Tag Archives: Pan Wendt

Hanging in the Balance

At the CCAG: Collections Show ‘In the Balance’ Explores Tension of Form and Content

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A new exhibition opens next week at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) focusing on the delicate balance in visual art between the material and immaterial. With selections gleaned from the Gallery’s permanent collection, In the Balance explores the tension between form and concept; ideas and matter; making and thinking.

Curated by Pan Wendt, this exhibition opens in the Upper West Gallery at CCAG on Saturday, April 27 and will be on display until the end of the summer, closing September 22, 2019. The works are primarily modern paintings that carry a very material quality.

“There is a long history in Western art of giving priority to design, to the mental picture, to drawing over colour, line over material, spirt over matter,” remarks Wendt. For example, in Renaissance Italy, where so many of our collective ideas about art were first articulated,  this manifested as two rival aesthetic approaches to painting—‘disegno’(design or drawing) versus colore (colour).

Continues Wendt, “We tend to think of perception in terms of the spiritual, or a disembodied experience of form, separated from its material basis, but in fact we are led by touch and other non-visual senses. And thought is itself intertwined with the whole body.”

Following the late 1960s, when this prominence of the formal, conceptual, and ‘optical’ were at their critical height, visual artists increasingly began to develop abstract pieces on the basis of a more materially-grounded conception of the work of art. That is, a process where there the idea stage and the material process were granted equal influence in the final product, and the physical process of making was emphasized.

Featured Canadian examples in the exhibition—from 1970s to the present—include works from: Ron Shuebrook, Harold Klunder, Aganetha Dyck, Ingrid Mary Percy, and Lionel Stevenson. For more information, please visit, confederationcentre.com/gallery

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse
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Back in Time

The Documentary Impulse: 1970s Photography of Prince Edward Island Life

This exhibition will revisit an important 1978 exhibition, Document of our Times, and the work of photographers, Lawrence McLagan, Lionel Stevenson and Jake Werner, hired to document contemporary life on Prince Edward Island. A selection of these images, along with the work of other documentary photographers active in PEI in the 1970s, such as George Zimbel, Richard Furlong, and Edith Robinson, will revisit a moment when preserving evidence of the culture and landscape of the Island seemed particularly urgent in light of their rapid transformation. Curated by Pan Wendt.

Out of the Basement

Sandra Meigs: The Basement Paintings

A series of paintings that transform personal experiences of grief into monumental panoramas of swirling line and intense colour.

In 2012, overwhelmed by grief, Hamilton-based painter Sandra Meigs produced a series of four large-scale paintings that translated her emotional state following the death of her husband into an imagery of subterranean architecture. One of the inspirations for the work was her sister’s basement in New Freedom, Pennsylvania. She found in the claustrophic, disused space, in the arrangements of half-forgotten things, a scene she linked to her emotional state and to the processes of stasis and change that preoccupied her. She described the experience:

“To get into the basement there’s a small door and rickety stairs, the ceiling there is quite low, and incandescent lights hang down just by their wires, from the ceiling. I found the basement so beautiful, especially when it was lit that way…there’s random stuff piled on other stuff, with narrow walkways through. It’s kind of like being in a museum…[but deposited] through normal accumulation over 40 years.”

The approximately 500 photographs Meigs took in New Freedom became source material for a series of modestly scaled paintings, The Basement Piles, and a catalyst for the more monumental The Basement Panoramas, which are each based on real basements whose locations are named in their titles.

Basements, often filled with unsorted things we store for future use and collections of the residue of lives, ornamented by tangled systems of wiring, heating and plumbing, hidden from everyday existence above ground, can be read in these works as an architectural scenario analogous with the structures and processes of the unconscious mind. In Meigs’ paintings, the physical shape of the basement breaks down into vigorous spirals and swirling lines, spreading and layering and changing direction as if of their own accord. Frequently interspersed with charged text, The Basement Panoramas reflect on mortality and rebirth, the hidden drives that both animate us and hold us in their confining embrace. Alternating between exuberant, expansive colour and gesture, and nightmarish claustrophia and repetition, these works are a document of the will, as intensity, as persistence, and as escaping endlessly beyond our control.

-Pan Wendt, Curator

Who’s Your Mother?

Women Artists of PEI, 1964 to the Present at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery draws upon more than half a century of collecting to showcase the rich and diverse work of over 40 female artists highlighting mentors such as Elaine Harrison, Erica Rutherford and Hilda Woolnough.

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The exhibition is curated by Lisa Theriault and Pan Wendt

The Wonders of Wiebe

Curated by Pan Wendt

Mitchell Wiebe: VampSites

An exhibition that launches a national tour of space activations by the Halifax painter, performer, and installation artist.

 

Based in Halifax, Mitchell Wiebe has been something of a cult artist in Canada for decades. Known for his instantly recognizable paintings of fantastical creatures and warped worlds, Wiebe is also a performer who has fronted numerous experimental bands. Over the past decade Wiebe has branched out into installation art, and this new show involves his occupation and response to the Brutalist architecture of the Confederation Centre.

