New Iconographies: Selections from the Permanent Collection

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Rosemary Kowalsky, Fleur du Mal, 1988, mixed media on canvas, 195 by 76.5 cm. Collection of The University of Winnipeg. Gift of the Estate of Rosemary and Cliff Kowalsky.

March 20 - December 7, 2012

Location: The University of Winnipeg Archives
Access via University Library entrance, 4th floor of Centennial Hall

New Iconographies is a modest exhibition curated by Emily Doucet that includes a selection of five works by Manitoba artists from The University of Winnipeg’s permanent art collection. The pieces were originally chosen to highlight recent gifts to the collection and in consideration of the pedagogical and collegial relationships between the artists, all of whom were students and/or teachers at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art. Bringing together diverse images and media, works by Sheila Butler, Rosemary Kowalsky, Tom Lovatt and Ivan Eyre are displayed in The University of Winnipeg Archives. The juxtaposition of these works, created between 1977 and 2007, reveals the artists’ shared use of art historical themes.

Two pieces by Rosemary Kowalsky from the mid-1980s – one mixed media canvas and a second work on paper – employ the iconography of garden tools and floral imagery to reference the local sex trade. Kowalsky’s work is shown alongside Sheila Butler’s 1979 lithograph of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Both of these women artists touch upon issues of gender and power through the inclusion of canonical symbols or figures.

A recent oil painting by Tom Lovatt finds its focal point in the oft-depicted religious narrative of Christ’s descent from the cross which is contrasted with an etching of a wrapped figure created by Lovatt’s former teacher Ivan Eyre some thirty years prior. As with Lovatt’s Deposition, Eyre’s portrait explores visual traditions of Western painting and drawing in a contemporary manner. By employing art historical themes and iconography in their art, Eyre and Lovatt have resisted the allure of figurative and non-figurative abstraction used by so many artists working in the latter half of the twentieth century. The current exhibition of these five works is indicative of the ways in which these four artists have forged new iconographies throughout their respective practices.

Exhibition Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed statutory holidays.
Admission to exhibition is free and open to everyone.
The University of Winnipeg Archives is located in the University’s Library which can be accessed via the 4th floor of Centennial Hall.

Jennifer Gibson
Gallery 1C03
The University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB  R3B 2E9
Ph: 204.786.9253
F: 204.774.4134