale and locale from large public space to the intimacy of a gallery or domestic context. Clay read the architectural space of the Bibliothèque as a site that signifies the thought process or time interval involved in the processes of discovery and learning.
Clay is based in Vancouver and has been a Visual Arts faculty member at SFU since 1988. Her work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. Her work includes photography, painting and text and can be characterized as an ongoing attempt to synthesize the complex ideologies of feminism and painting. Clay’s work also evidences her concern with urban spaces, female subjectivity and repositories of knowledge. Clay’s work is in many Canadian and international public and private collections such as the Art Gallery of Ontario; Vancouver Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Banff Centre; and Art Gallery of Windsor.
Brady Cranfield and Kathy Slade, 10 Riot Songs, 2012, 12 inch phonographic record in red vinyl with flashing, encased in clear plexi, edition: 8 of 10, 2AP. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Vancouver artist/musicians Brady Cranfield and Kathy Slade are collaborators, as well as having their own independent practices. 10 Riot Songs is an album that covers classic punk songs about riots by the Stiff Little Fingers, Fear, Circle Jerks, Subhumans, The Dils, The Clash, and the Stiffs. The album was recorded live at The Candahar Bar, an art installation by Theo Sims during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Vancouver Olympics were contentious and the album aligns with acts of resistance and protest undertaken against the games.
10 Riot Songs included a special edition of blood red vinyl that oozes out beyond the disc and is an aesthetic interpretation of the music; it marks a key moment in Vancouver’s cultural development through a punk history of resistance. The artists also produced Sunshine Daydream, another LP, in 2009. Cranfield and Slade are founders and co-organizers of the public art project The Music Appreciation Society.
Cranfield is an artist, musician and instructor based in Vancouver. His visual work is often concerned with sound and music. He also collaborates with artist Jamie Hilder on projects related to the politics and culture of global capitalism. His work has been presented at Or Gallery, Western Front, Contemporary Art Gallery, Audain Gallery, Charles H Scott Gallery and Artspeak in Vancouver. He has an BFA, MFA and MA from SFU. He is also a member of the bands Womankind and Leviathans.
Slade is based in Vancouver and works across disciplines in a variety of media including textiles, sculpture, sound, performance, film, video, print, and publication. Her work points to moments and events in literature, art history and popular culture from which to reimagine particular temporalities and existing texts, to create looping structures and to produce remakes that play on repetition and the doublet of original and copy. Her work has been shown at Surrey Art Gallery; Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, Vancouver; Fluc, Vienna; Cullinan Richards project space 4COSE in London, UK; Galerie Au 8 rue saint bon, Paris; and Malaspina Printmakers.
Geoffrey Farmer, Vancouver International Airport, 2008, watercolour on paper. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Drawing has been central to Geoffrey Farmer’s practice as a language for the ficto-historical, surreal subjects of his artistic process, but are generally not employed in his large installations. This watercolour has the title Vancouver International Airport, a place from which Farmer has come and gone, as a portal to other places, other potentialities. The work depicts a three-legged vehicle or figure that appears to be issuing speech or sound in the form of a red exclamation over a striated form, perhaps a runway, that is also issuing a red exclamation in the same direction. When reading the drawing from left to right, the sequence ends in an exploded red dot.
Farmer studied at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and the San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been exhibited widely in Canada and internationally including solo exhibitions at ICA, Boston; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Vancouver Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; The Power Plant, Toronto; Musee d’art contemporain, Montreal; Venice Biennale. Group exhibitions include those at Tate Modern, London; Louvre, Paris; documenta (13), Kassel; among others. Farmer is the recipient of the Gershon Iskowitz Prize; Hnatshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award; Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award; and VIVA Award, Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Dean Heron, Four Stories: Eagle Inside, 2004, silkscreen on Stonehenge paper, edition: AP 8 of 25. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Dean Heron's practice includes prints, paintings, regalia design, and carving. His work reflects traditional Tlingit teachings and style with contemporary influences. Four Stories: Eagle Inside is one of a set of four prints, thus the "four stories." "Eagles are a reoccurring and significant motif in Heron’s practice. Four Stories: Eagle Inside is one of a set of four prints that is about seeing the good within all of us."
