Under a Big Sky and Continental Drift: Two shows by Bruce Anderson
Main Gallery Exhibition - March 4 to April 23, 2017
Public Reception with the Artist - Thursday April 6 at 7:30 pm.
Under a Big Sky by Bruce Anderson
“Under a Big Sky” breaks from traditional composition by presenting the sky in a separate panel to emphasis our physical connection to the earth and the historically exaggerated impact of humans on the earth.
Continental Drift by Bruce Anderson
“Continental Drift” superimposes horses on historical maps to comment on the reach of humans globally and the desire to codify, claim and reclaim the earth for each succeeding society. This exhibition is organized by AGSC in partnership with MJM&AG. Curator is Jennifer McRorie, MJM&AG.
Bruce Anderson has had a long and successful art practice based in Regina, SK. This artist has exhibited work in many group and solo exhibitions and has work in many public and private collections nationally. Bruce was born in Alberta but spent his high school years in Swift Current, SK, and has maintained a connection with this community through family. Bruce Anderson has two major paintings in the permanent collection of artworks at Art Gallery of Swift Current.
Public viewing during regular gallery hours is free and everyone is welcome!
School or Group Tours are available anytime. Please book in advance: T: 306.778.2736
Exhibition Viewing Hours:
Monday to Thursday - 1 to 5pm and 7 to 9pm
Friday to Saturday - 1 to 5pm. Closed Sundays during July & August
Closed during exhibition changes and statutory holidays.
(Dates and hours subject to change due to special events and availability of volunteers. Please call ahead to avoid disappointment.)
The Tablets, 2016, Installation is 16 1/2 feet X 22 feet.
January 7 to February 26, 2017
Organized by Art Gallery of Swift Current
and the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery
Curated by Kim Houghtaling, AGSC and Jennifer McRorie, MJM&AG
With an international reputation spanning more than four decades, Saskatoon-based sculptor Douglas Bentham’s newest exhibition The Tablets is the artist’s first “installation” piece. Comprised of twenty-seven sculptural works installed in symmetrical rows, The Tablets exhibition presents a collection of metal assemblages of richly textured bronze and brass panels infused with fractured text, numbers and dates. The presentation of these tablet-like constructions contributes to a layered, overarching narrative of time, history, mortality and the general fragility of the human condition.
Influenced by a strong lineage of constructivist sculptors, including David Smith and Anthony Caro, it is Picasso’s cubist investigations into planar space and the use of text as formal elements that resonate significantly here in Bentham’s work. Assembling recycled and found metal materials, including the bronze castings of tombstone plaques, Bentham employs an additive and subtractive process that involves editing out through cutting away or grinding down, as well as adding on, to complete the architecture of each stately and contemplative form. Abstractions of words, dates and images figure throughout the frontal planes, reading as signs or hieroglyphics, to create an overall visual vocabulary within the exhibition space. The backs of the pieces offer alternative views, constructed as flat planes of brass and bronze, some altered with patina into painterly hues of green. This view is a pure engagement with materials and form. Referencing ancient stone or clay tablets, Bentham considers these sculptural forms as books, whose inscribed narratives are contained and discovered within the fractured layers. Meaning is drawn from engaging in the dialogue that ensues collectively between the components in the installation and in the interplay between the frontal and back planes of the pieces, where text and fractured imagery discourse with modernist concerns about form and content.
- Jennifer McRorie, Curator, Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery.
This artwork, The Tablets is an “installation” because multiple components are working together as one expression. We can focus on one plinth and sculptural form within the group and appreciate it for its inherent qualities but when placed with the others in this specific arrangement its individual qualities reinforce the larger expression. It is the expression made by the group of elements which determines this as a single artwork or an “installation” artwork.
The references made by this installation artwork are wonderful. The symmetrical grid pattern arrangement of patinaed bronze objects each connecting beautifully with their raw plywood plinth box provides a uniformity or an aesthetic harmony. The bronze objects are presented at chest height with all sculptural fronts facing the viewer as they approach. They resemble figures standing in regiment, like some ancient warriors with their decorated breast plates proudly showing. As one walks amongst the objects the reference changes. Walking through the well-organized grid pattern, we now read the messages offered by the abstractions of each individual object. Like a visit to a cemetery of unknown personalities with their permanent memories shared poetically, we feel the sentiments and sense their significance. When approaching an individual object the exhibition title-reference to the tablet becomes clear. Each object presents like a page easeled on a table with an excerpt we are encouraged to read. The weight of its physical presence lends to the importance of its message. The tablet as a symbol draws from two extremes. We can think of the ancient tablet with its permanent and universal message carved in stone and today the electronic tablet and its world wide access offering an ever changing universal sharing of messages. In this exhibition, The Tablets as an artwork offers messages abstractly or in visual metaphor and refer to expression itself.
