News Releases - 2001
Art Gallery of Hamilton receives $20,000 York Wilson Endowment Award
Ottawa, 10 April 2001 - The Canada Council for the Arts and Mrs. Lela Wilson today announced that the Art Gallery of Hamilton is the recipient of the 2001 York Wilson Endowment Award, for the purchase of the sculpture/installation Bruegel-Bosch Bus by Edmonton-born artist Kim Adams.
The award will be officially presented on Thursday, 26 April at 7:30 p.m. in the Art Gallery of Hamilton Lounges, 123 King Street West in Hamilton, in the presence of Kim Adams. Council Director Shirley L. Thomson will present the award to the Art Gallery of Hamilton and Mrs. Wilson, the prize donor, will say a few words.
Bruegel-Bosch Bus will be installed permanently at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in the sculpture atrium, and will have a place of prominence as part of the opening celebrations surrounding a newly renovated building in the near future. In the meantime, the sculpture/installation will be on view at Oakville Galleries' Centennial Square (120 Navy Street in Oakville) from 5 May to 24 June 2001.
Created in 1997, the $20,000 York Wilson Endowment Award is given annually to an eligible Canadian art museum or public gallery toward the purchase of an original artwork by a Canadian artist that will significantly enhance its collection. The award is the result of two gifts totaling $432,000 from Lela Wilson and the late Maxwell Henderson and honours the contribution of Canadian painter York Wilson in the field of visual art by contributing to the acquisition of works by living, contemporary Canadian painters or sculptors.
Mrs. Wilson took the opportunity to announce that the York Wilson Endowment Award will be increased to $30,000 in 2002, thanks to a further donation of $182,000. "It gives me great pleasure to reaffirm my commitment to the visual arts community in Canada," said Mrs. Wilson. "Our galleries and our Canadian artists need everyone's support to grow and develop. The York Wilson Endowment Award, which I initiated with the Canada Council's assistance five years ago, and my decision to increase its value as of next year should both be seen as signs of encouragement and confidence in our artists."
The Peer Selection Committee for the award comprised Karen Antaki (Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec), curator at Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery; Michael Bell (Ottawa, Ontario), Director of the Carleton University Art Gallery; and James Patten (Winnipeg, Manitoba), curator of contemporary art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
The Art Gallery of Hamilton
Founded in 1914, the Art Gallery of Hamilton is a public resource dedicated to engaging, stimulating and enriching the community through art. Ontario's third-largest public art gallery, the AGH boasts one of the most significant permanent collections in Canada. Its important contemporary holdings reflect the activities of artists Joyce Wieland, John McEwen, Michael Snow, York Wilson and John Massey and others whose work has exerted an impact on Canada's cultural landscape. In 2000, the Gallery received a Lieutenant Governor's Award in recognition of its sound income management, fundraising efforts, board and volunteer activity and increased attendance.
Kim Adams was born in Edmonton in 1951 and studied at the University of Victoria, receiving his B.F.A. in 1979. He has exhibited extensively and over the past 10 years he has received international recognition for his work. His work is now represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation, Windsor Art Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery, Concordia Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery and Oakville Galleries.
Repeatedly in his work, Adams has explored the patterns of a mobile society, creating works of art that are eccentric hybrids of the readymade. Blending humour, satire and seriousness, he builds "worlds" as a means of social critique: Bruegel-Bosch Bus is a perfect example.
Bruegel-Bosch Bus is a work in which a 1960s Volkswagen appears to pull a post-industrial universe displaying a cornucopia of fantastic and seductive worlds constructed out of HO model parts. This futuristic diorama is quintessential Adams. The overall structure is reminiscent of Adams' previous rendition of a civilization on wheels, Earth Wagons. Where Earth Wagons was the micro-model of North American society fixed on entertainment addressing inter plays between work and leisure, nature and culture, the Bruegel-Bosch Bus takes us into a paradigmatic model of the next whole world picture in which reality and unreality, logic and fantasy, banality and sublimation of existence form an inexplicable unity. This "bus" is a Kubrick-esque megalopolis made of icons symptomatic in present-day life, drawing upon urban fantasies, phantasmagoric, post-apocalyptic landscapes, a plethora of different times and cultures with buildings from epochs aligned side by side, where space becomes an imaginary territory.
In a broader context, the work builds on issues surrounding universal themes of political and social upheaval in contemporary society. The miniature scenes in the installation point toward serious societal preoccupations looming large at the beginning of this century such as rampant consumerism, homogenization of cultures across the global village and the ever-quickening disappearance of untamed nature.
The Canada Council for the Arts, in addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts in Canada, administers and awards nearly 100 prizes and fellowships in the arts, humanities, natural and health sciences, engineering and communication technologies. Among these are the Killam Prizes, the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes, the Petro-Canada Award in New Technologies, the Governor General's Literary Awards and the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts and the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts.
For more information about these awards, including nomination procedures, contact Janet Riedel, Endowments and Prizes Officer, at (613) 566-4414, or 1 800 263-5588, ext. 4116. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.