Heron, a Kaska/Tlingit artist, is a member of the Wolf Clan from Watson Lake, Yukon. He began his practice in the 1990s and in 2006 he went back to the north where he began formal training in drawing, design, tool-making, and carving under artists Stan Bevan, Ken McNeil and Dempsey Bob at the Freda Deising School of Northwest Coast Art. He graduated from the First Nations Fine Arts program with Honour's in 2008. He was recognized by the Northwest Community College with the Dr. Freda Diesing Award. In 2007, Heron was commissioned to paint five longhouse fronts for the community of Kitselas, BC. For the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Heron made a work for the Aboriginal Venue Art Program. He has taught at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art since 2010 and has conducted workshops in the community and abroad. He was awarded a Visiting Artist Grant from the Burke Museum, Seattle, was a Visiting Artist at Royal BC Museum, Victoria, and Visiting Artist for the Adaka Festival, Whitehorse YK. In 2015 he was recognized by the YVR Art Foundation with the Mid-Career Artist Scholarship. Heron's work is held in public and private collections in Canada, the US, Germany, Hong Kong and China.
Fred Herzog, Hastings St, 1958/2003, archival pigment print, edition 9 of 15. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Fred Herzog began his photographic practice in 1953, focusing on capturing vibrant, unposed street-scenes that offer a glimpse into Vancouver's growing working and middle class communities. A period of rapid economic, demographic and cultural change, Herzog's photographs capture the city's shifting urban landscape in response to the rise of working and middle class life and the figures who inhabit and enliven the city's streets.
Herzog's Hastings St. is both a documentary snapshot of a particular moment in Vancouver’s history and a precursor to some of the dominant aesthetic movements that would later shape Vancouver's artistic production. This photograph is one of a series of images of everyday Vancouver life taken by Herzog and is comparatively chaotic in its composition and more spontaneous in its content. These formal changes demarcate the artist’s shifting aesthetic while also mapping the changing conditions of Vancouver’s urban life.
Herzog is a prominent Vancouver-based photographer whose work has been exhibited across Canada. Born in Germany, he immigrated to Vancouver in 1953 where he found work as a medical photographer, later taking on roles as a photography instructor at UBC and SFU. His work has been exhibited across Canada, with solo exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery; Audain Art Museum, Whistler; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (now the Museum of Contemporary Art), Toronto; and Glenbow Museum, Calgary.
Liz Magor, Smokey, 2008, polymerized gypsum and cigarette, edition: 250 produced. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Liz Magor's Smokey is a hyper-realistic facsimile of a partially consumed, sesame seed hot dog bun into which a real cut cigarette has been pressed. The form of the hot dog bun and cigarette are used to query their functions as signifiers of a particular economic class and as objects designed for temporary consumption. The sculpture typifies Magor's larger oeuvre of work, which can be broadly described as concerned with the social, emotional and material life of commonplace objects. The social and economic associations referenced by the sculpture are brought to the fore by virtue of their renewed status as art objects. By transforming an ephemeral consumer good-a hot dog bun-into a permanent enduring sculptural work of art, Magor plays with notions of value, temporality and durability. The contrast between the artificial bun and the real cigarette pressed into its surface distorts ideas of the real and the simulated, the authentic and the artificial.
Magor is a Vancouver based artist whose work has been widely lauded. She has won numerous prizes, including the Audain Prize for lifetime achievement in the visual arts; the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts; and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at institutions including The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto; Vancouver Art Gallery; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and the Museum of Modern Art, Antwerp.
Scott Massey, Buff Frame, from 'Mirror Incidents’'series, 2006, C-print on dibond, UV laminate, edition: 1 of 6. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Buff Frame, part of Scott Massey's 'Minor Incidents' series, draws attention to otherwise overlooked features in natural and urban landscapes and the interstices therein. For Minor Incidents, Massey tasked himself with a peripatetic exploration of the landscape while documenting various unidentified sites. The selection of sites was not generated from a pre-determined idea of a composition, but rather from his spontaneous responses to subtly unusual scenes in an effort to locate and draw focus to potential artistic and aesthetic experiences in our everyday life. In the case of Buff Frame, Massey's observation of the peculiar alignment between the partially trimmed hedge and the tonal variations in the concrete wall adjacent to it informed the composition of the photograph. Moreover, the images draw focus to the tension between a nondescript, architecturally uninteresting industrial building, comprised of traditional mass-produced materials, and the unusual inclusion of decorative hedges that suggest an attempt at using nature to beautify developed lands.
