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 Back  Vignettes | Alberta | September-October 2016

By Robin Laurence

HOLGER KALBERG: THE COLONY Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Jun 24-Sep 11 Well known for his paintings of architectural subjects, Winnipeg artist Holger Kalberg shifts his investigation of Modernist tropes into new territory. The Colony is a mixed-media installation that brings together painted and sculptural elements to unsettle our understanding of abstraction, representation, high art, low craft and utopian ideals of the 1960s and ’70s. The resulting odd and enigmatic “portraits” suggest a nostalgic longing for a lost conception of the future.

LAURA WIDMER: THRESHOLD Alberta Printmakers Gallery, Calgary, Sep 9-Oct 15 Kelowna-based printmaker Laura Widmer creates large-scale linocuts that celebrate the physical and the handmade in an age of digital media. Strings of pearls – draped or tangled, held tightly or offered freely – are a recurring image among the partial figures depicted here. Loaded with cultural references, the pearls evoke ideas of permanence and impermanence, intimacy and openness, while also suggesting many possible social histories and personal narratives.

BRADLEY HARMS: TILT Newzones, Calgary, Sep 17-Oct 15 In his new series of paintings, Bradley Harms explores ideas of mechanical perfection (once exemplified by minimalism and hard-edge painting) as mediated by mark-making (as seen in Abstract Expressionism). His “wobbly modernism” creates a tension between the serious and the humorous while also posing questions about the “authenticity” of different modes of abstraction.

GENERATIONS Nickle Galleries, Calgary, Sep 23-Dec 10 Subtitled “50 Years of Art at the University and Beyond,” this exhibition celebrates the establishment of the Art Department at the University of Calgary in 1966. Working across a wide range of media, instructors and alumni epitomize the energy and achievements of the studio program. Artists include John Hall, Mary Scott, Marigold Santos and Jason Frizzel in a survey that guest curator Mary-Beth Laviolette describes as “anecdotal and selective.”

DAMIAN MOPPETT + RON MOPPETT Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Sep 17-Jan 8 It has to be more than a coincidence that Calgary’s Ron Moppett and Vancouver’s Damian Moppett are father and son. The AGA exhibition, however, focuses not so much on that relationship as on the parallels in their creative practices. Subtitled “Every Story Has Two Sides,” the show’s paintings, sculptures and mixed-media installations demonstrate how each artist references art history and questions the studio as the site of creative production.

Holger Kalberg
Holger Kalberg

Laura Widmer
Laura Widmer

Bradley Harms
Bradley Harms

John Hall
John Hall

Damian Moppett
Damian Moppett

 Sat, Sep 10, 2016