Fantasy Creatures Coming to the WAG

Visitors to the Winnipeg Art Gallery this summer will enter an enchanted forest inhabited by fantastical creatures created by leading international artists. Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination will have a free public opening at 7pm, Thursday, June 14. It will continue until September 2.

The exhibition includes over 60 works that have been inspired by literature (Aesop’s Fables, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein), science fiction, and genetic experimentation. The artists redirect the emotional associations implicit in their sources—pleasure, fear, wonder, curiosity, and longing—to works of seductive fantasy and uneasy intrigue. They have conceived fantastical humanlike, animal or hybrid creatures to symbolize life’s mysteries, desires, and fears.

“I am thrilled that Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination will be seen in the dynamic spaces of the Winnipeg Art Gallery,” says Mark Scala, Chief Curator, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and curator of the exhibition. “This international compilation, which addresses the imaginative re-composition of the body to echo the dissolution of borders within the self and society, fits well with WAG’s commitment to helping people connect with art in meaningful ways.”

“I was fortunate to see this engaging exhibition at the Frist Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and I’m certain WAG audiences will enjoy exploring the multifaceted works displayed,” says WAG Chief Curator Helen Delacretaz. It’s a fantastic exhibition that considers very topical subjects such as our relationship with animals and the consequences of genetic experimentation.”

The first section of the exhibition focuses on artists whose works adapt, interpret, or critique traditional fairy tales and nursery rhymes. A second section considers the depiction of the monster as a sign of the threatening “other” or the uncontrollable forces of the psyche. The final section investigates genetic experimentation and research, reflecting on scientific developments toward the redefinition of life.

Artists represented in the exhibition include Marcel Dzama, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, David Altmejd, and Paula Rego.

Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination has been organized and circulated by the Frist Center for Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee. A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue which includes an overview by exhibition curator Mark W. Scala is available in the WAG Gallery Shop.

information on the exhibition and programming at

Free Public Opening
Thurs, June 14 – 7-10pm

Drop-In Tours
• Thurs, June 28, 6pm
• Sun, July 29 and Sun, August 26, 2pm

• Fri, June 15, 12:10pm • Talk and performance by artist Sara Woolfalk
• Thurs, July 12, 7pm • Little Red Riding Hood and the Pedophile in Film: Freeway, Hard Candy, and The Woodsman with U of W Professors Pauline Greenhill and Steven Kohm
• Fri, July 20, 7pm • Revitalizing Fairy Tales: Feminist and Deviant Artworks with renowned scholarJack Zipes

Thurs, June 21, 7pm • The  Snow Queen and The Red Hood written and directed by Danishka Esterhazy

Art Eats
Thurs, July 19 and Thurs, August 16 • Dinner in Storm Bistro followed by a tour of the exhibition

Art Workshop
Thurs, June 14 and Fri, June 15, 1-4pm • led by acclaimed contemporary artist Diana Thorneycroft





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