Massey is a photo-based artist who lives and works on Bowen Island, BC. A graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design's photography program, Massey’s work explores the confluence of nature and culture and between human-made matter and the natural landscape. Exploring light as a medium and as an image-making apparatus constitutes a fundamental aspect of his practice. Massey’s work has been exhibited across Canada at venues including Gallery 44, Toronto; Burnaby Art Gallery; Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver; and Artspeak, Vancouver.
Susan Point, Blue Herons (detail), 2008, red cedar. Gift of the Coast Salish Weave Collection of George and Christiane Smyth, 2018
Susan Point, Thunderbird Motif, 2010, print, edition: 35 of 75. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Susan Point, Written in the Earth, 2000, cast aluminum and red cedar. Gift of the Coast Salish Weave Collection of George and Christiane Smyth, 2018
Susan Point’s work asserts Coast Salish culture through prints and sculptural work that include contemporary and traditional techniques. While her practice is informed by a deep respect for Coast Salish traditions, she has expanded the boundaries of the tradition to articulate Salish culture in contemporary terms. When she began her career over three decades ago, there were few visible precedents for a woman to carve or work with sculpture, although traditionally women did carve. Point is connecting not only with her ancestral artistic traditions but also with the space and environment she is currently a part of. This interconnectedness can also be applied to the manner in which she develops works in several media.
Blue Herons, is comprised of three carved wooden panels featuring geographic locations (North Arm, Canoe Pass, Iona Beach, which are all locations in the Fraser River delta that are part of the traditional lands of the Musqueam people) and interweave salmon, herons and the seasons. The panels are installed in the Technology & Science Complex I at SFU’s Burnaby campus. Rising the height of at least two stories, these grandly scaled works are sited in their current location to be viewed from multiple levels. Originally commissioned for the Richmond Olympic Oval, the carvings were used to cast the water channels, or runnels, for the oval. The oval has 15 concrete runnels that drain storm water from the building’s roof.
Thunderbird Motif is a print work that is indicative of her practice in the way it uses positive and negative space to create a strong image. Its black and white reversed forms manifest in a circular design centred on two thunderbirds that intersect with one another (akin to the yin and yang form that, in Chinese philosophy, is a concept to indicate duality and how opposite forces may be complimentary and interconnected in the natural world). Much of her art practice has involved the adaptation of traditional spindle whorl carvings into prints.
Written in the Earth is installed in the northeast corner of the Academic Quadrangle at SFU’s Burnaby campus and is comprised of four aluminum and cedar bas-relief carvings. The designs, featuring faces flanked by animals, represent the diversity of world cultures. The work looks down onto the atrium connecting First Nation Studies and the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography. The designs were commissioned by a stadium in Seattle to create a band of cast bronze bas-relief sculptures at the base of a tower in the complex.
Point is a Musqueam Coast Salish artist who was born in Alert Bay and grew up on the Musqueam Indian Reserve. She studied collections of Coast Salish art at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology and the Royal BC Museum. Her work has been shown widely across Canada and was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Point’s work is held in public and private collections including the Vancouver Art Gallery and National Gallery of Canada. She has been recognized with an Indspire Achievement Award, a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, a BC Creative Achievement Award, appointed lifetime member to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, selected to the International Women’s Forum, and was one of Vancouver’s 2012 Remarkable Women. She holds Honorary Doctorates from University of Victoria, SFU, UBC and Emily Carr University of Art and Design, is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and has been presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada.
Bill Reid, Xhuwaji-Haida Grizzly Bear, 1990, serigraph, edition: 196 of 300. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Growing up outside his Haida culture, and during a time of disruption for Northwest Coast peoples, Bill Reid had no one to teach him the rules of traditional Haida art. He studied 19th-century Haida art in museums to learn its visual language, rules and concepts of traditional formline design. In his immersion of art and culture, he often made variations of his favorite traditional stories and figures.
In 1990, in collaboration with printmaker Terra Bonnieman, Reid refined the design of Xhuwaji- Haida Grizzly Bear to create a serigraph of which copies were sold to raise money for the Artists for Kids Trust. The round image of Xhuwaji symbolizes strength and shows the grizzly bear in the traditional Haida colours of red and black. The bear’s flaring nostrils attest to its fierce character and the protruding tongue symbolizes the oral nature of the Haida people.
