WINNIPEG ― The Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria have partnered to create the first and largest retrospective exhibition on internationally acclaimed artist William Kurlek (1927 – 1977).
The artist’s work will be featured at the WAG from September 30 to December 31, with the official opening taking place on Saturday, October 1 (7 p.m.), during the WAG’s Nuit Blanche. The exhibition will then tour to the Art Gallery of Hamilton (January 29 – April 29, 2012) and to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (May 25 – September 3, 2012).
“William Kureluk: The Messenger” brings together over 80 of Kurelek’s works. For three decades this son of Ukrainian immigrants chronicled the experiences of various cultural groups in Canada. However, he also questioned the values of the secular age — something that came from his two years spent in mental hospitals.
The exhibition is supplemented by an interactive bilingual website, which features all the images in the exhibition; a 1975 interview Kurelek had with the late Winnipeg author, historian, and educator Michael Ewanchuk; footage of Kurelek’s basement studio; a video trailer for Robert Young’s documentary “The Maze: The Story of William Kurelek”; a biographical timeline with personal photos and milestones; and an educational area for teachers and students (grades 1 to 8).
Exhibition Tours – Offered in English and Ukrainian.
Curators’ Talk (October 1, 3:30 p.m.) – “Kurelek, his Medium and Messages: A Roundtable Discussion with Three Curators” with co-curators Andrew Kear (WAG), Mary-Jo Hughes (Art Gallery of Greater Victoria) and Tobi Bruce (Art Gallery of Hamilton).
Canadian premiere of “William Kurelek’s The Maze” (October 13, 7 p.m. / November 26, 2 p.m.) – Admission: $10.
Art for Lunch – “William Kurelek’s Christian Perspective” with Michael Boss, Head of WAG Studio Programs (October 19, 12:10 p.m.) and Exhibition tour with Andrew Kear, Curator of Historical Canadian Art (November 16, 12:10 p.m.)
Art Eats – Dinner at Storm Bistro, followed by a tour of the exhibition (October 20 and December 15, 7 p.m.).
Family Sunday (October 23, 1 – 4:30 p.m.) – Celebration of Canada’s Ukrainian heritage and the art of William Kurelek.
Into Creativity: Mental Health and the Arts Symposium (November 24-26) – An exploration of the relationship between individual creativity and artists’ mental health.
Curatorial Tour (December 3, 7 p.m.) – With Andrew Kear, Curator, Historical Canadian Art
Art Workshop (December 10-11) – Study the exhibition with WAG Art Educator Michael Boss, then develop drawings that tell your own story. Registration deadline: November 21. Register online at wag.ca or by calling 789-1766.
Cendrine Marrouat may be contacted for potential interviews, reviews and general enquiries at [email protected]