Joyce Wieland

Experiment with Life

1983
A pioneering figure in early Canadian avant-garde filmmaking, Wieland produced a vast oeuvre, cast across painting, sculpture, printmaking, quilting, drawing and film. She initially gave up painting in the late 1960s, returning to the medium in the 1980s with viscerally charged canvases. Wieland expressed her concerns over women’s struggles in both life and art, and is often regarded as Canada’s “first feminist artist.” She explored her politics through provocative invocations of feminine sexuality, hysterical passion, bodily violence, and the trappings of duty and domesticity. The latter themes are most certainly suggested in the artist’s frenetically paced Experiment with Life, in which a burning woman runs from houses in the distance, some of which are also engulfed in flames.
Title
Experiment with Life
Date
1983
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
62.1 x 82.4 cm
Nationality
Canadian
Credit line
Purchased 1983
Accession number
28244

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