Deal Announcement: “Gathie Falk: Offerings”
Gathie Falk: Offerings, published concurrently with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection retrospective curated by Sarah Milroy, will investigate the career of a legendary Canadian artist. Now in her nineties, Falk has established herself as one of Canada’s most visionary and experimental artists.
A trailblazer on all fronts exploring the disciplines of painting, ceramic, performance art and installation over the span of a half century, her perceptions of the everyday are often tinged with the surreal and the uncanny evoking the legacies of Surrealism and Pop Art. In her flying horses, rows of potted conifers festooned with blossoms and ribbons, floating cabbages, piles of glossy apples and gentlemen’s brogues presented in reliquary style—to highlight a few such works—she finds the wondrous in the routine world around her, pursuing her work with a modesty and diligence that reflects her Russian Mennonite heritage.
Falk has generated work of extraordinary thematic integrity and material invention. Offerings illuminates those connections across disciplines, while also tracing the artist’s journey from youth to old age—from the lushness of her famous fruit piles, with their sensuous surfaces and dazzling colours as well as the landmark performances of her early career, to the sepulchral hush of her night skies and the shimmering expanses of her water pieces.
Gathie Falk: Offerings will include an introduction by McMichael Chief Curator Sarah Milroy, lead essay by Vancouver curator and writer Daina Augaitis, as well as a host of other artists and writers all rising to the occasion of this career-spanning survey. This catalogue will summarize an extraordinary career, with full page images of her artworks and rarely seen archival photos of the artist’s studio, performance works, and Falk herself.
Signed by publisher, Chris Labonté. Spring 2022 publication.
Over the course of more than sixty years of art making, Gathie Falk has created myriad paintings, performances, installations, and sculptures that radiate her singular vision. From ceramic fruit piles to luxuriant flower beds to quirky sculptures that exalt everyday objects like shoes or cabbages, her works express her joy in the beauty of life, and in the rituals of creation. Born in Alexander, Manitoba, to a family of Russian Mennonite heritage, she and her family made their way west, settling in Vancouver in 1947, where she began her artistic career. In the 1960s Falk studied with such leading artists as J.A.S. MacDonald, Roy Oxlade, and Glenn Lewis, and has since shown her work in more than forty solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. In 1985 and 2000, she was the subject of major touring retrospectives at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and her works are held in numerous public and private collections across Canada. Gathie Falk lives in Vancouver, where she continues to make art.
Photo: Gathie Falk, 1988 by Michael Torosian © Michael Torosian