Reid (1920-1998) an acclaimed goldsmith, carver, sculptor, writer, mentor, and community activist. He was born in Victoria, BC to a Haida mother and an American father, and began exploring his Haida roots at the age of 23. Through his mother, he was a member of the Raven Clan. During his career, Reid was the recipient of honorary doctorates from many institutions, including the University of Western Ontario, the University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia. He received the Order of BC in 1994 and the Canada Council’s Molson Prize for cultural achievement. He was prominent for his large-scale public sculptures, such as Raven and the First Men (1980) at UBC and The Spirit of Haida Gwaii (The Black Canoe) (1991), erected at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC and its jade counterpart at YVR. Reid played a key role in building awareness and appreciation of Northwest Coast and Haida art.
Neil Wedman, Untitled (Flying Saucer Monochrome Study #4), 2007, gouache on paper. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Neil Wedman’s Untitled (Flying Saucer Monochrome Study #4) depicts a number of small objects engulfed in a heavy, thick fog partially broken by faint rays of light entering the frame on the right side of the composition. The objects that inhabit the scene are obscured by the blanket of fog, their identities implied instead by faint contours that bleed into the atmospheric light. In this work, Wedman plays with the well-established formal conventions of landscape painting and the monochrome. Taking up the aesthetic vocabulary and light techniques popularized by Claude Monet and J.M.W. Turner, Wedman subverts this art historical genealogy in order to question the idealization of nature and its dubious representation in the landscape tradition. Using signifiers associated with an idyllic pastoralism, Wedman challenges the representation of the landscape as a pristine site through his incorporation of science fiction references, such as the UFO. By invoking the monochrome, Wedman also lampoons the legacy of high modernist painting, which was increasingly concerned with abstraction, non-objectivity and the possibility of a pure painting.
Wedman is a Vancouver based artist who works across painting, drawing, photography, and printmaking. He has taught on a sessional basis at the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU since 2000 and at Emily Carr University of Art and Design since 1991. Wedman’s work has been exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; The Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, amongst others.
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, ID, n.d., ink on paper. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Land Grab, 2008, ink on 4 ply matboard. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Untitled [four trees], 2009, ink on 8 ply matboard. Gift of Gordon Harris, 2018
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s drawings, paintings, sculptures, and performances reference Coast Salish cosmology, Northwest Coast design, modernism and other influences to critique issues affecting First Nations, such as stolen Indigenous land, residential schools and environmental issues. Drawings and etchings are a critical part of his practice and occasionally serve as studies for larger paintings. These three drawings are examples of his practice that combine traditional iconography with representations of the environment and the history of colonization.
ID is a black and white drawing of two suited figures with blank white ovoids for heads. The id, according to the Freudian model of the psyche, is our uncoordinated instincts, our basic desires and needs. The ovoid is a rounded oval-rectangular shape that is a key design element unique to Northwest Coast art. This shape is a building block from which movements flow or design patterns emanate to form a figure. In traditional Northwest Coast design, ovoids often represent joints (shoulder, hip, wing, pectoral fin), as well as eye sockets and teeth. Traditionally, the ovoid is an element of a larger design or figure. Yuxweluptun’s use of the blank ovoid here may be interpreted as a way seeing the emptiness of a colonial capitalist world against the healing possibilities of Indigenous world views.
The two black and white landscapes, Land Grab and Untitled [four trees], are drawn in a western style, but most forms, such as the tree branches, clouds, hills, sun are made up of ovoids and formline design. Land Grab shows a figure spreading a formline blanket around the base of a tree. One can read this figure in light of Yuxweluptun’s concern with the global ecological ethos, yet it is ambiguous whether the figure enacts a gesture of care or of claiming harm. In Untitled [four trees] a figure in the clouds spews liquid down upon the forest which may represent a supernatural symbol of care or warning within the conditions of cultural and ecological toxicity.
Yuxweluptun is a Vancouver based artist that has been practicing for over three decades. He is of Coast Salish and Okanagan descent. He graduated from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. His work has been included in local, national and international group and solo exhibitions, including Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun: Unceded Territories at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology and Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada (2013). Yuxweluptun has been awarded the Jack and Doris Shadbolt VIVA Award, and a Fellowship at the Eitelijorg Musem of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, where his work was featured in an exhibition and book, and acquired for the museum’s permanent collection. His works are held in national public collections.
