Whimsical ink and watercolour in Marcel Dzama exhibit at Confed Centre

Journal Pioneer staff
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CHARLOTTETOWN – A series of small ink and watercolour drawings from Winnipeg artist, Marcel Dzama, is opening at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on Saturday, Jan. 11. “Marcel Dzama: Early Drawings” presents images from a moment when the now-internationally-known artist was developing his distinctive style.

Marcel Dzama, Untitled (1997). Pen and ink and coloured wash on paper. Gift of Wayne Baerwaldt, Calgary, 2005.

Dzama is best known for his small-format ink and watercolour drawings. His work often represents absurd, whimsical, uncanny, or even violent subject matter in a distinctly cartoonish and childlike visual style that is recognizably his own.

Dzama studied at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and has worked since 1996 as an artist in New York City and Winnipeg. He was the co-founder of the Royal Art Lodge, a Winnipeg-based art association that revived a handmade, do-it-yourself aesthetic.

While he has become known for his drawings, with their distinctive palette of muted colours, in recent years he has expanded his practice to encompass sculpture, painting, and film. He has also designed the album art for prolific pop musicians such as BeckThe Weakerthans, and They Might Be Giants.

The artist has exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally, and his work is held in museum collections worldwide, including at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim in New York, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, and the Tate Gallery in London.

These late 1990s drawings on exhibit in Charlottetown are part of the Gallery’s permanent collection and were donated by Calgary curator Wayne Baerwaldt – an important early supporter of Dzama.

“Throughout our 50th anniversary year in 2014, the Art Gallery will feature several thematic exhibitions that focus on our collection of Canadian art,” says Kevin Rice, director at the Gallery. “We will continue to make the collection accessible by highlighting the works of significant artists such as Marcel Dzama, among many others.”

“Marcel Dzama: Early Drawings” opens in the Young People’s Gallery on Jan. 11. The Confederation Centre Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on this and other exhibits, visit confederationcentre.com/artgallery.

Organizations: Confed Centre, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art National Gallery Confederation Centre Art Gallery

Geographic location: New York, U.S., Los Angeles Canada Ottawa London Charlottetown Calgary

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