Black NestEnlarge image

Black Nest, 1989-1991

Bill Vazan
Canadian, 1933
sandblasted granite
260 x 137 x 90 cm
Gift of Mme Louisette Laplante, Sherbrooke, Quebec, 1993
National Gallery of Canada (no. 37225)
© Bill Vazan

Bill Vazan is a leading figure in Canadian Land Art, a 1960s movement characterized by the creation of art outdoors using natural materials. These sculptures belong to a series of standing stones (menhirs) Vazan started in the 1970s. The patterning Vazan has added to the rocks reflects their origins in the Canadian Shield: the interlacing engraved on Black Nest evokes a pit teeming with snakes, while the spirals in Water Planet conjure whirlpools. Vazan draws from both modern and ancient sources of inspiration including the mathematical language of our time, the megaliths of Western Europe, the symbolic motifs of the Aztecs of Mexico, and the petroglyths of the Adena and Hopewell civilizations of the north-eastern United States. His arrangement of enigmatic symbols lends an air of mystery to both works.




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