Jin-me Yoon, Long View (A project of six postcards), 2017, 6 perforated postcards, edition: 5,000 circulation. Gift of the artist, 2018
The work of Jin-me Yoon is attuned to issues around migration and belonging, challenging stereotypical constructs that continue to permeate our culture. Many of her photographs, videos and performances explore these topics. Long View (A project of six postcards) is a series which depicts the Nuu-chah-nulth traditional territories at Long Beach on Vancouver Island, BC (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve) as it is occupied by Jin-me Yoon and her family, who emigrated to Vancouver from Seoul in 1968. Yoon is photographed looking through binoculars across the ocean and through time in Long View, examining the events that move people and shape the future. In subsequent images, a figure digs a hole in the beach sand and disappears into it. The work raises questions around migration, belonging and the idea of home. From the vantage point of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve that looks across the Pacific Ocean to Asia, Long View considers past, present and future relations between Canada and Asia, including the Cold War history of the Pacific Rim and Indigenous and immigrant perspectives.
Yoon lives in Vancouver and has been a visual arts faculty member at SFU since 1992. She is a locally, nationally and internationally recognized artist who has been a critical voice in the development of a discourse around identity in visual art practices. She received her BA from the University of British Columbia in 1985, her BFA from Emily Carr College of Art in 1990, and her MFA from Concordia University in 1992. In 2009, she was nominated for the Grange Prize; her art has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery, as well as internationally.
Bill Reid, Bear Mother Pole, c.1986/87, alder wood. Gift of Charles Peacock Collection, 2017.
Bill Reid (1920-1998) was a carver, sculptor, goldsmith, printmaker, writer, and community activist. Born in Victoria, BC to a Haida mother and an American father, he was a member of the Raven Clan and lived at a time of great transition: the 1950s - 1980s were a turning point for Haida and other indigenous artists. Reid immersed himself into the art and traditional stories of the Haida, while imbuing his work with his own distinctive style.
Bear Mother Pole depicts the mother bear as the main figure on the pole, with her two cubs, one in human form between her feet, and one in bear form above her head. The shapes and composition of the pole are in classic Haida form, but are also reflective of Reid's individualistic style. This pole was carved with assistance from Garner Moody, Clayton Gladstone and Don Yeomans.
During his career, he became one of the best known Indigenous artists in Canada. Reid carved the first full size totem pole to be raised in over 100 years in his mother's village of Skidegate on Haida Gwaii, and was the first to carve a full size Haida canoe in the 20th century, for Expo 86. Reid is remembered for his large-scale public sculptures, such as Raven and the First Men (1980) at UBC, and The Spirit of Haida Gwaii (The Black Canoe) (1991), at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC. Reid was the recipient of honorary doctorates from many institutions, including University of Western Ontario, University of Toronto, and University of British Columbia. He received the Order of BC in 1994 and the Canada Council's Molson Prize for cultural achievement.
Marianne Nicolson, Oh, How I Long For Home, 2016, neon. Gift of the artist, 2017.
Marianne Nicolson's practice engages with Indigenous histories and politics arising from her involvement in cultural revitalization and sustainability. This work, created in red neon, spells out, 'Wa'lasan xwalsa kan ne'nakwe' which translates to Oh, How I Long For Home from Kwak'wala. Referring to a "return" as well as to the cycle of the sun rising, the double meaning of the title not only points to an idea of home as Indigenous territory, but the longing for home that settlers also seek, complicated by unceded lands. The work addresses a history of the city as a conflicted promise to Indigenous people. Representing monetary wealth, western education and a pledge of so-called progress, the city's neon lights, stocked department stores, and schools project a notion of success for people outside urban centres. The work was a response to the specific site of the Teck Gallery on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tseil-Waututh lands, in a university campus located in a building that was formerly Spencer's Department Store.
Marianne Nicolson ('Tayagila'ogwa) is a Victoria based artist. Nicolson is of Scottish and Dzawada'enuxw First Nations descent. Her artistic and academic practices are platforms to advocate for Indigenous linguistic and cultural resurgence. Her work has been exhibited at Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, National Indian Art Centre, UBC Museum of Anthropology, 17th Biennale of Sydney, National Museum of the American Indian, Confederation Centre for the Arts, and Taipei Fine Arts Museum. She has undertaken numerous public artworks. She holds a PhD in Linguistics and Anthropology from University of Victoria, an MFA in Visual Art from University of Victoria and a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design.
