One New Work
John Will: Photography R.I.P.

February 3 - May 21, 2018

Curated by Nancy Tousley
Organized by Glenbow

John Will, She Walks Amongst Us: Family Reunion, Collection of the Artist

First and foremost, John Will has been known as a painter and printmaker, who has also made performance art and video during a career that spans nearly 50 years. Photography has always played a large role in Will’s work, both in the form of photographs he has taken himself, and in many instances where Will has recruited and altered found photographs for purposes other than what the makers originally intended.

The one new work at the center of this exhibition is a series of six colour photographs entitled She Walks Amongst Us, which is accompanied by a story that reveals a certain female Calgary artist to be an alien and the only survivor of the famous 1947 flying saucer crash at Roswell, New Mexico. This work is an example of Will’s penchant for conjuring tabloid-worthy narratives from cleverly juxtaposed sequential images and text.

One of the other highlights of the exhibition shows off how Will has tinkered with photographic technology with sometimes surprising results. In the 26 works that make up Alphabet Series: A to Z, Will created a forerunner of the “selfie” using a Polaroid camera. These self-portraits are multiple exposures – unbelievably for a Polaroid, Will’s face appears as many as five times in one photograph.

John Will: Photography R.I.P. is the fifth exhibition in the One New Work series curated by Nancy Tousley. Spanning the artist’s career, the exhibition will include more than 40 paintings, prints and photographs ranging from 1972 to 2017.

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