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Spotlight

Gathie Falk

 

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Gathie Falk, Single Right Men’s Shoes: Bootcase with 6 Orange Brogues, 1973. Courtesy: Equinox Gallery, Vancouver

Gathie Falk, Single Right Men’s Shoes: Bootcase with 6 Orange Brogues, 1973. Courtesy: Equinox Gallery, Vancouver

Equinox Gallery presents a solo exhibition by Gathie Falk (Canadian, born 1928). Gathie Falk’s work has consistently challenged dominant stylistic and cultural narratives, deftly traversing the mediums of performance, sculpture, painting, ceramics, and installation, establishing her as a true multi-disciplinarian.

Her bold disregard for convention has led to an expansive practice that is fueled by a desire to transform her mediums as much as her subjects. Piles of fruit, sidewalks, shoes, and clothing have recurred as Falk’s subjects as she takes these ordinary objects and transforms them into surreal and evocative subjects through her choice of medium, method, and style.

Now at the age of 90, Falk continues to undertake projects that require the development of a new understanding of material and practice, and the result is a lifetime of work that not only stands the test of time, but reflects her position as one of Canada’s most significant artists. Gathie Falk’s practice has largely been considered in relation to the domestic and the “veneration of the ordinary” as it is based on close observations of everyday life and objects. However seen in a broader context there are clear associations to the traditions of Surrealism, Feminism, Funk, and Pop Art.

These contrasts reflect Gathie Falk’s creative vision as she is most comfortable when poised on the edge of contradictions: the real and the surreal, the quotidian and the sublime, light and shadow, life and decay, surface and substance. She is open to all possibilities of ideas and images, explaining: “I have worked throughout my life at mediating opposites: soft and hard, painterly and densely flat, form and space, emotion and control, beautiful and ugly. A synthesis of my work can be said to consist of a desire for control of opposites.”

In addition to over 50 solo exhibitions, Gathie Falk has received many awards, including the Gershon Iskowitz Prize (1990), Order of Canada (1997), Order of British Columbia (2002), Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2003), Viva Award for Lifetime Achievement (2012), and the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts (2013). Falk has been the subject of two retrospective exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1985 and 2000 (traveling to the National Gallery of Canada, Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal). Her works are included in numerous significant institutions, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, National Gallery of Canada, Glenbow Art Gallery, McMichael Canadian Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, and many more.

Gathie Falk lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.