Saskatoon’s Remai Modern has announced a new member to their curatorial team.
Tarah Hogue will join the museum as its inaugural Indigenous art curator in October, coming to Saskatoon from the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG). Most recently she was inaugural senior curatorial fellow of Indigenous art at the VAG.
Hogue, a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta originally from Red Deer, said she is excited about coming back to the Prairies.
“I’m really looking forward to returning to that setting and being able to focus on artists from Treaty 6 territory and from the prairies more broadly,” she said.
Hogue said she grew up surrounded by art and culture thanks to her mother, who had a career working in textiles. Although she has worked in Vancouver for her entire career, she said she has travelled to museums in Europe and the U.S. since she was a child and has a feeling for the behind-the-scenes environment of art.
Local artist hopes gallery improves outreach
Hogue hasn’t started developing any projects yet for the Remai Modern, but a Saskatoon artist said he hopes Hogue’s position will be an opportunity for local Indigenous talent.
Kevin L. Pee-Ace, who is a member of the Yellowquill and Peter Chapman First Nations, paints full time in Saskatoon. He said there is a lack of connection between the art gallery and artists in the community.
“I have nothing against what they are bringing in in terms of world class art and artists,” Pee-Ace said. “But I do believe that they do lack local flavour.”
Relationship building part of new job
Hogue said her work in Saskatoon will include research, working alongside artists, planning exhibitions at the Remai Modern, publishing catalogues, building collections of Indigenous art and building relationships with the community.
“Indigenous art is near and dear to my heart,” Hogue said.
“Any exhibition that brings a new lens or a deeper focus to that work in those art histories, that’s really what excites me.”
Pee-Ace said Remai Modern made a good first step bringing on a curator for Indigenous art and that the museum could be a stepping stone for local talent and their careers.
“Those possibilities exist in a small community like Saskatoon,” Pee-Ace said.
“We all need to be included in getting work in there to do exhibitions … but it remains to be seen if this is the direction that the gallery wants to pursue.”
Reopening of art museum
Remai Modern, which has been closed for months due to COVID-19, will reopen its doors to the public on August 13. Members of the museum will get exclusive access a week earlier.
With files from Saskatoon Morning
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CORNWALL, Ontario – 15 artists participated in Art-A-Thon, organized by 125 Pitt Street Studios, held on Pitt Street near First Street on July 31 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Mandy Prevost, one of the organizers of the event, explained this event helps to raise funds and awareness for the 2021 Cornwall Art Walk. She wished to thank thanking the Happy Popcorn Company for the use of the space near their store and Modern Primitive for Henna.
Prevost explained this year’s Art Walk will feature performers, artists and artisans on Pitt Street between Second and Water Streets and run between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday August 27. Organized under the auspices of Your Art Council, Cornwall & the Counties (YAC) the event will provide visitors with the opportunity to enjoy dramatic presentations, musical pieces and view work created by local artists and artisans.
She anticipates 30 different artists will be participating in the Art Walk and mentioned that there would be the opportunity to purchase works during that event. More information on this event and other initiatives from YAC on their Facebook page or by visiting their website at www.yourartscouncil.ca.
Highlights from 'With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985' – Interior Design
Writing wall labels for an exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in 2016 led to curator Anna Katz’s discovery of an American art movement from 1970s. “After completing a Ph.D. in contemporary art, I was astonished to have never heard of Pattern and Decoration and some of its key artists, such as Kim MacConnel,” she tells Interior Design. The first thing Katz embarked on upon becoming the museum’s in-house curator the following year was an exhibition that would put the influential but somewhat forgotten movement back on the map.
“With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985” opened at MOCA in October, 2019 with a display of around 50 artists whose work between early 1970s and mid-‘80s defied the era’s male-dominated minimalism with interpretation of craft and decorative techniques, “while using abstraction with forceful presence,” according to the curator. The show recently traveled to the Hessel Museum of Art at the Bard College campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, to emphasize the movement’s exchange between East and West Coasts as well as to continue the conversation around Pattern and Decoration (also known as P&D)’s influence on artists who insistently use craft today.
“When I visit young artists’ studios, I see how craft has become a tool to talk about marginalization and value,” Katz explains. P&D’s unsung motto of “more is more” echoes in contemporary artists, who according to the curator, believe “what’s considered unnecessary is necessary; over the top, just the right amount;” and “irrelevant, exceptional.”
