Black Ice: David Blackwood Prints of Newfoundland
February 5 to June 12, 2011
David Blackwood is one of Canada’s leading printmakers and most popular artists. This exhibition showcases some iconic works for the first time, revealing the richness of Blackwood’s imagination and his working methods.
Blackwood has been telling stories about Newfoundland in the form of epic visual narratives for 30 years. To bring this narrative to life, the exhibition will situate Blackwood’s prints in time and space by looking at the history of Newfoundland and the people who settled there. Blackwood explores the timeless theme of the struggle for survival between humans and nature in one of the most exposed and hostile environments on earth. He depicts a town and a centuries-old way of life that has disappeared. His dramas encapsulate class, gender and intergenerational issues that can only be understood in the context of the formation of the landscape, its natural resources, immigration and settlement, religious and political debate, economic and social conditions, and the environmental threat to the survival of traditional lifestyles.
He has created an iconography of Newfoundland which is as universal as it is personal, as mythic as it is rooted in reality, and as timeless as it is linked to specific events. This exhibition draws on childhood memories, dreams, superstitions, legends, the oral tradition, and the political realities of the Wesleyville community on Bonavista Bay where Blackwood was born and raised.
A book, also titled Black Ice: David Blackwood – Prints of Newfoundland, will be published to coincide with the opening of the exhibition. The 224-page volume, edited by Lochnan, features 115 colour plates and an international, interdisciplinary approach to Blackwood’s works, including essays by Lochnan, geologists Derek Wilton and Martin Feely, historian Sean Cadigan, folklorist Caoimhe Ní Shúilleabháin, art critic Gary Michael Dault, and novelist Michael Crummey. Black Ice ($40) will be available at shopAGO beginning February 5 and is co-published by the AGO and Douglas & McIntyre.
Films from the exhibition
Newfoundland’s long tradition of mummering
The AGO will mount the first major museum retrospective of artwork by renowned Canadian artist David Blackwood, opening February 5, 2011.
Recorded: Wednesday, April 27, 7 pm @ Baillie Court