November 21, 2015 - Vancouver Art Gallery - Jerry Pethick: Shooting the Sun/Splitting the Pie
November 21, 2015

Vancouver Art Gallery

Jerry Pethick, Lenticular Registrar, 1973. Rubber, tile, tape, Rolux, 56 x 50 cm. Courtesy of Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver. Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery.
Jerry Pethick
Shooting the Sun/Splitting the Pie
October 24, 2015–January 10, 2016

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 2H7
Canada

vanartgallery.bc.ca
Facebook

Jerry Pethick
Shooting the Sun/Splitting the Pie
October 24, 2015–January 10, 2016

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 2H7
Canada

vanartgallery.bc.ca
Facebook

The Vancouver Art Gallery presents Jerry Pethick: Shooting the Sun/Splitting the Pie, a retrospective that provides a comprehensive overview of Canadian artist Jerry Pethick’s prolific career that emerged from his lifelong investigation into the relationship between technology, consciousness and shifting paradigms of perception. This exhibition comprises approximately 100 artworks, including a number of the “photo arrays” for which Pethick became widely known. Though Pethick’s work has been exhibited across Canada, Europe, the United States and Japan, this is the first in-depth museum survey of this important artist’s career.

Over the course of a career that spanned five decades, Jerry Pethick (1935–2003) produced a complex and multifaceted body of work that is difficult to classify. Pethick’s practice focused on questions of perception, an important area of activity in the visual arts over the past four decades. However, his amalgamations of photography, optical devices, sculpture and drawing, and the structures he assembled to create new conceptions of material space, are a unique achievement. Although it has been 12 years since his passing, his experimental approach to form and materials—along with his rigorous investigations into art history, the history of science and the nature of visual perception—remain both remarkably current and relevant to contemporary art practices today. His visionary work has been an inspiration for new generations of artists.

Through an extended emphasis on an object’s entanglement with its surroundings and the viewer’s consciousness, Pethick challenged culturally determined ways of perceiving space and the related separation of observer and object that has occupied a central position in Western thought since the 18th century. Pethick saw disciplinary boundaries and linear conceptions of history as regimented structures of communication that limit perception and produce a pervasive false consciousness. His practice could be described as an ongoing attempt to push aside these limitations by exploring parallels in the methods of representation developed concurrently in the arts and sciences over the past two centuries, as well as the perceptual systems that have been left in their wake.

The unusual path Pethick took is embodied in his choice to live and work on Hornby Island in British Columbia, a remote and pastoral site frequented by artists and curators from Vancouver and abroad that is both connected to and distanced from the art world’s circuits of communication.

This exhibition is accompanied by a 160-page catalogue that marks the first major publication dedicated to the career of this artist with essays by Grant Arnold, Monika Szewczyk, John Drury, Geoffrey Farmer, Jerry Pethick and Siobhan McCracken Nixon, co-published by the Vancouver Art Gallery and Black Dog Publishing.

About the artist
Pethick was born in 1935 in London, Ontario and passed away in 2003 on Hornby Island, British Columbia. He was a multimedia artist who investigated space, optical phenomena, and perception to create innovative, often witty artworks and installations. He studied art at the Chelsea College of Art in London, England, and later became an associate of the Royal College of Art. After spending time in the 1960s at a holography school in San Francisco in the United States, he moved to Hornby Island, British Columbia, where he lived and worked for the remainder of his life.

Solo exhibitions of Pethick’s work include Simon Fraser University Gallery (2011); Typology of Space, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2004); Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Musée Regional de Rimouski, Quebec (2001); Out of the Corner of an Eye, Center of Contemporary Art, Seattle (2000); The Further World, Canadian Embassy, Tokyo (1997); The Composite Image: New Works by Jerry Pethick, Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver (1994); Notion of Nothing, Stadtgalerie, Saarbrucken, Germany (1994); Still Veils, The Power Plant, Toronto (1992); and La Dot/Transition in Progress, 49th Parallel Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art, New York (1986). His work has also been included in numerous international group exhibitions.

Jerry Pethick was the recipient of the Claudia de Hueck Fellowship for Arts and Science at the National Gallery of Canada in 1997/1998, as well as a VIVA Award from the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation in 2000. He was included in the Canadian Biennial of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery in 1989, and in 2003 he achieved a patent for his apparatus for stereoscopically viewing scenes and objects. Time Top, commissioned by Concord Pacific, was his first public art commission and remains on view at the edge of False Creek near the Cambie Street Bridge in Vancouver.

Jerry Pethick: Shooting the Sun/Splitting the Pie is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art.

Media information
Debra Zhou: T +604 662 4722 / M +604 671 2358 / dzhou [​at​] vanartgallery.bc.ca

About the Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is a not-for-profit organization supported by its members, individual donors, corporate funders, foun­dations, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. We thank everyone for their continuing generosity.

Related
Share
More
Vancouver Art Gallery
Share - Jerry Pethick
Shooting the Sun/Splitting the Pie
  • Share
Close
Next