Ways of Seeming

Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art

Alison Norlen, Victoria Bridge, 2012. Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor; funds administered by the Winnipeg Foundation and with funds from the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance program.

JULY 14-NOV 4, 2018

Ways of Seeming brings together key contemporary acquisitions purchased by the WAG between 2008 and 2016. View the work of a dozen photographers, painters, sculptors, and craft artists with an interest in the way that things-objects and ideas-are not always what they seem.

Artists have always been fascinated by visual uncertainty. Lisa Klapstock's photographs explore how camera framing constructs the way we see and experience a given environment. Paul Butler's Edited Drawings appear to be collaged abstractions, when in fact the artist uses an assortment of adhesive tape to redact his own failed drawings.

Contemporary art has also become increasingly entangled with issues that go beyond the optical. In Ways of Seeming, a number of artists use images and objects to raise conceptual questions about the relationship between fact and stereotype, history and fiction, original and copy. KC Adams' cyborg hybrid portraits combine the pictorial vocabularies of 19th century ethnographic and modern fashion photography to celebrate individuality and undermine racist cliché. Alison Norlen's Victoria Bridge brings imaginative life and whimsy to a seemingly inert piece of utilitarian engineering by tying it to historical lore.

Above all, Ways of Seeming highlights the degree to which contemporary artists engage with the broader project of questioning common assumptions about the world, what it is and the myriad ways we relate to it.

Lisa Klapstock., Banff (Norquay), from the series Ambiguous Landscapes, 2005. C-print on paper, 1/5. 120 x 151.1 cm. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Photograph: Courtesy of the artist.

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