“We’re doing something special with Mitchell, actually putting him and his process on display,” says curator Pan Wendt. “Not only are we showing a selection of his work, in various states and contexts, including a black light gallery, but the artist will create a giant painting and installation in the public eye. You can actually watch him work, almost as a performance, for the week of October 15-19.”

During the run of the exhibition, the gallery will feature a number of performance pieces involving collaboration with artists and musicians. The show kicks off a national tour, involving a series of responses to gallery spaces across the country, and will feature a publication that includes critical essays by prominent curators in Canada and the United States.

Mitchell Wiebe received his M.F.A. at NSCAD University, and his work was included in the national survey Oh, Canada, organized by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. P.E.I. viewers may be familiar with his many contributions to Art in the Open and afterimage, including collaborations with Graeme Patterson, Ray Fenwick, and Russell Louder.

See the New Lineup

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery will celebrate its winter and spring exhibitions with one of its ever-popular opening reception events on February 24 at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to come see the Gallery’s new lineup featuring a contemporary Island artist, an early 20th Century amateur Island photographer, videos by 11 well-known Quebec artists, a collection exhibition, and a mid-career survey of a New Brunswick artist’s print and installation works.

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“The opening is a great opportunity to catch up with friends and check out several new exhibitions and an impressive range of art-making. It promises to be a lot of fun,” says Kevin Rice, Director of the Gallery.

New exhibitions include Norma Jean MacLean’s Accumulated, Positioned, Reflected, curated by Pan Wendt and a part of the Gallery’s Studio Watch Series that is supported by the RBC Foundation. Wish You Were Here: W.S. Louson’s Picture Postcards featuring images of PEI landscapes was curated by Harry Holman. Motion includes short videos by Jean-Pierre Aubé, Patrick Bernatchez, BGL, Caroline Boileau, Michel de Broin, Pascal Grandmaison, Nelson Henricks, Myriam Laplante, Eduardo Menz, Nadia Myre, and Chih-Chien Wang. Motion was organized and circulated by Galerie l’UQAM and curated by La Fabrique d’expositions, a collective of Montreal curators, Julie Bélisle, Louise Déry and Audrey Genois. Luminous looks at effects of light and colour in eleven works from the Gallery’s Collection and was curated by Kevin Rice. Eric Edson’s Other Stories, includes the large-scale installation ruins (2017) alongside a selection of Edson’s work that spans two decades, and was curated by Pan Wendt and organized collaboratively by the Confederation Centre Gallery and Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University.

Several featured artists will be in attendance at the opening and attendees can enjoy light snacks, a cash bar, and live music provided by SOPA music performance students.

There is no cost to attend the event. For more information, please visit

http://www.confederationcentre.com/en/exhibitions.php.

New Works at the Gallery

Winter 2018 Will Bring New Exhibitions to the Gallery

New works, historical postcards, and visual movements

A young Island artist, a gifted amateur Island photographer, and videos by 11 well-known Quebec artists make up the Gallery’s new winter lineup of exhibitions.

Norma Jean MacLean’s exhibition Accumulated, Positioned, Reflected is a selection of her recent work where she explores the aesthetics of improvised layering, piling, and accumulation. MacLean is a part of the Art Gallery’s Emerging Artist Program that is supported by the RBC Foundation. Curated by the Gallery’s Pan Wendt, the exhibition will be on display from January 13 to April 28.

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William Steele Louson was a gifted amateur photographer from Charlottetown. Wish You Were Here: W.S. Louson’s Picture Postcards of Prince Edward Island showcases his photographs of picturesque Island landscapes that were reproduced on postcards. This historical exhibition captures a period in the 20th century when the public interest in buying and selling postcards was a new mania. Curated by Gallery guest, Harry Holman, the exhibition will be on display from January 20 to April 21.

Motion is a visual anthology that shows the work of 11 Quebec artists. The theme of “motion” is understood in two ways: as movement and as a proposal. This exhibition was organized and circulated by Galerie de I’UQAM and curated by La Fabrique d’exposition, and a collection of Montreal curators: Julie Belisle, Louise Dery and Audrey Genois.

“The new exhibitions will see the art gallery transformed yet again,” says Gallery director Kevin Rice.  “I am looking forward to Norma Jean MacLean’s new paintings and installations; Harry Holman’s research on W. S. Louson’s early 20th century landscape photography (which circulated primarily on postcards); and the videos by 11 well-known contemporary artists based in Quebec. These exhibitions will provide audiences with a wonderful diversity of artworks.”

And this is your last chance to see John Greer: Material and Metaphor exhibition which closes January 14, 2018.

The Gallery winter/spring hours run from January 1 until May 20, welcoming the public from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

A description of each exhibition can be found on the website at http://www.confederationcentre.com/en/exhibitions.php.