Robert Archambeau Exhibition at WAG Focuses on the Artist’s Drawings

Robert Archambeau Exhibition at WAG Focuses on the Artist’s Drawings

Artist Robert Archambeau is best known for his functional pots with their confident profiles, subtle wood-fired glazes, and meticulous finishes. But a new exhibition opening at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on February 15 turns in a new direction. Drawn and Fired: Recent Vessels by Robert Archambeau exhibits his drawings produced over the past three years, complemented by examples of his ceramics drawn from the WAG’s collection. The exhibition continues until April 28.

Honoured in 2003 with the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, Archambeau was the first Manitoba artist to be recognized with this prestigious award.

“Robert Archambeau has always been one to sketch and develop ideas on paper to explore later in his vessels, says Helen Delacretaz, Chief Curator. “Recently he has turned to drawing as an independent art form rather than a preparatory exercise. As with his ceramics, his approach is considered and rigorous. He sources exquisite paper, such as handmade sheets from Japan, upon which to execute his seemingly spontaneous and gestural portraits of vessels. But as with his pots, everything is worked and reworked, investigated and mined for potential. The surfaces of his drawings are layered, his mediums varied. The textures of his ceramics emerge in the rubbed surfaces, or the silk textiles laid and affixed to the paper. The minimalistic aesthetic of his drawings is indicative of the deceptive simplicity of his clay vessels. The earthy, robust physicality of his pots are complemented by the heady odour of ink and varnish and the tactile nature of the woven pulp surfaces.”

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The Winnipeg Art Gallery is celebrating its Centennial year with an unparalleled series of exhibitions, programs, and events promoting the power of art in life. As Manitoba's leading art museum, the WAG is home to over 26,000 works of art spanning ten centuries, including the world's preeminent collection of contemporary Inuit art.

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Heather Mousseau
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