Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada Celebrates the Work of Robert Flack to Commemorate A Day Without Art on 1 December 1999

Ottawa, Canada - November 30, 1999


 « Le Musée des beaux-arts du Canada rend hommage à l’œuvre de Robert Flack à l’occasion d’Une journée sans art, le 1er décembre 1999 » 
A Day Without Art is an international day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. Every year on 1 December, World AIDS Day, art institutions around the world honour visual artists who live with or have died of AIDS. Visual AIDS, a New York-based organization of art professionals, in conjunction with the World Health Organization's annual AIDS Awareness Day, originated A Day Without Art in 1989. This year, the National Gallery of Canada commemorates A Day Without Art with a tribute to the work of contemporary artist Robert Flack, who died in 1993 of an AIDS-related illness. A series of eight Cibrachrome photographs by Flack drawn from a larger series entitled Empowerment are on display in Contemporary Gallery B202 as part of the Playing Roles: Contemporary Self-Portraits exhibition. The works are a recent donation to the Gallery from the artist's parents, Audrey and Robert Flack.
Originally from Guelph, Ontario, Robert Flack was an active and well-respected member of the Toronto arts community. Following his graduation from York University in 1980, he exhibited regularly in group and solo shows and also collaborated with leading contemporary art groups such as General Idea, Chromazone, and The Light Institute. His work is represented in a number of private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canada Council Art Bank, and the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph.

Flack's photographic series draws its subject matter from the principles of Kundalini yoga and the notion of dormant cosmic energy that can be awakened and chanelled through meditation, eventually travelling through the body's seven chakra points. Flack's photographs chart the chakra points on the human body, and over each location Flack has painted a symbolic representation of the site. The resulting images (with evocative titles such as Ascent, Cycle, and Vitality) are a celebration, in lush, exuberant colour, of the beauty and power of the human body. The works will be on view until January 2000.
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