She had initially planned a show that would perhaps be “a sharp edge of a wedge,” but her three years of research and visits to many attics and storage facilities led her towards an expansive direction. Besides the movement’s critical figures, such as Cynthia Carlson, Joyce Kozloff, Kim MacConnel, and Miriam Schapiro, artists who have not necessarily been considered a part of P&D also made the cut. “I am not claiming Lynda Benglis or Al Loving were a part of the group, but there is a tremendous crossover between the core artists and others’ overturning of hierarchies of western art tradition which gerrymandered to exclude anyone except white and male.”
Fabrics with bright sequins or gaudy-colored ceramics may now prevail contemporary art galleries, “but that was not the case back then,” Katz reminds and adds: “The show helps to understand why the current norm was so radical at time and recover artistic voices that has informed today’s artists to speak about political and social movements.”
This very connection between the past and present prompted the Denny Dimin Gallery in Manhattan to organize the ongoing group exhibition, “Fringe.” “Some of our gallery artists, including Amanda Valdez, Justine Hill, and Future Retrieval, are unabashedly influenced by the 1970s movement,” says co-founder Elizabeth Denny. “There are many new conversations to have about the role of the artist in terms of gender and identity that many of the P&D artists were having, which are still so important today.” “Fringe” includes 12 contemporary artists who adapt craft techniques, including sewing or floral arrangement, to deliver statements on race, identity, and gender. Artist Justine Hill, who also assisted Denny in organizing the show, sees the show as an opportunity to expand on a major influence on her work, “and bring that interest out of the studio to think about my peers through a P&D lens.”
Interior Design has picked highlights from the Hessel Museum of Art’s ongoing exhibition at Bard College, “With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985,” in addition to a few from “Fringe” in Manhattan.
Jane Kaufman, Embroidered, Beaded Crazy Quilt, 1983-85
Kaufman, according to Katz, “defied the logic that women historically did not make art.” For this nocturnal-hued quilt, the artist used over one hundred historical embroidery stitches dating as far as the 16th century. Kaufman studied them at The Textile Museum in Washington D.C. after she curated the very first P&D exhibition in 1976 at Alessandra Gallery in Manhattan with 10 artists, many of whom are in the current show. “The work of women artists for hundreds of years have been broadly called decoration, and Kaufman’s work shows decoration is worthy of admiration,” adds Katz. Often times intentional, the materials used by the women artists reflect their limited resources under the shadow of their male peers.
Cynthia Carlson, Tough Shift for M.I.T., 1981-2019
Architecture, especially Bauhaus, was an influence among the artists of this group. “Not its [Ludwig] Mies van der Rohe-led later stage, but the early Weimar era,” Katz notes. This connection is most apparent in Carlson’s wallpaper-looking painting of floral patterns. The curator also makes a parallel between the artist’s attempt to make-do with a given platform and inherent nature of decoration. “Unlike a painter working autonomously with an easel, Carlson shows the decoration’s dependence on presumed architecture,” she says. The artist first created the immersive installation, for which she applied paint directly onto the walls, for M.I.T. with cake-frosting tools. Between embracing decoration, domestic tools, and so-called feminine imagery of flowers, Carlson—who has recreated the same installation for the Hessel Museum of Art show—builds an expansive panorama of the movement for today’s viewers.
Sylvia Sleigh, The Turkish Bath, 1973
A figurative painting of male nudes may come off as an unexpected entry to an exhibition about abstraction and craft. Sleigh’s painting, however, sets the overall show’s tone and injects the viewer into the movement’s place and time. In addition to subverting art history’s fascination for female nudity through unrobing the opposite gender, Sleigh also juxtaposes a who’s who of P&D through placing three key male figures—all nude—in front of a geometric tapestry that salutes the movement’s core aesthetic. John Perrault, who organized P&D’s first museum exhibition at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1) at Long Island City in 1977 takes the painting’s center stage with his gaze locked away from the painter’s. Artist Scott Burton is rendered as perched over his legs on which he rests his hands, while critic Carter Ratcliff who supported the movement with his essays and reviews sits over a chair behind other men.
