John K. Grande

  • Robert Murray

    It was after meeting Barnett Newman at the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops in Saskatchewan in 1959 that Robert Murray turned his talents from painting to sculpture. Murray’s self-prescribed mission was to take the pictorial language of painterly abstraction and transform it into three dimensions. In the resulting work, one finds the preoccupation with surface and the play between flatness and depth as in his earlier abstract painting. Murray is a true modernist: Marrying formalist concerns with industrial materials, he questions and expands the metaphoric language of sculpture. Whether employing

  • R. Holland Murray

    In his recent show, R. Holland Murray presented hand-carved wood sculptures that fuse allusions to totemic motifs and utilitarian design, in human-scale works that at times resemble weapons or implements. The pieces are assembled with such a delicate sense of balance that civility and violence seem, momentarily, to co-exist. Murray has said that he was inspired by the intricate and interlocking surfaces of Japanese joinery technique, but the carved abstract and figurative details on many of the works also suggest other non-Western sources.

    There is a strange fragility to the way these works are

  • Daniel Corbeil

    From re-created artifacts of travel and technology, Canadian artist Daniel Corbeil constructs fictional narratives about the paradigm shifts that accompany progress. In 1990 he suspended a full-scale model of a kayak—animal skins stretched over its wooden frame, the whole varnished with tar—in midair above a bed of smooth stones; it was accompanied by an archival photograph of two kayaks beached on a rocky northern shoreline. In another project, a full-scale aluminum-and-wood model of a small plane was carried out into the bush, where it became a prop in a series of photographs of a staged crash.

  • George Segal

    This Segal retrospective, the first since a 1978–79 exhibit organized by the Walker Art Center, reveals how individualistic the artist’s approach to the Pop idiom was. Unlike Warhol, Oldenburg, and the Pop mainstream, which homed in on consumer-oriented irony, Segal was an intense critic of post-war alienation and depersonalization. His identification with those living on the fringes of society is palpable in the white plaster figures, presented in forlorn isolation or in groups, for which he is best known. These sculptural installations from the ’60s present as devastating a portrait of inner-city

  • Nils-Udo

    While Nils-Udo’s works from the ’70s included tree-branch constructions and delicate arrangements of flowers, leaves, moss, and snow in the form of nests, curves, lines, and spirals, more recently he has focused on massive installations that thematize ecological concerns. In 1994, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the introduction of corn into Europe, Nils-Udo created a living spiral comprising various corn species at the Château du Laàs in the Pyrenees. At the center of the spiral was an octagonal tower topped with original, non-hybrid species of Mayan corn, while sheaves of corn trailed

  • Rainer Wittenborn

    Amazon of the North: James Bay Revisited, Rainer Wittenborn’s latest collaboration with Claus Biegert, a Munich author and DJ, focuses on the threatened existence of the native Cree and Inuit of northern Quebec and Labrador. Conceived in response to utility company Hydro Quebec’s proposed (and temporarily canceled) Great Whale hydroelectric dam project, which would result in the flooding of some 11,000 square kilometers of subarctic territory, Wittenborn’s installation includes paintings, drawings, photos, maps, documents, and elements of nature as well as indigenous artwork.

    In Natural Disaster

  • Arnold Shives

    A painter and renowned printmaker, Arnold Shives has recently turned to working directly on plywood with a power router, sander, and jigsaw. His earlier abstract paintings were a sophisticated and whimsical mixture of pattern, form, and color, and reflected a mystical relationship to nature. In his first acrylic on plywood, Shives turned to similar themes, evoking his experience as a mountain climber in the wilderness regions of British Columbia and the Yukon.

    “From the Heart of the Wild: New Works from the Healing Place,” 1995, Shives’ latest series of plywood paintings, create the same illusion

  • Harlan Johnson

    In “Territoires intimes” (Intimate territories), Harlan Johnson’s paintings refer to cellular, insect, and reptilian forms. Hovering somewhere between abstraction and figuration, his colorful two-panel pieces examine this bio-matter as if it were frozen between the moment of creation and its resolution in form. In Bactrician Topography, 1995, two panels—one white, one yellow—compose a kind of two-dimensional nonspace teeming with organic forms, cell structures, radial patterns, the silhouette of a frog, and assorted indeterminate shapes. In Ear Algae, 1995, the protozoic becomes prosaic; his

  • Mowry Baden

    Mowry Baden’s perfunctory gadgets, pseudo-mechanisms, and constructed environments playfully investigate the phenomenology of perception. While Baden’s earlier works such as I Walk the Line, 1968, and Adelbert’s Bet, 1971, owed a large debt to Frederick Kiesler’s Endless House, 1960, and Robert Morris’ space-transforming sculptures and installations, by the ’90’s Baden was constructing elaborately mechanistic works with multiple parts. The pseudoindustrial Dromedary Mezzanine, 1991, consisted of a viewing platform on wheels, from which one could see a series of miniature tents filled with packaged

  • Louise Wilson and Alexa Wright

    In an attempt to demystify modern medicine, Louise Wilson and Alexa Wright presented “Corps-Machine engrenage médicale,” (Body-machine medical machine), a show that not only emphasized the highly codified and symbolic nature of the rituals of modern medicine, but gave the viewer a sense of where the human and the scientific seem distinctly at odds. Wilson and Wright contend that the precision-driven instruments, diagnostic procedures, and emphasis on objective data of specialized medicine leave the patient with little control over his or her own body.

    For Transplant I, 1995, Wright presented her

  • Roland Poulin

    From the Minimal, cast-cement enclosures in the ’70s and early ’80s such as Quadrature, 1978, and Void Form, 1980, to the symbolic, polychromed wood sculptures such as Thresholds, 1993, and Before Us, the Night, 1992–93, Roland Poulin seems to do nothing but rework the same formal issues. This 15-year retrospective of Poulin’s sculptures and related drawings revealed an artist who recycles Minimalism only to arrive at the obvious symbolism afforded by sarcophagi, tombs, and crosses. Poulin’s works are most interesting when considered in terms of their social context and their attempt to wrestle

  • Alex Colville

    One of Canada’s most prominent painters, Alex Colville has, for decades, either been revered or abhorred by critics for the kitschy, naive sentimentality of his realist paintings. This exhibition included virtually his entire output between 1983 and 1994: 25 paintings, 246 preparatory drawings, watercolor studies, and serigraphs. In this show, there seemed to be an effort to recast Colville as a process artist by providing endless examples of the way he builds his intricate compositions from his preparatory works, using such devices as Le Corbusier’s “modular” geometrical constructions.

    The real