Spring and Summer WAG@The Park Exhibitions: Through the Eyes of a Child, Tranquil Phillips, Unsettling Eyre
Winnipeg, Manitoba, March 25, 2019: This spring and summer, visitors to the Assiniboine Park Conservancy (APC) will have the opportunity to take in three WAG@The Park exhibitions, presented inside the Pavilion. Children’s artwork from WAG Studio classes will be on display alongside the work of Manitoba artists Walter J. Phillips and Ivan Eyre, which evoke strikingly different moods.
WAG@The Park is a partnership between the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) and the APC! The shows are curated by the WAG, with artworks drawn from both the APC and WAG collections. The galleries are open daily from 9am to 5pm and entry is free! Guided tours are available year-round.
Through the Eyes of a Child
March 23-May 12, 2019 • Community Gallery • The Pavilion, 2nd floor
• For the 2019 edition of Through the Eyes of a Child, the children in WAG Studio’s collaboration-focused art classes went beyond their own individual creativity by working together.
• After viewing work by the Canadian artist collective General Idea while touring The 80s Image at the WAG, the students were inspired to share materials and a studio space while they collaborated on their pieces like many artist collectives before them. The spirit of collaboration in this show proves that creative minds coming together is powerful at any age.
• Each year, over 400 students take part in art classes sponsored by Winnipeg School Division. With the support of the Associates of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the APC the WAG is able to showcase the work of these talented young artists.
W.J. Phillips and His Contemporaries
Until May 12, 2019 • John P. Crabb Gallery • The Pavilion, 2nd floor
• W.J. Phillips and His Contemporaries invites visitors to enjoy some of Phillips’ finest watercolours and woodcuts – many depicting the peaceful lakeshores of Canadian cottage country – alongside works from the same period by his artistic associates. In simply-framed works dating from 1913 to the 1940s, Phillips interprets places such as Lake of the Woods and Muskoka, Ont. in a thoughtful, beautifully composed way, expressing reverence for nature.
• This tranquil show presents nearly 50 watercolours and woodcuts by Phillips in the context of select watercolours and prints by 12 artists whom he learned from, worked alongside and mentored, including Franklin Carmichael, Charles Comfort, Alison Newton, Alexander Musgrove, L.L. FitzGerald and Pauline Boutal.
• The British-born Phillips immigrated to Canada in 1913, settling in Winnipeg. Viewers are encouraged to compare his technique and vision with those of his contemporaries. For instance, he and Musgrove, a close friend, both painted views of the same dock on Lake of the Woods, with Musgrove displaying a more gestural, fluid style.
• The curator Andrew Kear, WAG Chief Curator and Curator of Canadian Art, positions some works on opposite walls, inviting direct comparison. For example, a snowy scene by Lynn Sissons called After the Blizzard (1939) hangs opposite Phillips’ Winter Forage (1937).
A Sense of Scale: The Art of Ivan Eyre, 1970–2000
Through Summer 2019 • Ivan Eyre Gallery • The Pavilion, 3rd floor
• This show continues where the 2017 WAG@The Park exhibition Wasteland Dreamland: Early Works by Ivan Eyre, 1957-1969 left off.
• It features more than 50 works spanning 1970 to 2000, including acrylic and oil paintings, drawings and sculpture. Eyre’s career flourished in this period, when he developed his most defining imagery.
• A Sense of Scale: The Art of Ivan Eyre, 1970–2000 features many paintings and drawings with an edgy, ominous tone. The show’s mood is unsettling as the viewer encounters the strangeness and distortion of landscapes, objects and human figures out of Eyre’s subconscious.
• His recurring images include human silhouettes that act as “windows” to landscapes and enigmatic human figures wearing masks, head coverings or wrappings.
• Also curated by Kear, the exhibition emphasizes Eyre’s approach to communicating scale and rendering distance.
Phillips was an active and vocal figure within Canada’s artistic community, an influential teacher and a gifted writer and critic. This show reminds us that even a century ago, Manitoba had a lively creative scene in which painters and printmakers were trading ideas, supporting one another’s development and influencing the course of Canadian art. He was a traditionalist who valued technical mastery above all else.
In Eyre’s unconventional work, the external world – whether a forest or a tea cup – always appears filtered through the artist’s private and deeply internalized creative approach. The artist’s landscapes seem rendered in microscopic detail. His still lifes, on the other hand, often have a sort of monumentality. Together they are disorienting, and this quest to disorient and destabilize the viewer lies at the heart of what Eyre has always been about.
—Andrew Kear, Chief Curator and Curator of Canadian Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery
The beauty and the wonder of Nature were as alluring as the pursuit of Art and made of me a landscape painter.
—Walter J. Phillips, “Wet Paint,” p. 45, JCC.
I am uncompromising and unshackled in my work and trusting in my instincts... I continue to follow my imagination and invite opposing thoughts and images to enter my work.
Art classes for kids deliver much more than learning techniques. Nurturing relationships with other creative-minded people is a significant aspect of artmaking and our classes provide students with that opportunity. By encouraging the students to work with one another, we see them become inspired by their peers, feel a sense of validation, build friendships, and create beautiful art. Through the Eyes of a Child is not just a display of young people’s artwork, it’s a display of connections.
—Cara Mason, Acting Studio Programs Manager
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Director, Development & Marketing
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Communications & Marketing Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Manager, Communications & Public Relations
Assiniboine Park Conservancy
About the Winnipeg Art Gallery
The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. The WAG holds in trust the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art on earth. To celebrate the art and to honour the Inuit, the WAG is building the Inuit Art Centre, the first of its kind in the world. Opening in 2020, the Centre will bridge Canada’s North and South through exhibitions, research, education, and art making.
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