Ken Lum, Youth Portraits, 1985, offset lithograph on newsprint. Gift of Bill Jeffries, 2017.
Part of a series, Lum's Youth Portrait is a photographic offset lithograph in black and white on newsprint. It is comprised of a grid of 16 photographs of diverse youth ranging from infants to young adults. It is part of a larger series that includes a broad range of individuals from across a social spectrum. In 1985 the artist printed numerous sheets of the larger series in order to cut out the portraits to create an exhibition at the Coburg Gallery by spray-mounting each of the individual images onto the walls to create a constellation of faces. This work was an extra print that did not get cut up for the exhibition. Youth Portrait is an early work within Lum's practice and offers insight into his early photographic and installation practice.
Ken Lum was born in Vancouver in 1956 and lived in the city until 2012 when he moved to Philadelphia where he is a Professor in the School of Design, the University of Pennsylvania. A graduate of SFU (BA in Science) and UBC (MFA), Lum has a significant practice as an artist and educator. He has an Honorary Doctorate from SFU. Lum is a highly recognized artist nationally and internationally; his work has been exhibited and collected widely.
Anne Ramsden, Anastylosis: Childhood (Falling), 1999. Colour photographs (Lamda prints), diptych. Gift of the artist, 2016. Photo: Courtesy the artist.
Anastylosis is an archeological term describing the reconstruction of an object from its surviving fragments, often using a coloured bonding agent so that viewers can understand the reconstruction process. Ramsden applied the technique to nearly 300 household dishes that she smashed and reconstructed according to this system, which she then showed in a large installation, Anastylosis: Inventory (1999-2000). All of the reconstructed objects are displayed on archival shelving units to encourage an awareness of the activity of looking. Anastylosis: Childhood (Falling), represents a small part of this larger project.
Anastylosis: Childhood (Falling) is a photographic diptych showing broken children's dishes before they were restored and as reconstituted wholes. Photographed against a black background, images of the white dishes enforce the drama of the fracturing and reassembly.
Ramsden's investigation into the relationship between the manner in which we understand society, both in the past and present, is methodologically complex in its references to archeology, and aesthetically and conceptually rich in its presentation of the construction of the whole from fragments. The notion of how we look and understand objects, both objects of art and quotidian objects, is queried by Ramsden as a social process that may need to be dissembled in order for the whole to be comprehended.
Anne Ramsden is a Montreal based artist. Her nationally recognized work, which focuses on knowledge systems, has her exploring the collection, the museum, consumer culture and mass production, the domestic sphere, subjectivity and spectatorship.
Andreas Bunte, Erosion, 2016. HD video, 17:25 minutes, ed. 1/5. Gift of the artist, 2016. Photo: Blaine Campbell.
After being SFU's Audain Visual Artist in Residence in 2014, Andreas Bunte then made the site-specific film, Erosion, in January 2016 at SFU's Burnaby campus. In Erosion, Bunte treats SFU's iconic and internationally recognized Brutalist architecture as geological formation. The film addresses a specificity of place and the complex artistic, philosophical and environmental dialogues that engage our current moment. In asserting that architecture is geology, Bunte is interested in how we have interfered with our planet's materials such that we have literally transformed the earth’s geomorphology. Erosion provides insight into the geological implications of SFU's building over the social experience of the site to articulate a new vision of art, architecture and our current epoch, the Anthropocene.
Andreas Bunte is a Berlin based artist who works with experimental film and installation, combining film with media such as collage, architectural structures, sound and text. Bunte's internationally recognized work takes up the interplay between technology, architecture and the body.
Althea Thauberger, Ecce Homo, 2011, metallic digital c-print, ed. 2/5 + II AP. SFU Art Collection. Gift of the artist, 2015.
Originally produced as a large-scale public art mural by the City of Vancouver, Althea Thauberger's Ecce Homo is a photograph inspired by classical painting and popular culture engaged with politics. Referencing Jacques-Louis David's 1793 Death of Marat, which depicts the death of a writer deeply involved in the politics of the French Revolution, as well as the locally based television drama Da Vinci's Inquest, the work's engagement of art/politics, real life/representation is indicative of Thauberger's artistic approach. The photograph features actor Nicholas Campbell positioned on an autopsy table. Campbell played the title role of real-life coroner and mayor Larry Campbell in Da Vinci’s Inquest and Da Vinci City Hall. Ecce Homo - which means behold the man - draws on a history of references from the condemnation of Christ to other contexts including the title of Nietzsche's autobiography. Thauberger's project is an allegory of the relationship of art, life and politics that encompasses multiple associations.
