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 from the 1960s into the 1990s, 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. Wallace has exhibited extensively internationally and received a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2004.
Stan Douglas is now recognized as part of the Vancouver school of photoconceptualists as well. Douglas graduated from Emily Carr College of Art in 1982. Through the 1990s and 2000s, Douglas became known for photography and projection-based work examining the legacy of Modernism and the nature of historical and social narratives. References to or re-enactments of films and political incidents are common in Douglas’s work, as well as sites of failed utopianism from Detroit to Berlin to Havana. He has exhibited at the Whitney Biennial, among other events, and in 2012 he won the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award.
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 UK artist and critic Victor Burgin on February 19.
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 our Talks page.