Ian Wallace

Past Exhibition 27 Aug – 5 Nov 2011 Zürich, Hubertus Exhibitions


Hauser & Wirth is pleased to present an exhibition of four new groups of work by Vancouver-based artist Ian Wallace. With these works, Wallace takes the discourses of painting, sculpture and architecture and unites them within a single framework. As a development from the literary, expressive themes of his previous works, Wallace focuses on a ‘classical’ construction influenced by the compositions of modernism and minimalism in art and architecture.

Wallace’s new work features cropped photographs that are centred on plain white canvasses set against solid bands of colour. These new compositions reference the walls between abstract artworks and the wall labels common in a museum context; iconic examples of modern architecture; and work tables in Wallace’s studio. The fragmented images become abstractions that resonate through the deployment of pure blocks of colour. Wallace titles these works ‘Abstract Composition’, acknowledging both the history of modernist painting and the dual function of the photograph as both formal and referential.

Since the 1980s, Wallace has taken photographs of his hotel rooms. These personal, intimate, yet transitory spaces act as temporary studios whilst he travels. In the new works made for Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Wallace documents his preparatory drawings for the ‘Abstract Composition’ group. The photographs show a small table by a window, covered with books, pencils and drawings, grounding his abstract and conceptual practice in the materiality of his medium. As described by Wallace in an interview with writer Gigiotto del Vecchio, Mousse magazine, ‘It is in the space of the studio that the drama between materials and concept take place’ (2010).

A pioneering figure of photoconceptualism, Wallace is best known for his works that combine photography and painting, a technique he has explored for the past three decades. Born in England and living and working in Vancouver since 1953, Ian Wallace has played an influential role in the Vancouver art scene not only through his art, but also through his teaching. Wallace was a professor at the University of British Columbia (1967 – 1970) and at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver (1972 – 1998).

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About the artist

A poet of images, artist Ian Wallace explores the interplay between form and content, using photography as a vehicle for developing an avant-garde art that weds the strategies of conceptualism with the pictorial tropes of painting. In doing so since the late…

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