Curated by David Diviney
Opening reception: Saturday, February 18 at 8 PM
Reception sponsored by ATB Financial
Looking to Garry Neill Kennedy’s 2012 published book of the same title as the foundation for this exhibition, The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968-1978 aims to provide an in-depth examination of how a small art college in Nova Scotia became the epicenter of art education—and to a large extent of the post-minimalist and conceptual art world itself—in the 1960s and 1970s. Under Kennedy’s direction, the activities of the college during this formative era redefined the means and methods of pedagogy and the shape of artistic practice far beyond the city of Halifax.
A partial list of visiting artists and faculty members at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design over this period include Joseph Beuys, Sol LeWitt, Gerhard Richter, Dan Graham, Gerald Ferguson, David Askevold, Mel Bochner, Lucy Lippard, John Baldessari, Hans Haacke, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Frank, Jenny Holzer, Robert Morris, Eric Fischl, and Dara Birnbaum.
The NSCAD Press, overseen by Kasper Koenig and Benjamin Buchloh, published books by, among others, Hollis Frampton, Lawrence Weiner, Donald Judd, Simone Forti, Steve Reich, Daniel Buren, Paul-Émile Borduas, Michael Asher, Greg Curnoe, Martha Rosler, and Michael Snow.
The Lithography Workshop produced early works by many of today’s masters, including John Baldessari, Vito Acconci, Joyce Wieland, Douglas Huebler, N.E. Thing Co. Ltd., Jan Dibbets, Guido Molinari, Les Levine, Victor Burgin, Carole Condé, Emmett Williams, and Claes Oldenburg.
The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968- 1978 features more than 100 objects of various media produced by these and other artists through a direct involvement with the college. In addition to presenting important examples of artwork, made visible are the experimental impulses of the period via archived interviews, video footage, printed matter, and related ephemera. This exhibition, as well as the book from which it was adapted, celebrates the confluence of individuals and ideas brought together during this storied moment in Canadian art history.
David Diviney, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Garry Neill Kennedy is a Canadian conceptual artist. From 1967 to 1990, he was president of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2004. He currently lives in Vancouver where he teaches at the University of British Columbia.
The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968-1978 is presented by TD Canada Trust and organized by The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia with the support of NSCAD University. Additional funding provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the City of Lethbridge.