Althea Thauberger lives and works in Vancouver. Her internationally produced and exhibited work typically involves interactions with a group or community that result in performances, films, and videos, and offer provocative reflections of social, political, institutional and aesthetic power relations.
Carole Itter, Table of Contents, c. 1977-78, mixed media (wood, metal, ceramic, plastic). SFU Art Collection. Gift of the artist, 2015. Photo: Courtesy the artist.
Carole Itter's Table of Contents is one of the first assemblage works undertaken by the artist using found objects. Using a boxed framework, the wall-hung assemblage of collected and affixed objects includes numbers, hardware, tools, curio and other objects. Referencing the work of American artists Joseph Cornell and Louise Nevelson, particularly Nevelson's large-scale wooden totem-like wall works, Itter connects to a legacy of feminist practice, anti-capitalism and an interest in "natural" materiality
Carole Itter is a Vancouver based artist, writer and filmmaker. Her work has been widely exhibited and collected across Canada.
Lorna Brown, Reading, 1990/2015, photographs on mylar, surveyor's tripod, Plexiglas, speakers. SFU Art Collection. Gift of the artist, 2015. Photo: Blaine Campbell.
Lorna Brown's installation Reading pictures women's negotiation of private and public images and intellect through the perspectives of three readers: a woman obfuscated by the book she is reading (pictured as photographic enlargements), a male subject attempting to read a woman through her concealed book on public transit, and the instructions for a camera disguised as a book, which was used by women in public in the early twentieth century. Spatialized within the gallery, these three encounters - articulated visually, aurally and spatially - complicate the power plays of reading, looking, being read and looked at.
Lorna Brown is a Vancouver based artist, curator and writer. Her regionally and nationally recognized work has critically addressed constructions of femininity and desire in image culture, the politics of literacy, institutional manipulations of language, and civic and cultural publicness.
Stephen Waddell, Man in Car Powell Street, 2012, colour pigment print. SFU Art Collection. Gift of the artist, 2015. Photo: Courtesy the artist.
Man in Car Powell Street was shot on the street in front of Stephen Waddell's Vancouver studio and captured as an unstaged, found street photograph. Waddell's street photography examines the human figure in the contemporary, largely urban environment, which has been a preoccupation of many artists since the mid-nineteenth century. Waddell began his artistic career as a painter and now focuses on photography, sharing an interest in Jeff Wall's preoccupation with the continuity of painting's visual traditions and strategies in contemporary photographic practice. His works are better understood as pictures rather than photographs in that they draw as much from the history of painting as the history of photography.
Stephen Waddell lives and works in Vancouver. His work is internationally recognized and has been a critical voice in the discourse around a third generation of photography in Vancouver.
Roy Arden, The World as Will and Representation, 1991, archival/found photographs digitally printed. SFU Art Collection. Gift of John and Helen O’Brian, 2015.
Roy Arden’s diptych The World as Will and Representation positions found images side by side of differing scales: one of an erupting volcano and the other of a protest in a public square in which the fountain is running red. Arden has contributed significantly to Vancouver’s international reputation as a centre for photography-based contemporary art, particularly through his images of the urban environment that register the transformative effects of modernity on the everyday landscape. His multi-faceted practice includes photography, video and mixed media installation. In the 1980s he worked largely with archival images.
Roy Arden lives and works in Vancouver. His work is internationally exhibited and collected.
Terry Atkinson, Emma Decoy, 1987, mixed media on paper. SFU Art Collection. Gift of John and Helen O'Brian, 2015.
Terry Atkinson's Emma Decoy is a work on paper that refers to the Emma Lake artist workshops run by the University of Saskatchewan. Bringing in Clement Greenberg, Barnett Newman and others to Saskatchewan, it promoted a particular vein of modernist abstraction. Atkinson was a workshop leader in 1987. Using an image of the cabins at Emma Lake, a small blue monochrome, a high horizon line and a figurative male element, Atkinson's work needles the dominance of the Emma Lake modernist vision.
