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Ian Wallace: Capital Ideas

This weekend, the Power Plant unveils “Ian Wallace: The Economy of the Image,” an exhibition of commissioned work by the celebrated Vancouver-based artist credited with pioneering conceptual photography on the West Coast. Wallace’s 12 new works, Abstract Paintings I–XII (The Financial District), combine photographs taken by the artist at Wellington and Bay Streets in Toronto’s financial district with narrow strips of colour.

Wallace has long used city intersections to explore complex relationships between modernism, urbanity, painting and photography. Questions of legacy and evolution are posed here as viewers are invited to consider the striking new images alongside a selection of black and white photographs, taken by the artist in the 1970s, which also document Canadian urban landscapes. Narrow, Malevich-like colour fields of jet black and stark white, suitably placed in the exhibition’s corners, make meaningful art-historical references.

Wallace’s signature geometries are also employed in “Ian Wallace: Masculin/Féminin,” a concurrent solo exhibition on view at the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina until the end of January. For this prairie exhibition, Wallace created six new works inspired by the films of Jean-Luc Godard. As always, Wallace’s mix of photography, colour and text promises to inspire layered meditations.

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