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Spring BluesEnlarge image

Spring Blues, 1960

Joyce Wieland
Canadian, 1930 - 1998
oil, paper collage and mirror on canvas
116.3 x 81.3 cm
Gift of Doug MacPherson, Prince Edward County, Ontario 2011
National Gallery of Canada (no. 43461)

The period of 1959 to 1960 saw great shifts in Wieland’s practice as she responded to the gestural freedom of Abstract Expressionism. This movement was central to Toronto’s painting scene in the 1950s and 1960s, and the artist was greatly influenced by its minimal use of form and colour. Wieland began staining her canvases and applying fabric, paper and mirror directly onto the surfaces of her works, furthering her exploration of sexuality and gender identity. Here, the circular forms represent breasts, and the mirrors allow for a return of the viewer’s gaze. "Spring Blues" is an excellent example of Wieland’s use of sexual imagery coupled with humour, with the title toying with notions of colour, mood and music.

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