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 Back  Vignettes | Alberta | April – May 2014

By Robin Laurence

JILL STANTON: STRANGE DREAM Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Mar 5-Dec 31 As the latest in a series of site-specific commissions for AGA’s Manning Hall, illustrator and graphic artist Jill Stanton has created an immense, hand-drawn mural. Composed of 1,800 square feet of ink drawings on paper mounted across three walls, Stanton’s imagery conjures up a dark fairy tale in which three-eyed snakes, sharp-fanged worms, phallic mushrooms, mud-splattered figures and densely twining vegetation project the life of the unconscious into the public realm.

MATT GOULD: TOTEMS OF THE MASCULINE Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery, Red Deer, Mar 8-May 11 A multi-disciplinary artist interested in issues of gender identity and sexuality, Matt Gould has worked with 15 men from central Alberta to create this series of leather, wool, wood and steel portraits. To each of his subjects, who range widely in age, occupation, cultural background and sexual orientation, he posed the question “What makes you think you’re a man?” Their answers fed the creation of these free-standing “totems,” which explore both individuality and the ways masculinity is socially constructed.

BRENDA DANBROOK: COALESCENCE Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton, Mar 29-May 3 With a background in fine arts and ceramics, the Opal, Alberta, artist Brenda Danbrook employs surface pattern and decoration to explore what she calls “the ceramic narrative.” In both individual works and carefully considered groupings of ceramic objects, Danbrook creates meaningful connections between elegant forms, harmonious glazes and artful brushwork. She also searches for ways to enhance the user’s everyday experience of her functional vessels.

WOSENE WORKE KOSROF Design by Brown The Gallery, Calgary, Ongoing This internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor, known professionally as Wosene, was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and lives and works in Berkeley, California. His lively and lyrical abstract art is based on the Amharic script of his native land, but he improvises on the formal elements of the written language in a playful and inventive way. “On canvas,” he writes, “the script images are divested of their literal meanings to become gesture, dance, music, movement, and stories of the human drama.”

TIM MERRETT: DISPLACEMENETS AND RECOLLECTIONS Christine Klassen Gallery, Calgary, May 9-Jun 14 Peterborough artist Tim Merrett butts art historical representation up against modernist abstraction in works that ask us to reconsider our relationship with both cultural history and the visual realm. Borrowing subjects and techniques from “old masters” – from the painters of the Dutch Golden Age to Fantin Latour and Edouard Manet – Merrett frames his appropriated images with panels or passages of colour field painting and monochrome abstraction. “I am always seeking historical references, markers, departure points as a means of understanding things around me,” he says.

Jill Stanton
Jill Stanton

Matt Gould
Matt Gould

Brenda Danbrook
Brenda Danbrook

Wosene Worke Kosrof
Wosene Worke Kosrof

Tim Merrett
Tim Merrett

 Sun, Apr 6, 2014