Running Horses, 2007
laser cut steel
10-12 m installation width
Purchased 2008 with the generous support of the Distinguished Patrons of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation
National Gallery of Canada (no. 42281.1-11)
Throughout his career, Joe Fafard has represented Prairie life and vernacular subjects, experimenting widely with materials and techniques to explore sculptural concerns such as form, perspective and presence. Initially recognized for his clay portraits of family, friends, community members and iconic individuals, he is today renowned for his sculptures of cows, bulls and horses, which are often imbued with a sense of personality and dignity. Running Horses captures the essence of the idea of the horse as beauty, energy and unharnessed power. Each individual sculpture is made from laser-cut steel and powder-coated in shades of the western sunset. Here, Fafard has fused his regionalist vision with 21st-century sculpting technologies, granting these iconic steeds both a sense of contemporaneity and enduring esteem.