Second Skin

June 29 – September 15, 2019

Organized by Glenbow
Curated by Sarah Todd

Using the Soundsuits of Nick Cave: Feat. as a point of departure, Second Skin examines the ways in which artists embody themselves in their work - sometimes literally. Exploring the transformative potential of adornment, costume and disguise, the exhibition brings together five exciting contemporary Canadian artists.

Now based in Chicago, Brendan Fernandes was born in Kenya and immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of nine. His photographic series Insiders depicts the inside of African masks, reversing the expected direction of "display" and offering the viewer the possibility and meaning inherent in wearing, instead of viewing, the masks.

Toronto-based Winnie Truong creates larger than life portraits that draw connections between nature, anatomy and beauty - in flirtation with the grotesque. Her intricate watercolour and pencil drawings reveal mysterious faces and figures that emerge from fantastical, technicolour tendrils of hair.

Brendan Fernandes. <em>Insiders</em>, Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago. Commissioned Mask by Skeena Reece Carved by Corey Bulpitt. <em>Brando Mask</em>, 2010, Courtesy of David Elliott, UK.

(Left) Brendan Fernandes. Insiders, Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.
(Right) Commissioned Mask by Skeena Reece Carved by Corey Bulpitt. Brando Mask, 2010, Courtesy of David Elliott, UK.

Skeena Reece is a Tsimshian/Gitksan, Cree and Métis artist based on the West Coast of British Columbia. Her work often includes storytelling, stand-up comedy, ceremony and theatre, with the artist embodying a persona modelled after Indigenous Trickster figures. Here she explores identity, activism and allyship using a mask of Hollywood actor Marlon Brando.

Toronto’s Barbara Astman is one of this country’s most highly acclaimed artists. She has been pioneering provocative approaches to visual culture and the use of technology since the 1970s. Astman often uses her own body as object and subject, and her large-scale photographic series, I as artifact, addresses beauty, aging and identity.

Tia Halliday is a Calgary-based artist whose huge fabric paintings - or performed abstractions - are literally inhabited by the artist. Remnants and echoes of the artist’s body can be seen in her large, colourful wall installations.

Barbara Astman. <em>I as artifact #7</em>, 2014, Courtesy of Corking Gallery, Toronto. Tia Halliday. <em>Sideshow III</em>, 2016, Courtesy of the artist.

(Left) Barbara Astman. I as artifact #7, 2014, Courtesy of Corkin Gallery, Toronto.
(Right) Tia Halliday. Sideshow III, 2016, Courtesy of the artist.

(Top) Winnie Truong. Belle Narce, Courtesy of Erin Stump Projects, Toronto.

Further Reading: Second Skin Artist Links

Barbara Astman: A Movie For One (Canadian Art)
Artist and choreographer Brendan Fernandes nails all the right moves as he makes Chicago his home (Chicago Tribune)
Skeena Reece: Coming Into View (Canadian Art)
Tia Halliday: Is it a painting, a performance, or a photograph? Yes! (UCalgary News)
Heavenly World of Paper Cuts and Drawings by Winnie Truong (Art Maze Mag)

130 9th Ave S.E.
Calgary, AB T2G 0P3

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 8pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 12pm - 5pm

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