WAG Announces Selection of Artists for Major Contemporary Show

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012, the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is Canada’s oldest civic art gallery and one of the country’s largest. The WAG is planning a milestone year of celebrations of art, programs, and special events from September 2012 through August 2013. It all kicks off on September 29, 2012 with the contemporary exhibition Winnipeg Now, featuring thirteen of Winnipeg’s hottest and brightest artists currently shining on the national and international art scene.

Winnipeg Now will showcase the work of the following artists:

• KC Adams (Winnipeg)
• Daniel Barrow (Montreal)
• Paul Butler (Toronto)
• Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan (Winnipeg)
• Michael Dudeck (Winnipeg)
• Marcel Dzama (New York)
• Sarah Anne Johnson (Winnipeg)
• Rodney LaTourelle (Berlin)
• Guy Maddin (Toronto)
• Kent Monkman (Toronto)
• Dominique Rey (Winnipeg)
• Jennifer Stillwell (Winnipeg)

Representing a high calibre of creative practice, a range of disciplines and expertise, the artists all share a common characteristic -- that they identify Winnipeg as “home” regardless of whether they live here or not. Operating under the umbrella of Winnipeg Now, each artist will present a new body of work that has not previously been seen by Winnipeg audiences. In addition to the Winnipeg connection, all of these artists, with one exception, are under the age of 50, representing the current generation of Canadian talent that is achieving significant critical praise.

“This is an exciting initiative which will underline the remarkable talent that has catapulted Winnipeg’s reputation on the international scene as a hot bed of innovative artistic activity,” says WAG Director, Stephen Borys, “and I wanted to launch the WAG’s centennial year with an exhibition that highlights the contemporary currents coming out of Winnipeg and making an impact around the globe.”

The selection process was rigorous and difficult since Winnipeg is home to an incredibly rich community of artists. Many notable Winnipeg artists were not included because the WAG has recently exhibited their work in significant solo exhibitions. The artists chosen for Winnipeg Now were determined by the selection committee consisting of respected arts professionals from across the country. The selection committee members were: Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Bruce Grenville. Senior Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; Robin Metcalfe, Director/Curator of the Saint Mary's University Art Gallery, Halifax; Dr. Johanne Sloan, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Department of Art History, Concordia University, Montreal; along with Mary Reid, former WAG Curator of Contemporary Art and Photography, and WAG Director Stephen Borys.

Two distinguished contemporary art critics from Winnipeg -- Meeka Walsh and Robert Enright -- have been invited to guest curate the exhibition and oversee the production of the accompanying catalogue. “I am thrilled that Meeka and Robert have agreed to work with the WAG on this important project,” says Stephen Borys, “as they represent the best in arts writing and curating in Canada.”

Since 1992 Meeka Walsh has been the editor of Border Crossings, the award-winning, international arts magazine based in Winnipeg. Her writing on art has been published in a number of catalogues in Canada and the U.S. Most recently she wrote 53 entries in the My Winnipeg exhibition catalogue for La maison rouge in Paris. "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work with this fine group of artists on such an important anniversary exhibition," Meeka Walsh said.

Robert Enright is a Winnipeg-based critic and curator. He is the senior contributing editor for Border Crossings magazine and teaches in the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph, where he holds the University Research Chair in Art Theory and Criticism. Robert Enright added that "I feel especially privileged to be working with my colleague, Meeka Walsh, in shaping an exhibition that promises to be as rich and various as are the artists in this extraordinarily gifted community."

The Winnipeg Now public opening will coincide with the WAG’s third all-night Nuit Blanche party on Saturday, September 29, 2012 – and the kick-off of the WAG’s Centennial year celebrations.


Winnipeg Now Artists:

Born in 1971, the Winnipeg-based artist KC Adams graduated from Concordia University with a BFA and works in medium that includes: sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, printmaking and kinetic art. She has been in several solo and group exhibitions, residencies and the Biennale des images du monde in Paris, France.

Daniel Barrow has exhibited widely in Canada and abroad. He has performed at The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), PS1 Contemporary Art Center (New York), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), The International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s 2009 TBA festival, and the British Film Institute (London). Barrow is the 2008 winner of the Images Festival’s Images Prize and the winner of the 2010 Sobey Art Award. He is represented by Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto.

Paul Butler’ s creative and conceptual basis of his art includes hosting the Collage Party and directing The Other Gallery. He has exhibited his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto; White Columns, New York; Creative Growth Art Centre, Oakland and his art was featured in My Winnipeg at La Maison Rouge, Paris. Butler will be the Art Gallery of Ontario's inaugural artist in residence in Fall 2011.


Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan are two of Canada’s best known performance artists. Artistic collaborators since 1989, this Winnipeg-based duo were catapulted into the national spotlight in their early 20s with the controversial, now world-renowned performance piece, We’re Talking Vulva. Since then, this acclaimed duo has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, their film and video works being screened in venues as far-ranging as women's centres in Sri Lanka to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Michael Dudeck Witchdoctor is an artist and cultural engineer whose work reimagines the nature of human origins by blurring collective knowledge surrounding prehistory. His 10-year RELIGION project has involved performances, installations, exhibitions and publications launched nationally and internationally. He is represented by Pari Nadimi Gallery in Toronto.

Marcel Dzama’s work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions, recently including the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands; David Zwirner, New York (both 2011); Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal (2010); and the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2008). His work is in the major collections including the Tate Modern, London, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Winnipeg-based artist Sarah Anne Johnson was trained as a photographer at The University of Manitoba and The Yale School of Art. However, she uses a variety of media to realize her vision, including painting, sculpture and performance because of the intrinsic limitations of representation of the photographic medium. Johnson's work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally.

Following his studies at the University of Manitoba, where he received his Bachelor of Architecture and his Master in Landscape Architecture, LaTourelle has maintained an inter-disciplinary practice as an artist, designer, and writer. His work has been exhibited at numerous venues including the National Gallery, Canada (2008, 2010); Exit Art, New York (2010); University of Quebec, Montreal (2009); Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2009); Artnews Projects, Berlin (2009); Kunsthalle Göppingen, Germany (2008); and Program Gallery, Berlin (2007).

Guy Maddin is a Winnipeg-based filmmaker, writer and installation artist who has made ten feature-length films, including the documentary My Winnipeg and 2011’s Keyhole, and many shorts during a 25-year career. He currently holds the position of Distinguished Artist in Residence at the University of Manitoba.

Kent Monkman is an artist of Cree ancestry who works in a variety of media including painting, film/video, performance and installation. Monkman has exhibited widely within Canada, and is well represented in numerous private and public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. He is represented by Galerie Florent Tosin in Berlin, Bailey Fine Arts in Toronto, Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain in Montreal.

Dominique Rey works in a number of media; she is a painter; a photographer; a video artist; and a performance artist. She has shown her work internationally and she has been awarded numerous grants. She holds MFAs from Bard College and from the Transart Institute. Dominique Rey was named Winnipeg’s Visual Arts Ambassador for the 2010 Cultural Capital of Canada and she was a long list nominee for the 2011 Sobey Art Award.

Jennifer Stillwell received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000 and has since exhibited widely. She has created large-scale solo installations at the Darling Foundry (Montreal), Triple Candie (New York), YYZ Artists’ Outlet (Toronto) and a survey show at Plug In ICA (Winnipeg).

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Debra Fehr
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