Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Exhibition Explores Sculptor's Rich Photographic Career

Ottawa, Canada - January 7, 2000


 Une exposition qui explore la riche carrière photographique d'un sculpteur 
On January 21, 2000, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography will exhibit works drawn from the rich photographic career of Robin Collyer - an artist known internationally for his sculpture. Robin Collyer: Photographs is the first major exhibition to survey the photography of this Toronto-based artist.

Collyer's stature as a sculptor reached the international level in 1993 when he represented Canada at the prestigious Venice Biennale art festival. This current exhibition reveals that throughout in addition to his work as a sculptor, Collyer has also been actively engaged in photography. Spanning a period of nearly thirty years, Robin Collyer: Photographs consists of over forty works, including early black and white photographs, urban and rural landscapes, digitally retouched works, and a remarkable commissioned series of photographs depicting silos in the French region of Orléans.

Collyer's photographs are understated, often humorous visions of the modern world. They inspire us to examine carefully our everyday surroundings for subtle ambiguities and ironic juxtapositions. He is able to explore both contemporary art issues and a variety of social concerns, such as architecture and urban planning, mass communcations, politics and current events.

Collyer's earliest works reveal a fascination with the relation between image and text that continues throughout his career. They explore how a simple caption can generate a number of assumptions and unexpected responses from the viewer. In his latest digital works, his sensitivity to the use of language is focussed on the advertising that dominates the urban landscape. Through digital manipulation, he erases texts and logos from outdoor signs and consumer products to surprising effect.

Other works highlight the ironic way the natural and human worlds co-exist. Images of pristine natural scenes reveal traces of human presence in the form of broken beer bottles or abandoned cars. In his Silos series, domestic and industrial dewellings intermingle; the architectural austerity of the silos is echoed in the houses that surround them.

Collyer will be at CMCP to attend the exhibition opening on Thursday, January 20, 2000. Then, on Sunday, January 23, as part of the Museum's Family Sunday series, he will give a workshop using digital cameras, computers and colour printers. The fee is $5 per family.

Robin Collyer: Photographs was organized by the Art Gallery of York University and was first shown on the occasion of Toronto's Contact 99 festival of photography in May 1999. The exhibition will be shown at CMCP from January 21 to May 14, 2000.

The CMCP is an affiliate museum of the National Gallery of Canada.

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