The National Gallery of Canada announced today that Reid Shier will be the curator for the Stan Douglas exhibition at the Canada Pavilion during the 59th edition of La Biennale di Venezia. As announced last week, the Venice Biennale Arte has been postponed a year and will now run from April 23, 2022 until November, 27, 2022 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The exhibition will feature a new work by Stan Douglas.
“It is an honour to be chosen as curator for Stan Douglas’ exhibition for the Canada Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale,” said Reid Shier. “Douglas has been a colleague and friend for over three decades, during which I’ve had the privilege of watching his international reputation as one of Canada’s most significant contemporary artists grow and flourish. I’m particularly excited to help realize Douglas’ presentation for Venice, and to assist in the ambition of an artist at such a key moment in their career.
“It’s traditional for the artist to select the curator and Reid Shier is the ideal choice to fully realize Stan’s artistic vision,” said Kitty Scott, Deputy Director & Chief Curator, National Gallery of Canada. “Given their long history of working together, they will surely bring forth an exceptional art experience.”
Reid Shier initially worked with Stan Douglas in 1996—including him in the first group exhibition he curated. The show, titled Rough Bush, also featured artists Patricia Deadman, Philippe Raphanel, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, and poet Deanna Ferguson. In 2002, Shier organized Douglas’ solo exhibition Journey into Fear, featuring the eponymous video installation together with a suite of photographs, including the epic, 16-foot image Every Building on 100 West Hastings. This photograph was the first in a growing body of work Douglas made using filmic staging, editing and post-production techniques to create ambitious mise-en-scène and historical re-enactments. The photograph spurred the production of its own stand-alone publication titled Stan Douglas: Every Building on 100 West Hastings, edited by Shier, which won the City of Vancouver’s book prize in 2002.
Reid Shier is the Director of The Polygon Gallery, formally Presentation House Gallery, in North Vancouver. Since joining The Polygon in 2006, Shier spearheaded the development of a new $17.5M waterfront facility, which opened in 2017. Prior to this, Shier was Chief Curator of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto (2004-06), Curator of the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, (2002-04), and Director/Curator of the artist run Or Gallery, Vancouver (1996–2001). Shier has curated more than eighty exhibitions and his critical writing has been published broadly, including a recent essay on Stan Douglas’ public artwork Abbott and Cordova, 7 August 1971.
About the artist Stan Douglas—Canada’s representative at the 59th Venice Biennale
Stan Douglas is a visual artist who lives and works in Vancouver and Los Angeles. His films and photographs have been featured in international exhibitions since the early 1980s and in four Venice Biennales (1990, 2001, 2005 and 2019). Douglas is recognized as one of Canada’s most acclaimed contemporary artists whose multidisciplinary works, including films, photographs, and, more recently, theatre productions, often reflect on the dynamic potential embedded in pivotal historical moments.
Canada’s participation at the international art exhibitions of La Biennale di Venezia
La Biennale di Venezia is the largest and most prestigious contemporary art exhibition in the world with more than 80 countries participating. The exhibitions at the Canada Pavilion are commissioned by the National Gallery of Canada and produced in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts. The Stan Douglas exhibition in 2022 is made possible through the generous financial support of Presenting Sponsor Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and through the National Gallery of Canada Foundation.
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About the National Gallery of Canada
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Media Release: Stan Douglas to represent Canada at La Biennale di Venezia
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