Tina Girouard, Maintenance III, 1973
This 27-minute projection zooms onto Girouard’s lap while she tends a group of floral fabrics which she inherited from her uncle, Sullivan. Throughout the video, she rinses, sews, and folds the materials while the radio in the background plays content that ranges from the time’s popular tunes, advertisement, and political updates. A song from Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon album is followed by a car dealership advertisement, and we eventually hear the most recent development in the Watergate hearings. “That big ‘a-ha’ moment is critical about the movement’s queering of not only contemporary art but the broader authority,” says Katz. The topics’ relevancy to the present, particularly a few years ago during the curator’s research for the show, is further striking.
Takako Yamaguchi, Magnificat #6, 1984
Despite its rebellious nature, P&D always struggled with inclusivity and remained a heavily white movement. Moreover, appropriation of Asian, Middle Eastern, African and Indigenous craft was a common practice—although most artists committed to research and travel to understand the geographies they found themselves strongly influenced by. In addition to being the youngest artist in the exhibition’s checklist, Yamaguchi is particular for her take on Japanese art tradition. The California-based artist’s large-scale bronze leaf and glitter-heavy painting satirizes the West’s notions on Japanese Minimalism and the moderate use of expression with a medley of inspirations that range from kimonos to bedroom dividers to architecture. “She was against expectations and responded with Maximalism,” says Katz.
Howardena Pindell, Untitled #19, 1977
Similar to the show’s other Black artists, such as Sam Gilliam or Faith Ringgold, Pindell was not directly involved with P&D; however, her utilization of the time’s unconventional materials is strikingly similar to many members’. During her role at the feminist A.I.R. Gallery in the late ‘70s, Pindell worked with un-stretched canvases and sewed bits of shredded fabrics into paintings. Although this painting does not include her other signature materials, such as animal hair, perfume or glitter, the heavily manual technique and its quilt-like aesthetic is a strong example of Pindell’s inspiration from her travels to West and East Africa as well as challenging of feminism’s favoring of whiteness through her democratic technique.
Miriam Schapiro, Heartland, 1985
Older and more established than her peers, Schapiro was considered an authority in strategies around collage, decoration and feminism that set the movement’s foundation. Schapiro’s coining of the term femmage to define female collage perhaps cast the biggest impact on P&D artists who elaborated on unapologetic femininity and implementation of found everyday materials. In the shape of a heart, similar to Schapiro’s numerous other works, this assembly of stuff includes found fabric cut-outs sewn together with a commitment to traditional quilter patterns. The work is a mosaic of generations-long female labor and assumption of a supposedly domestic aesthetic with an unabashedly kitsch silhouette of a heart.
Justine Hill, The Arch, 2021
Known for her bright-colored whimsical cut-out paintings, Hill cites Cynthia Carlson, who is also a part of “Fringe,” as a strong influence, and this acrylic and paper arch-like painting is a stark proof. Similar to Carlson’s use interiority and painting through form, Hill creates portals for the subliminal with zigzagged gestures and immediate forms which absorb the viewer through their playfulness. The similarity between two artist’s contribution to the Denny Dimin show also lies in their use of multiple panels to play with painting’s notion of flatness and unity.
Josie Love Roebuck, Farm Boy, 2020
Figuration rarely made its way into P&D artists’ fabrics and yarns, but numerous threads of techniques in Roebuck’s portrait of a Black boy tie her work with the movement. Sewn and printed onto un-stretched canvas, the square-formed “painting” holds buttons, fabric and yarn that yield the boy’s piercing expression and ruby-colored shirt with geometric patterns. He blends into the background of patched light-hued fabrics. “The inclusion of artists of color and a non-binary into a conversation around who is allowed to claim the domestic space felt like a natural expansion of P&D ideas,” says Hill. “If the movement was aimed at inclusion and a non-hierarchical appreciation of art, then these voices are necessary to talk about its legacy today.”
Max Colby, They Consume Each Other #1, 2019-21
Similar to artists of color, queer artists were invisible throughout P&D’s roster. Colby’s elaborate installation of beads, faux flowers, sequins, ribbons, fabric and jewelry is a flamboyant celebration of self-expression through the artist’s meticulous process of utopian construction of a universe. “Max may not list P&D as a direct influence but the work uses forms and materials more associated with ritual or craft than art, and the topics discussed such as gender, power and beauty—all feel like topics the P&D artists would rally behind,” says Hill. Connected to the movement through her commitment to handwork, labor, and color, Colby builds a set-like small scale glass towers crowned with lush arrangements that burst with color and materials. The viewer is invited for a full tour around an impossibly colorful and joyfully queer banquet of shiny glass beads and lush surfaces.
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