- Kim Houghtaling, Curator, Art Gallery of Swift Current
Douglas Bentham graduated with a BA Advanced degree in painting from the University of Saskatchewan in 1969. He received an MFA in sculpture from that institution in 1989, working alongside eminent artists, Eli Bornstein and Otto Rogers. He has contributed to many international artists’ workshops throughout his career, including the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshop; the Triangle Artists’ Workshop, New York; and the Hardingham Sculpture Workshop, Norfolk, UK. Bentham has exhibited nationally and internationally, with over fifty solo exhibitions across Canada. His works are represented in numerous private, corporate and public institutions across Canada. Artworks by Douglas Bentham has been presented at Art Gallery of Swift Current on several occasions over past decades.
Exhibition Publication available with critical essay by art professional Jeffrey J. Spalding.
Artwork by Douglas Bentham has been presented at AGSC on occasion over past decades. The large scale abstract sculpture titled Open Series IV produced in 1977 and located at the entrance to the Gallery-Library in the RC Dahl Centre since 1978 is by Dundurn, Saskatchewan artist, Douglas Bentham. Open Series IV was purchased through funding from the Saskatchewan Arts Board. Unique monumental public sculptures by Douglas Bentham are located in many cities across Canada.
Thank you to the artist, Douglas Bentham, and to the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture - SaskLotteries and the City of Swift Current for their support.
Detail - “Work Hard Be Nice” 2014 by Heather Benning
Let Our Fields Be Broader, But Our Nights So Much Darker
November 5 to December 30, 2016
Saskatchewan artist Heather Benning has a growing international reputation for producing large-scale, site-specific installations within natural environments, presenting interventions in outdoor locations and abandoned and decaying architectural spaces.
Another focus of her practice is creating gallery-based installations and working in video. It is these latter practices that are featured in the exhibition A Prairie Gothic: Let Our Fields Be Broader, But Our Nights So Much Darker.
Presenting four bodies of work and her new film, the exhibition offers viewers intricately woven narratives that address notions of place, loss, the perceived ‘otherness’ of rural life and the construction of gender and femininity.
Each series contributes to an overarching narrative of the prairie gothic. Stories of innocence, haunting memories and romantic ideals of settler life on the prairies are intertwined with dark narratives and tragic loss. Benning presents viewers with iconic images and monuments of prairie rural life that not only acknowledge the passing of an era, the loss of a connection to our rural roots, idyllic dreams that are never realized and the inevitability of change, but also reflect a sensitivity and respect for the individual lives and stories, whether real or imagined, that collectively contribute towards a prairie sensibility or mythology.
Exhibition Curator is Jennifer McRorie. This exhibition was presented at Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery in fall 2015 and will be at the Mann Art Gallery in Prince Albert in 2017. This exhibition was organized by Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery in partnership with Art Gallery of Swift Current. An exhibition publication with essay is available.
Thank you to artist Heather Benning and to Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture - SaskLotteries and the City of Swift Current for their support.
by Belinda Harrow of Saskatchewan
September 6 to October 23, 2016
Combining drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and painting this exhibition explores the role chance and luck when searching for love. Giant Bingo delves into the complex world of Internet dating. Organized by OSAC.
July 4 to August 27, 2016
A selection of photographs from artist members of the Image West Photographic Association of southwest
This exhibition is part of the biennial "Saskatchewan Prairie Light Photography Festival" 2016.
I See China by Dieter Haase, Germany
Mandarin Woman with child by Ana Zerjal, Slovenia
Circle by Guo Xinping, China
April 30 to June 26, 2016
This exhibition is a selection of handmade monotype print works from the International Creation Camp in November, 2014 in Zhangjiajie, Hunan, China. This biennial Creation Camp is sponsored by Pullman Hotels and Resorts.
Guest artists at the Creation Camp were from Asia, Europe and North America including six Canadians - three from southwest Saskatchewan – artist Stephanie Kaduck and curator Kim Houghtaling of Swift Current, and printmaker Gordan Novak of Admiral.
Hosted to a nine day stay at the local luxurious Pullman Hotel, they enjoyed wonderful accommodations and beautiful meals. The artists visited the exotic floating mountains of Zhangjiajie National Forrest. They were treated to performing arts shows and made day trips to ancient villages and interesting cities in the region. All of these experiences informed and inspired the paintings they made in the artist studios provided at the Pullman Hotel.
