The story of contemporary painting in Canada is constantly under revision, and for good reason—dynamic and influential art practices, wildly differing opinions, strongly held beliefs and high expectations make for a charged atmosphere in art schools, studios and public and private galleries. Within this community of painters, strong ideas give shape to new techniques, dogma and modes of painting that are in turn shared, debated, tested and critiqued in studios across the country.
Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting offers an insight into two distinctly different modes of painting that have come to dominate contemporary painting in Canada. The origins of both can be effectively traced back to the 1970s, to a moment when the continued existence of painting was hotly debated. Within that debate two new strategies were devised: one that proposed the possibility of conceptual painting—a highly refined notion of painting that emerged from, and returned to, the idea—and a second, ambivalent proposition that valued actions and materials over ideas—in short, doing and making were pitted against ideas and concepts.
Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting traces the legacy of that debate, documenting the work of 32 artists who have been largely responsible for the strong revival that painting now enjoys in Canada. With work by artists from Halifax to Victoria and many places in between, the book offers a convincing survey of the lively exchanges that make painting relevant and meaningful today, including the work of Gary Neill Kennedy, Gerald Ferguson, Jeffrey Spalding, Stephanie Aitken, Marvin Luvualu Antonio and Rebecca Brewer.