Noel Hodnett, Big Brother, 2002, oil on linen.

Noel Hodnett: Memory, History, and Loss

October 20, 2007 – March 1, 2008
Teck Gallery

Noel Hodnett's painting practice is arguably the most diverse and prolific of any Vancouver painter. He works in and around many genres, but the paintings in this exhibition are limited to his picturing of the victims of authoritarian regimes. Hodnett references the repressions of the South African apartheid government, the American abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison, and the extension of authoritarianism into areas such as electronic surveillance. His depictions are dense, layered, and achieve what the American poet Lorine Niedecker termed the state of being “a condensery”.

One of the portraits in the exhibition is of 14-year-old Stompie Seipei, who was brutally murdered in 1989 after being kidnapped by members of the Mandela United Football Club – a murder in which Nelson Mandela's former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was implicated. In Hodnett's paintings, however, even the seemingly non-politicized images such as the painting on this card – Big Brother – are freighted with the undertow of human barbarianism.

Noel Hodnett was born in Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa at age six. In 1975, Hodnett became head of Photography at Rhodes University in South Africa and then in 1985, the head of the Department of Painting and Drawing, a position he held until moving to Vancouver in 1997.

Curated by Bill Jeffries.


Opening Reception
Friday, October 19, 2008, 6–8pm