The Kunsthalle Zürich is presenting Ian Wallace, one of the most important representatives of Canadian Concept Art. The exhibition entitled A Literature of Images, which is supported by the Deutsche Bank Stiftung, shows works by the artist (who was born in 1943) from the 1970s up to the present day. Wallace is considered a key figure of the so-called Vancouver School, which renewed photography with conceptual approaches. In the course of his many years as a professor, among other places at the University of British Columbia, he influenced an entire generation of artists, including Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham, and Stan Douglas. While his work is exhibited in leading museums in the U.S. and Canada, the artist is not very well known in Europe as of yet.
Wallace's starting point is abstract painting influenced by Minimal Art. Since the late 1960s, the artist has mainly worked with the medium of photography. In his photographic work he examines the status of the picture - its representative function, the political and social implications, and the transfer of meaning in the art context.
At the center of the exhibition are works that explore the relationship between picture and literature as well as works dealing with urban spaces - for instance, the series In the Street (1988-89). A further important focus is the series At Work (1983 to the present), in which Ian Wallace engages with the role of the artist and the function of the studio.
The show at the Kunsthalle Zürich was conceived together with the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam and the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen in Düsseldorf. Each of the institutions has its own thematic focus. While the Witte de With is concentrating on the political dimension of Wallace's photography, the Kunstverein is presentingh works dealing with the themes of staging and reality.
Ian Wallace - A Literature of Images
November 15, 2008 - January 11, 2009