Terry Atkinson was the founder (with John Bowstead, Roger Jeffs and Bernard Jennings) of the group Fine-Artz in 1963, and (with David Bainbridge, Michael Baldwin and Harold Hurrell) of the group Art & Language from 1968-74, which were two of the most influential collectives in contemporary art. Art & Language’s activities were self-reflexive on the concept of art and promised a social base in shared conversation. Atkinson has exhibited under his own name since 1973. He teaches at the University of Leeds, UK.
Christos Dikeakos, x wáyxway / x' áy'xi, 1991, c-print, sandblasted glass, metal. SFU Art Collection. Gift of John and Helen O'Brian, 2015.
Christos Dikeakos' photographic series Sites and Place Names, shot in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Athens and Berlin, engages memories, histories and urban typologies within contemporary urban sites. His complex understanding of history, colonialism and representation is reflected in x wáyxway / x' áy'xi which depicts a view from Stanley Park looking north over Burrard Inlet to the mountains and the industry along the shoreline. The panoramic photograph depicts the site from a contemporary perspective and the sheet of glass that is placed over it has words sandblasted in English and Musqueam that convey how these sites were described and understood by the Musqueam First Nation prior to and during European settlement.
Christos Dikeakos lives and works in Vancouver. Since the late 1960s, his photographic practice has played an important role in the development of conceptual photography in Vancouver. His work has been nationally exhibited and collected.
Al Neil, Newton, 1986, mixed media on paper. SFU Art Collection. Gift of John and Helen O'Brian, 2015.
Al Neil's Newton is a mixed media work that reveals the artist's long-standing interest in geometry and laws of motion. Newton combines found images of the mathematician/philosopher Sir Isaac Newton (by Kneller), diagrams and book pages over which Neil has scrawled Newton's name and partially masked the images with splotches of black paint which connote Rorschach's tests and action painting.
Al Neil is a visual and performance artist, musician, writer and composer based in Vancouver. He is considered one of Canada's interdisciplinary artistic pioneers. His work is widely performed, exhibited and collected.
Thomas Ruff, 3-D New York (Bronx), 1998, photolithographs, ed. of 60. SFU Art Collection. Gift of John and Helen O'Brian, 2015.
Thomas Ruff's 3-D New York (Bronx) is a print edition that operates within the artist's interest in photography's grammar and structures. Ruff turned away from straight photography in the mid-1990s (and is very well known for his large-scale, passport-like portraits), and since then has worked largely with manipulated found imagery. The stereoscopic aerial images of an urban landscape - the Bronx - are presented together side-by-side without 3-D glasses. A comparative reading between the two images asks viewers to query the spatial framing and potential optical "pop" of 3-D that does not deliver.
Thomas Ruff lives and works in Düsseldorf. His work has been widely shown and collected internationally.
Allyson Clay, Double Self-Portrait, 2001 c-print on dibond aluminum, ed. 2/2 SFU Art Collection. Gift of the artist, 2015.
Allyson Clay’s large-scale photograph Double Self-Portrait depicts twinned images of the artist tossing books out of the windows of a modernist building, unburdening herself of certain histories of art, theory and psychoanalysis. Clay’s work has been critical in the development of a discourse around feminist visual art practices in Vancouver, and can be characterized as an ongoing attempt to synthesize the complex ideologies of feminism and painting.
Allyson Clay lives in Vancouver and has been a Visual Arts faculty member at SFU since 1988. Her work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally and with its focus on the urban female subject, can be considered in part as a response to the Vancouver photoconceptualist discourse.
Jin-me Yoon, Souvenirs of the Self (Postcard Series), 1991-2000, postcards. SFU Art Collection. Gift of the artist, 2015. Photo: Blaine Campbell.
Jin-me Yoon’s Souvenirs of the Self depicts the artist standing in the iconic Canadian settings of the Rocky Mountains. The humour of this project yields to more serious questions about who is and isn’t regarded as a natural citizen. The postcards were a result of being invited to Banff to do a work on the theme of travelling and territories. Attuned to issues around migration and belonging, Yoon is also interested in issues of sexual difference, and she uses her work as an opportunity to challenge stereotypical constructs that continue to permeate our culture.
Jin-me Yoon lives in Vancouver and has been a Visual Arts faculty member at SFU since 1992. Her work is recognized nationally and internationally. The intersections between identity and location have been a central theme in Yoon’s work and she has been an important voice in the development of a discourse around identity in visual art.