GLENN LEWIS: Real Nature Morte, Tie Die, and Some Other Things
Real Nature Morte, Tie Die, and Some Other Things
Opening: Saturday, February 25, 2023, 2-4 PM
Exhibition: February 25 – March 25, 2023
Hours: Tues to Sat, 12-5 PM
1129 East Hastings St.
Canada V6A 1S3
A statement from the artist:
“My practice from 1961 to 2023 – 63 years – has involved a broad palette of materials and forms. In this present exhibition I was interested in using a painting genre – still life or nature morte – but making objects in ceramics along with found things, and presenting them in still life as photographs. They involved research, combining historical information, drawing on famous still life paintings by European artists of the 17th century, as well as by the modern painters, such as Paul Cézanne, but reflecting the realities of contemporary art and the present historical moment. Holbein’s Renaissance painting, The Ambassadors, a portrait of two men within a still life painting who were reputed to be lovers or “married”, carries a number of secrets and messages within the assemblage of objects. Cézanne and Morandi kept a collection of pottery, skulls, small sculptures, furniture, and other objects as “props” that they used repeatedly in their still life paintings, providing a physical vocabulary to construct narratives. I liked this as an exploration of techne in contemporary life by creating, in addition to the photographs, small still life using the same “props” or objects. I have worked on this project, that was supported by a Canada Council grant, for almost three years now.”
Born on Vancouver Island in 1935, GLENN LEWIS lives and works in Vancouver. He graduated from the Vancouver School of Art (1954-58) and apprenticed with the potter, Bernard Leach in Cornwall (1961-63). He was instrumental in the formation and work of collective artists’ organizations: Intermedia (1967-75), and Western Front (1973-87) in Vancouver; and served on a number of arts organizations: the Board of Directors of: LIVE Vancouver Performance Art Festival (2007-present); Vancouver Art Gallery (1986-87); Vice President of the Association of National Non-Profit Artist Centres (ANNPAC) (1980-81); Vancouver Art Gallery (1973-76); Director, Western Front Society, Vancouver Art Gallery (1974-87); Intermedia Society, Vancouver (1970-72); taught ceramics: University of BC (1964-67, and 1971-74); N.Y. State College of Ceramics, Alfred University, New York State (1970-71); worked as Head of Media Arts, Canada Council, Ottawa (1987-90), organized and founding Director of Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden (2005-06).
Lewis has travelled widely, mainly to photograph gardens. He has received several awards: ‘Emily’ Award, Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, Vancouver (2000); six Canada Council grants (1967 – 2020); Governor General’s Award in Visual Arts (2017). An innovative first-generation conceptual mixed media artist, Lewis has worked with pottery, sculpture, performance, mail art, collage, photographs, video and installation since the early 1960s. The scope and intellectual pursuits of his work range across concept, fiction, myth and community concerns. He was one of the earliest innovators in performance art with Flour Piece in 1968 at the VAG, and video performances, Japanese Pickle and Blue Tape Around City Block, both in 1969. Most recently, he has produced ceramic pots paired with photographs, a poetical association that reintegrates or combines craft as art (techne), and now, still life made with ceramics and found materials as sculptures and as photographs.
Image: GLENN LEWIS, The Oyster’s Dream, 19L x 17w x 10.5h cm, 2022, oyster shell, stoneware on wooden plinth