press release

Opening: 7th November 2008 17:00 - 20:00

Witte de With, Center for Contemporary art (Rotterdam), Kunsthalle Zürich and Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen (Düsseldorf) are proud to present the first large scale exhibition in Europe of Vancouver-based artist Ian Wallace.

Ian Wallace is one of the main contributors to the development of conceptual art in Vancouver, an art scene which has attracted world-wide attention since the early 1970s. Wallace's career began in the mid '60s, when he took up a professorship at The University of British Columbia, where Jeff Wall was among his students. He continued to teach until the late '90s whilst developing his own artistic practice. He is an artist with a strong interest in avant-garde strategies and has developed a pictorial idiom that combines monochrome painting and documentary photography. Even though Wallace's work is part of many North American museums and private collections, until now his practice has remained under-exposed in Europe.

Instead of adopting the format of a chronological display, each institution will take a constellation of key works as a point of departure. Designed as a trilogy, the three institutions each present a unique exhibition thematically linked to a public program. At the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, the twelve-part panorama Lookout (1979) will offer a focus for considerations of the construction of imagery. In Kunsthalle Zürich, Attack on Literature (1975) will focus the inquiry on questioning poetics and the tensions between image and text. In Witte de With, the photo-murals The Summerscript (1974), The Idea of the University (1990), and Clayoquot Protest (1993) will be central, along with the installation of At Work (2008), a suite of works including a video and photographs in which we see the artist questioning his own role.

Curated by: Renske Janssen and Nicolaus Schafhausen (Witte de With), Vanessa Joan Müller (Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen) and Beatrix Ruf (Kunsthalle Zürich).

Biography Ian Wallace was born in 1943 in Shoreham, England and now lives and works in Vancouver. His previous exhibitions include group and solo presentations in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In 2005, he participated in the group exhibition Intertidal at Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (MuHKA). Recent solo exhibitions include Yvon Lambert Gallery, New York (2008) and Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver (2007). He continues to be an influential artist, teacher and writer.

Publication – A Literature of Images In conjunction with this three-part survey exhibition Witte de With, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen and the Kunsthalle Zürich together with Sternberg Press (Berlin/New York) will publish the most extensive monographic catalogue to date of Ian Wallace's work. Drawing together and providing further context for the exhibitions, the book combines art historical and theoretical texts by Vanessa Joan Müller, Dieter Roelstraete and Jacques Rancière, an interview with the artist by Renske Janssen, as well as a chronology, catalogue of exhibited works and thorough bibliographic information. The richly illustrated catalogue is designed by Surface (Frankfurt/Berlin).

ISBN 978-1-933128-51-1 AVAILABLE early December 2008 DISTRIBUTION (via Sternberg Press):

only in german

Ian Wallace
Kuratoren: Renske Janssen, Vanessa Joan Müller, Beatrix Ruf, Nicolaus Schafhausen

19.10.08 - 11.01.09 Kunstverein Düsseldorf
08.11.08 - 08.02.09 Witte de With, Rotterdam
15.11.08 - 11.01.09 Kunsthalle Zürich