An admirer of the post-World War I photomontages of German artist, Hannah Hoch, Vancouver-based Marcia Pitch juxtaposes colloquial expressions, proverbs and clichés with magazine clippings, manufactured kitsch and reclaimed objects to produce densely layered, visually textured and brightly coloured assemblages. Paint, paper, plastic toy soldiers, doll heads, screws, trophies and puzzle pieces jostle for space in her three-dimensional creations. Through the use of irony and satire, Pitch urges us to consider the problems and injustices of society.
In her artist's statement, she notes: "I am driven to reuse, rethink and redefine. I have taken images from their original contexts and reworked them, giving the viewer new insights into our past and present. These wall pieces are reminiscent of shrine-like tableaux or folk art altars that meld the conscious and unconscious and are an expression of life's joy and tragedy."
Pitch adds that she is fascinated by the odd beauty of the plastic parts she uses in her work. "Although I am speaking about our ‘throw away' society," says the artist, "I choose junk that is aesthetically pleasing to my eye. In some sense I love this urban garbage."
The work in Bite My Tongue: Art with Teeth is at once disturbing and amusing, with references to violence, conformity, beauty and childhood.
Winnipeg-born Pitch obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts (sculpture) from the University of Manitoba in 1968. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows across Canada, including Theatre Tableaux at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1988. Between 1994 and 1996, she executed public art projects for the Vancouver School Board (Queen Mary School) and the Arbutus Shopping Centre (Vancouver). A recipient of several Canada Council grants, her work is in the collections of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Burnaby Art Gallery.
On Friday, March 2 at 12:30 p.m., there will be a free artist's talk in the Gallery.