My Daily Art

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Artist Cliff Eyland takes pictures of his work at the new fall exhibit, The 80s Image, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. Winnipeg Free Press 2018.

For me, the Winnipeg artist Cliff Eyland cannot be defined by one of his paintings, photo-based works or any art object.

When I think of Cliff, I am immediately drawn to the way he looks at the view or the object before he documents it – his perspectives, interventions, installations, and a basic rethinking of how we see and engage with art.

It’s true his pieces at the WAG still include the standard genres – portraits, landscapes, figures, still lifes – but these images have been rethought and reapplied, taking on a whole new iconography. Of course he might disagree with me – and I might be entirely wrong.

Either way, I love the way Cliff can take something, craft it into something new, and then add to that – on the surface and deep into the piece. Size does not matter here – unless we’re talking about numbers and  multiples versus dimensions. His approach has penetrated museums, libraries, and public spaces across the country – not just the walls but the spaces between the object and the viewer. These works stay with us in some form – strange comfort and pleasure.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Artist Cliff Eyland takes pictures of his work at the new fall exhibit, The 80s Image, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. Winnipeg Free Press 2018.

Cliff Eyland. Self Portrait with Group of Seven Stamp, from the series ID Paintings, 1986. Polaroid photograph, acrylic on masonite, 7.5 x 12.7 cm. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of the artist. 2008-148.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Artist Cliff Eyland poses with his work at the new fall exhibit, The 80s Image, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. Winnipeg Free Press 2018.

 

Cliff Eyland. After Hilliard, from the series ID Paintings, 1990. mixed media, acrylic, colour photocopy on masonite, 7.5 x 12.7 cm. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of the artist, 2008-159.

 

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Artist Cliff Eyland takes pictures of his work at the new fall exhibit, The 80s Image, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. Winnipeg Free Press 2018.

Cliff Eyland. Northern Scramblers, from the series ID Paintings, 2007. acrylic on masonite, 7.5 x 12.7 cm. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of the artist, 2008-175.

While the WAG is temporarily closed, this series of posts from Director & CEO, Dr. Stephen Borys, shares an artwork from the collection every day until the Gallery reopens. Follow along on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter, or visit our stories section for this and more [email protected] content.

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