Monday, April 7, 2008

Artists Donate Work for Unheralded BC Artists Book Series

B.C's new Mother Tongue Publishing company, dedicated to publishing unique, bold and stimulating books on B.C.'s forgotten art history, is holding an on-line and live Fundraising Art Auction April 7-24th, to kick-start the publishing of its new series of books "B.C. Artists of the 20th Century". The series is dedicated to recognizing unheralded B.C. artists and igniting an overdue discourse on their artistic and historic significance. The press, run by poet Mona Fertig, whose father was George Fertig a Vancouver painter, will be championing a new perspective on our province’s art history. The series will begin by focusing on B.C. artists from the highly creative era of the 1950's - 60’s. The first book, "David Franklin Marshall: Vancouver Sculptor by Monika Ullmann" will be published in the fall of this year.

Fertig says, “It was an exciting time that witnessed the emergence of hundreds of artists in Vancouver, Victoria, and around the province, yet a time that sustained and elevated only a few. This was due to the serious lack of gallery and exhibition space in Vancouver and Victoria, territorial politics, art fads, and parochial views. This event will bring to the fore the need for documentation, research and knowledge about our unheralded B.C. artists and in doing so bring a much needed balance to the institutionalized neglect of so many of Vancouver's finest.”

The works of 30 B.C. artists, alive and dead, historical and contemporary, has been generously donated to the MTP art auction by the artists, or their families and friends.
They include: Jack Akroyd, Unity Bainbridge, Enda Bardell,Robert Bateman, Wim Blom, Gordon Caruso, Diana Dean, David Denbigh, Tina Dickey, George Fertig, Pnina Granirer, Jack Hardman, Garit Imhoff, LeRoy Jensen, Anni Knoop, Susan McGillivray, David Franklin Marshall, Charles Mayrs, Frank Molnar, Peter Paul Ochs, P.K. Page, Barbara Rodé, Parvaneh Roudgar, Gary Sim, Gregg Simpson, Maud Rees Sherman, Sheryl Smith, Mildred Valley Thornton & Phyllis Webb.
The collection features original oil, encaustic and acrylic paintings, sculpture in wood, bronze and terracotta, watercolours, mixed media, lithographs, prints, charcoal drawings, letterpress poetry broadside, linocuts, silkscreens and photography.
Fertig says that all donors will be acknowledged in each book of the series and expects bidding prices to range between $100 - $2,000. Fertig needs to raise about $10,000 to begin the series.

Simultaneously and inspired by the fundraiser, an on-line exhibit at titled:
"In the Shadows: Vancouver's Alternate Art Scene: 1950 - 1970" will feature works by Jack Akroyd, Sidney Barron, Enda Bratt, Margaret Carter, Jack Darcus, Harold Elliott, Bob Greig, Terry Leftrook, Robert Mayhew, Bill Mayrs, Frank Molnar, Peter Paul Ochs, Ellen Olsen, Stewart Paley, Burrell Swartz, Gordon 'Kit' Thorne and Mildred Valley Thornton.
Anthony Westbridge, the owner of the gallery and publisher of an art investment newsletter, comments:

"Vancouver, so long in the shadows of Toronto & Montreal the recognised art centres of Canada and the home to such significant 20th century movements as the Painters Eleven and the Automatistes, was an active, vibrant and emerging art scene in the 1950s - 70s (& 80s) and was gradually attracting the attention of the Canadian art public. As is so often the case when a new market is exposed, there are always a few 'celebrities' that lead the way and garner all the headlines. In Vancouver it was the likes of Jack Shadbolt, Lawren Harris, B.C. Binning, Gordon Smith, Toni Onley and so on. And it was these names that, sadly, became synonymous with the new B.C. art scene. But, as with any buoyant market, there are so many 'journeymen' artists who are the real nucleus of the movement and yet go unheralded. "In the Shadows" is a small step towards addressing this imbalance. A few of the artists of the day stayed the course but, unfortunately, did not garner the kind of reputation their work deserves. Others moved on to other professions but left a small, and in some cases tantalising, legacy and a promise of what might have been. "In the Shadows" is an opportunity for viewers to step back in time and see what else was going on 'behind the headlines' in the art schools and galleries of the day."

On-line auction and absentee bidding: Opens Monday April 7st and closes Thursday April 24th at 5 pm.
Absentee bids can be phoned, faxed or emailed to:
Tel: 604.736.1014
Fax: 604.734.4944
Gallery viewing of live and on-line auction - Saturday April 19th through Thursday April 24th at Westbridge Fine Art Ltd. -1737 Fir Street (at 2nd Avenue), Vancouver.
The Live Auction takes place in the gallery Thursday April 24th at 7:30 p.m.Location: 1737 Fir Street (at 2nd Avenue), Vancouver.
GALLERY HOURS: Saturday. 11:00-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday 10:00-5:00 pm. Closed Sunday. Ph: 604.736.1014