Working with master printmaker Gordan Novak, twenty-eight of the artists produced monotype prints. The process involves the artist painting their imagery onto a large sheet of glass using a water based printing ink. The printmaker presses an appropriate sized sheet of rice paper into the painted area and while carefully controlling the wetness of the ink and paper the image is transferred and the paper is lifted from the glass. The printed paper is then hung to dry in the manor imitated in this exhibition.
Monotype prints differ from other forms of handmade prints in that each print has unique qualities and differences from the other prints in the image-edition. In effect each print is one of a kind, hence the description “monotype” print or “mono-print”. Because of the uniqueness of each print and the painterly approach to image making, the monotype print making process gives artists the freedom to play with the expressive qualities in two-dimensional art making. The results are beautiful, spontaneous, dynamic and fun.
This exhibition presents over fifty examples of monotype prints from the Creation Camp printmaking workshop. The works are large and bold. They are presented studio-style - clustered close to each other and filling the room, unframed and raw – busy and vibrant and reminiscent of the printmaking studio experience.
Exhibition Curator is Kim Houghtaling, AGSC.
A printed publication about this project and the Creation Camp experience will be out later this year.
by Al Hartley
March 5 to April 24, 2016
Photographer Al Hartley of
Maple Creek pursues authenticity, beauty, and tranquility in his artwork. Working with a film camera, Hartley develops his film and prints his photographs personally by hand.
This exhibition is part of the biennial "Saskatchewan Prairie Light Photography Festival" 2016.
Public Reception and Guided Tour of the exhibition with artist
Saturday, April 16 from 2 - 5 pm.
New works by Diane Lara
January 9 to February 28, 2016
Diane Lara, MFA, addresses issues and concerns relating to genetics, genetic testing, and our predisposition to diseases. In her most recent artwork Diane uses a gestural calligraphic rendering of circular shapes through rubbings onto vellum. The installations are completed through the use of three dimensional elements along with light and shadow. Circular shapes have regularly appeared in Lara’s work and have evolved into varying forms of expression all of which have associations and abstract references to genetic makeup – from a single cell to abstract questions about life itself.
Ensō – meaning (Zen circles). Zen Buddhists believe it holds great meaning; some believe the ensō are enlightenment itself. Each is different – unique like the fingerprint of the artist who created it – it isn’t perfect and it doesn’t have to be; it represents the character of the artist in that exact moment of creation.
November 8, 2015 to January 3, 2016
Through the use of chance and happenstance Canadian Artist, Jeffrey Spalding has created exciting and unexpected expressive abstractions. Working with Novak Graphics, Spalding uses the off cast printmaking materials and found colours gathered from the works of other artists in a very specific printing process designed to ensure the development of almost random composition making. The results have a very dynamic fifties abstraction meets Pop art vibe.
Organized by Art Gallery of Swift Current with the support of Novak Graphics, Admiral Saskatchewan.
September 13 to November 1, 2015
"Series" 2015 focuses on sculpture by five outstanding artists of southwest Saskatchewan. Each sculptor presents a selection of artwork from the past five to ten years, providing audiences with an understanding of the artist's story or purpose, and progression. Included are; stone carver Allan Weiderhold of Swift Current; Sylvia Thompson of Pennant, who works in carved wood and mixed media; Gladys Wozny-Siemens of Rush Lake, working in cast and carved plaste; Lloyd Garthus of Admiral, who works in clay, steel and mixed media and wood carver, Milan Gerza of Kyle.
Coffeehouse Reception: Friday, September 25, 7:30 pm
Walk and Talk Tour with the Artists, hors d’oeuvres, and Curator’s talk. $5
A part of Culture Days
Meet the Artists: Saturday, September 26, 2 pm
Walk and Talk Tour with the Artists.
A part of Culture Days
July 8 to August 22, 2015
A collaborative senior-student class project and exhibition with students in the
Department of Art and Art History, University of Saskatchewan, and students in the Spatial Construction, University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
Organized by AGSC in partnership with the U of Sask, Professor Susan Shantz
May 2 to July 4, 2015
Known for his grand scale abstract, beautiful and very physical paintings Robert Scott recently developed a series of drawing using copper slag on canvas – grand scale, beautiful and very physical drawings. Robert Scott is an internationally renowned artist who maintains a studio in Cadillac, SK, and Edmonton, AB.
Organized by AGSC in partnership with the MJM&AG, Curator Heather Smith
March 7 to April 26, 2015
Swift Current artist David Tuttle doesn’t fit the common pattern for art production. Rather than following a single path of art making throughout his career David, over the past 20 years moves simultaneously between five very different series of art media and themes. This solo exhibition lets us explore each theme enjoying the differences and perhaps finding the connections.
Organized by AGSC, Curator Kim Houghtaling.