Since the late 1800s the landscape has been an important subject for many artists in Alberta. There is a tendency when speaking of landscape painting or drawing to state the obvious: that landscape art works are about the land. Such a view, however, ignores the nuances of this subject. ‘The land’ is not a static entity. Rather, and as the topography of Alberta attests, it moves from terrain to terrain with each geographical region having its own unique character. As the land alters in appearance, so to have artistic expressions of this subject changed through time, from artist to artist and within individual art practices themselves. While some critics have viewed landscape works as purely descriptive, contemporary landscape artists approach their subject matter in a rich range of styles and media and are engaged with the land for a variety of reasons that go beyond basic representation.
The exhibition Plate Tectonics explores the enduring legacy of the landscape genre in Alberta. Featuring the art work of Jennifer Annesley, Jim Davies, Les Graff, David Shkolny and Pam Wilman, this exhibition investigates both the physical topography of Alberta as well as the different stylistic approaches and intents expressed by the featured artists. Through this examination this exhibition expresses the beautiful diversity of Alberta’s landscape as well as the continued vitality of the landscape genre in the visual arts.
Curated by Shane Golby, Art Gallery of Alberta (TREX Region 2)
20 art works
2 text panels
75 running feet
Cover image credit: Pam Wilman. Mount Ward, 2007. Oil on canvas. Collection of the artist.