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Ron Terada: Painting Art’s Playlists

Ron Terada’s solo exhibition “Who I Think I Am” is a bit of an international affair. With part one of the show just wrapping up at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, England, the Vancouver-based artist heads to the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff this week for the exhibition’s second stop. (The third related installation will take place in January 2011 at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery in Toronto.) Though Terada is best known for wry manipulation of public media signage and symbols, “Who I Think I Am” marks his return to painting after a 10-year respite from the medium. Inspired by the memoirs of Montreal-born American painter (and conceptual artist) Jack Goldstein, Terada’s series of new text-based paintings resurrect the tragic life of an artist-genius who came to prominence in the 1980s and took his own life in 2003. Part homage, part introspection, the 11 paintings that comprise Jack—reproducing, verbatim, an entire chapter from the artist’s memoir—probe not only Goldstein’s precarious dwelling on the fringes of the early 1980s CalArts scene, but also Terada’s own place within the machinations of the art world. Terada’s fascinations with language and the culture industry continue in Soundtrack for an Exhibition, the latest in a series of playlists produced to accompany his shows. Taking popular music as another basis for exploring the conventions of how culture and commerce are represented, the lyrics and titles of Terada’s chosen songs work as a foil for his meditations on contemporary artistic practice and identity. (107 Tunnel Mountain Dr, Banff AB)

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