Sunday, November 7, 2010
A studio visit coinciding with new exhibit at Monte Clark Gallery and launch of monograph by Steidl.
Stephen Waddell was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1968 and received his M.F.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1994. He has exhibited in galleries and institutions including Monte Clark Gallery in Vancouver and Toronto; The Vancouver Art Gallery, Espai d’art contemporani de Castelló in Castello; Kunstforum Baloise in Basel and C/O Berlin. Waddell’s works are today part of the Armand Hammer Collection in Los Angeles, as well as the permanent collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. A book of Waddell’s work, Hunt and Gather, is forthcoming from Steidl Publishing in Germany.
Waddell most often stumbles upon his subjects by chance. His pictures preserve a sense of distance and dignity, allowing us to observe his subjects at work or at play or at rest. At the same time, aided by the skillful employment of colour and composition, we are led to situate these figures in a greater scheme of things. They are given formal strength, sensuality and—perhaps most importantly of all—significance.
In this exhibition of new works, Stephen Waddell continues to redefine the space between the photograph as document and as art. The works reveal the emergence of new photographic subjects and the transformation of established ones that becomes possible at large-scale. By pushing the limits of photographic production, the artist explores the shifting materials and processes that are both disappearing from and becoming available to the medium. Gesturing to the expressive realm of painting yet rooted in documentary realism, these pictures uncover the details that exist within the confrontation between the worlds of people and things.