Geoffrey Farmer to represent Canada at La Biennale di Venezia in 2017
Ottawa (Ontario), - December 11, 2015
As the commissioner of the Canada Pavilion in Venice, the National Gallery of Canada announces that Geoffrey Farmer will represent Canada in 2017 at the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, in Italy.
Geoffrey Farmer selected Kitty Scott, the Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, as the curator of the Pavilion who will work alongside Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery who will act as the project director.
Held every second summer, La Biennale di Venezia is among the most prestigious contemporary art events in the world, and the only international visual arts exhibition to which Canada sends official representation.
"Some of the most complex and extraordinary works to emerge on the Canadian scene over the last ten years were made by Geoffrey Farmer,” commented the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Gallery of Canada, Marc Mayer, “especially Leaves of Grass, a work that cemented Farmer’s international reputation when it was presented in Germany at dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012. We are privileged that it is now part of our national collection."
Farmer combines theatrical techniques such as staging and improvisation to create rich and layered works that are open to interpretation and propose multiple alternative narratives. Developed over extended periods of time, his sculptures and installations are in a constant state of transformation as the artist continues to revisit and alter them.
Geoffrey Farmer was born in 1967 in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he continues to live and work. He attended the Art Institute of San Francisco in 1990-1991, and the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in 1992.
Over his 20-year career, his installations have been acclaimed around the world and have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including at the Louvre, Paris, the Tate Modern in London, dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany, the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art in Zurich, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada. He is represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery in Vancouver and Casey Kaplan Gallery in New York.
The artist was chosen by a selection committee convened by the National Gallery of Canada. The committee was composed of Daina Augaitis, Chief Curator and Associate Director at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, Mark Lanctôt, Curator at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Marc Mayer, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada, and Kitty Scott, the Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Canada’s participation at the 56th Biennale di Venezia
Canada’s participation at the Biennale this past summer featured a very successful presentation of Canadassimo, an installation by the art collective BGL. From May 5 to November 22, 2015, the Quebec City-based artists attracted the largest attendance ever recorded by Canada at the Biennale, with 259,547 visitors.
“Once again, BGL dazzled viewers with their installation. Surprising and thoughtful, it left a lasting impression on visitors, and differentiated the Canada Pavilion with originality and candor. BGL helped underscore the richness of Canada’s contemporary art scene”, said the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Gallery of Canada, Marc Mayer.
Every second year, La Biennale di Venezia brings together visual arts presentations from over 80 countries in its International Art Exhibition. For more than 60 years, the work of the most accomplished Canadian artists has been featured at the Canada Pavilion, located in the Giardini di Castello, one of the Biennale’s two main sites. This participation has served to highlight the quality of contemporary Canadian art in international circles.
The official Canadian representation at La Biennale di Venezia will be made possible through the generous financial support of private philanthropists and corporations from Canada and abroad.
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information, visit gallery.ca and follow us on Twitter @gallerydotca.
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