WAG Exhibition Inspired by the Written Word

A picture is worth a thousand words. It may be a cliché but a new exhibition coming to the Winnipeg Art Gallery May 5 proves it is definitely true. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words consists of more than three dozen artworks inspired by the written word, drawing from richly varied literary, poetic, and mythological traditions. Chosen largely from the WAG’s 20th century collection, they include examples of painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, contemporary studio ceramics, and decorative art.

“For centuries there has been a link between visual art and the written word,” says WAG Chief Curator Helen Delacretaz. “Artists have long been inspired by great works of fiction or poetry, bringing them to life through paint or stone. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words is an exploration of the literary theme.”

Included in the exhibition are two ink drawings by Bertram Brooker, inspired by the writings of Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky. Also on view is Métis artist Rosalie Favell’s captivating photograph entitled I awoke to find my spirit had returned (1999), reimagining an episode from the story The Wizard of Oz. Engaging, large scale contemporary ceramic work by Akio Takamori, Maurice Savoie, and Jordon Van Sewell refer to mythological legends from ancient Greece, Rome, and China. Aboriginal myths and legends are invoked by the work of Norval Morisseau, Jackson Beardy, Abraham Anghik Ruben and Kiugak Ashoona. 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words was curated by Curatorial Intern Frances Gail who interned at the WAG as part of the Gallery’s ongoing partnership with the University of Winnipeg. It continues until July 29.
Celebrating its centenary in 2012, the Winnipeg Art Gallery is Canada’s oldest civic art gallery and Manitoba’s leading visual arts institution. With a collection of over 24,000 objects spanning many centuries and cultures—including the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art—the WAG is constantly moving between the historical and the contemporary in an effort to engage a growing public with the power of art in our lives. 




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