press release

This exhibition marks the first in-depth investigation of the early works of Vancouver artist Glenn Lewis, an artist whose socially engaged spirit influenced the cross disciplinary and interactive practices informing west coast art in the late sixties and seventies. Lewis adopted a persona, Flakey Rose Hip, a name synonymous with art that was festive and playful. The exhibition underscores the humour and conceptual rigour at the heart of Lewis's rarely seen works from the late-1960s to the mid-1970s: films, video, a slide projection piece, ceramic sculpture and photography. The exhibition also includes documents of his early performance works together with key performances remounted for this occasion. Highlights include Artifact, a large ceramic mural commissioned for the Canada Pavilion at the 1970 Osaka World's Fair, Forest Industry (1969), a film of the artist demarcating with surveyor's tape a square kilometer of forest, as well as a number of photographic series that chart urban geographies. Informal and diaristic, these works document the contingencies of mundane experience and simple actions.

Born in 1935, Glenn Lewis initially worked in ceramics. He developed a remarkably expansive art practice that has been widely exhibited, performed and screened since then and is in major collections. A founder of Vancouver's legendary Western Front, his prolific output includes sculpture, performance, environments, synchronized swimming events, installation, correspondence art, film, photography, social events and most recently a street parade. Glenn Lewis's films are part of the major touring exhibition Traffic: Conceptual Art In Canada c. 1965-1980 that opens this fall in Toronto.

In October we inaugurate the new, co-operatively run Satellite Gallery on the second floor of 560 Seymour Street in downtown Vancouver with the installation of Lewis' Four Intersections (1970), four corner video projections that depict the artist wrapping tape around four Vancouver street corners. In conjunction with the exhibition, Presentation House Gallery is producing a catalogue featuring essays by Dieter Roelstraete and Jordan Strom.

FLAKEY: The Early Works of Glenn Lewis