Abstract Objectives: Painting and Sculpture, 1950-Present

Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline, DST RZ FLD, 2013 oil on canvas, Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2004-51

Abstract Objectives: Painting and Sculpture, 1950-Present draws from the WAG’s permanent collection, bringing together paintings and sculptures created between 1950 and the present day by mostly Canadian artists. The selection underlines some of the shifting parameters and motivations that have shaped abstract art over the past 60 years.

Canvases by artists from Jean-Paul Riopelle and Harold Town to Robert Houle and Chris Dorosz reveal how titles have been used to poetically convey representational content through otherwise non-representational imagery. Paintings by Yves Gaucher and Harry Kiyooka stimulate and ignite the viewer’s raw sensory experience, whereas works by Sol LeWitt, Irene Whittome, and Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline highlight (rather than try to hide) the atypically systematic processes from which they were generated. Finally, the exhibition also includes pieces challenging the assumption that abstraction is always a final destination and never the starting point from which a reinvestigation of representational imagery might begin. As canvases by Kazuo Nakamura and Paterson Ewen show, the lessons of abstraction may also lend themselves to reinterpreting the world around us.

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