On February 19, 2013, UK-born artist and critic Victor Burgin and Vancouver artist Ian Wallace held a joint lecture and discussion at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The event was part of Reading Ian Wallace: An International Perspective—a series of talks held in conjunction with the career survey of Wallace concurrently showing at the gallery.
Wallace is best known as a founding member of what has come to be recognized as the Vancouver school of photoconceptualism. Through his teaching at the University of British Columbia and other institutions, Wallace was a teacher and mentor to such younger artists as Douglas, as well as Jeff Wall, Ken Lum and Rodney Graham. His work set precedents by blowing up photographs to scales typically associated with history painting, and by uniting these images—documents from the news or the everyday—with minimalist, monochrome painting. His art is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Gallery, among others, and he is the recipient of a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.
Victor Burgin is professor emeritus of fine art at Goldsmiths College and professor emeritus of history of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is a leading teaching artist of our time whose cross-disciplinary work bridges media, culture and art. Burgin came to prominence as an originator of conceptual art in the late 1960s and is also renowned for his reflections on the intersections and tensions between photography and painting. Another area of research and creation has examined the way that viewers create meaning in art. He is the author of Situational Aesthetics and The End of Art Theory, among other works, and his pieces are in the collection of MoMA and the Met, among other institutions.
This event unfolded as follows: a brief talk by Burgin, a brief talk by Wallace, and then a moderated discussion. The moderator was art historian and critic William Wood, who is currently based in Lethbridge.
Other talks in this series included a lecture by Wallace himself on January 15, a conversation between Wallace and American scholar Christine Poggi on January 29, and a conversation between Wallace and Vancouver artist Stan Douglas on February 5.
Reading Ian Wallace: An International Perspective was a partnership between the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Canadian Art Foundation International Speaker Series. The series is sponsored by BMO Financial Group. To enjoy more talks recorded at Canadian Art Foundation programs, please visit canadianart.ca/learn/talks/.