May 30 - September 15, 2013
Kathy Venter is a celebrated ceramic artist internationally recognized for her life-size figurative sculptures. The artist’s dialogues with time, with femininity, with community, and with intercultural understanding capture the continuity of the human condition. Kathy Venter – LIFE addresses our place in the broader universe with equanimity, humility and dignity, and rewards visitors with a sense of open, dynamic serenity. Curated by Montreal author and critic John K. Grande, the exhibition will run from May 30 to September 15, 2013.
EXHIBITION EVENTS & PROGRAMS
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MEMBERS' PREVIEW DAY
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Kathy Venter is internationally recognized for her life-size figurative sculptures that speak to the continuity of the human condition. The South African artist has been active in Canada for more than twenty years, creating monumental sculptures in clay using members of her own community as her models. Her art bridges her experience of living under Apartheid in South Africa with the freedom she found in Canada, and engages with a vast array of historical sources including the terracotta warriors of Ancient China, the Tanagra figures of Ancient Greece, Ancient Egyptian sculpture, the Amakweta tribal initiation rites, and the art of Marino Marini and Viola Frey.
The exhibition features a large installation of Venter’s sculptures which the artist produced in series, including One, Ostraca, Immersion, Coup d’Oeil and the never seen before MetaNarrative. Most of her figures are presented full scale – standing, sitting, reclining or suspended by cables in space – while others are limited to heads and torsos. Each work is direct and engaging; life-size and nude, they are a measure of our humanity. Their strong presence derives from the artist’s intimate engagement with her models – most of which are women – who posed over long hours in her studio. Venter describes each work as “a slow construction” by which she “applied the clay, piece upon piece, within a silent dialogue between the model and myself, comfortable with my medium and tradition, accepting of their constraints.” The forms are built from the feet up using the traditional coiling and pinching techniques, without the use of life cast molds or internal armatures. They are made about 15% larger than life to account for the shrinkage of the clay during the drying and firing process. The sculptures’ surface treatment is inspired by the Tanagra figures of the Mycenaean period, encrusted and worn from centuries of burial.
Kathy Venter – LIFE presents an artist who has developed her own language and conception parallel to the contemporary art of our times. Her dialogues are with time, with her own femininity, with community, with intercultural understanding. The exhibition will reward viewers and audiences for the open, dynamic serenity of her sculptures. They address our place in a broader universe with equanimity, humility and dignity.
The exhibition is curated by Montreal author and critic John K. Grande. Grande has written numerous catalogue essays on selected artists and has taught art history at Bishop’s University, Quebec. His reviews and articles have been published in Artforum, Vice Versa, Sculpture, Art Papers, British Journal of Photography, Espace, Public Art Review, Vie des Arts, Art on Paper, Circa and Canadian Forum.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kathy Venter was born in South Africa and received her MFA in sculpture from Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design, South Africa. Her work can be found in public and private collections throughout Canada, the US and abroad, including the South African National Gallery, Pretoria, Ceramics Museum Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic, and the Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA.
She exhibits in leading contemporary fine art galleries in San Francisco, Sonoma, Palm Desert, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. She lives in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.
SEE THE EXHIBITION
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