The exhibition, Paint, offers a rare, in-depth visual encounter wit some 40 paintings on wood and paper by Vancouver-based Haisla artist, Lyle Wilson. Opening May 5th at the Maple Ridge Art Gallery, this comprehensive exhibition reveals the impressive range of traditional and contemporary elements that inhabit Wilson’s evolving artistic vision.
This is the first major exhibition to focus exclusively on Wilson’s paintings (the artist is also a renowned and accomplished carver in wood and metals), and to assemble such a significant body of his work. Many of the works on exhibit are unique and personalized images of coastal creatures such as orcas and ravens, the undersea world, and even stylized maps of Aboriginal territories. The exhibition reveals with equal force a contemporary voice that evokes the artist’s concern for the environment and the indigenous Haisla language. When these pressing themes share space with the historical visual language he has mastered, the two forces are sometimes intriguingly – if uncomfortably – juxtaposed. This is especially apparent in Wilson’s innovative “word paintings,” in which graceful formline figures are choreographed into the letters of the English alphabet and numerals. The visual play is extended further in instances where the painted words are rendered in the indigenous Haisla language, offering a succinct and ironic comment on the lack of congruity between Haisla and European cultural values.
Opening Reception: Sat. May 5, from 2pm – 4pm (free)
Exhibition dates: Sat. May 5 – Sat. July 28, 2012
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 11am – 4pm
The Maple Ridge Art Gallery (located in the ACT Arts Centre & Theatre
at 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge).