The Art Gallery of Alberta Opens Three Exciting Exhibitions to Finish the 2015 Season


Edmonton, AB  – The Art Gallery of Alberta presents three exciting exhibitions – ROUGH COUNTRY: The Strangely Familiar in mid-20th Century Alberta Art (Oct 3 – Jan 31), Dana Holst: She’s All That (Oct 24 – Feb 15), and Living Building Thinking: Art and Expressionism (Oct 24 – Feb 15) – to close out the 2015 season.


ROUGH COUNTRY: The Strangely Familiar in mid-20th Century Alberta Art, open now until Sunday, January 31, 2016. This exhibition brings together the work of five Alberta artists—Maxwell Bates, Laura Evans Reid, John Snow, William Leroy Stevenson and Dorothy Henzell Willis—to demonstrate the impact of art movements in Europe, such as Expressionism, on representations of Alberta life following World War II. All born before 1918, these artists bring a perspective on the province and its people that belies the standard myth of Alberta as a land of prosperity and singular beauty. Rough Country represents ongoing research into artistic practice in Alberta and is an example of the AGA’s lively and ongoing commitment to Alberta art of the past and present.

Co-curated by Ruth Burns and Mary-Beth Laviolette. Organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta. Presented by Westmorland Coal Company.

Living Building Thinking: Art and Expressionism runs from October 24, 2015 – February 15, 2016, and explores the development and trajectories of Expressionism in art from the early 19th century to present day. The term Expressionism is most often associated with art and social activism in Germany between 1905 and 1937. It encompasses the visual art, literature, philosophy, theatre, film and photography, and architecture of that era. This exhibition expands the view on the subject, showing how the impulses behind and results of Expressionism suggest that it remains relevant today. The relationship between artists and society,  the visual expressions that circulate through shared hopes for social awareness and change across national borders, these all prompt artists to respond in the spirit of a moment and trigger impulses to express the human condition through art .

Drawn from the extensive collection of the McMaster Museum of Art, this exhibition includes almost 100 paintings, drawings, prints, books, camera work and video—from formative historical works of the 19th century (hallmarks of the modern age by artists such as William Blake, Paul Gauguin, Edvard Munch Egon Schiele and Wassily Kandinsky ), through German Expressionists by the likes of Otto Dix, Emil Nolde, Erich Heckel, Kathe Kollewitz, George Grosz and Max Beckmann to contemporary works by Canadian artists (such as Gershon Iskowitz, Gary Pearson, and Natalka Husar) that underscore Expressionism’s relevance in society today.

Living Building Thinking: Art and Expressionism is organized and circulated by the McMaster Museum of Art with the generous support of the Museums Assistance Program, Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council. It is presented at the Art Gallery of Alberta as a part of Capital Powered Art, an exhibition series sponsored by Capital Power Corporation.

Dana Holst: She’s All That runs from October 24, 2015 – February 15, 2016. Edmonton artist Dana Holst’s solo exhibition She’s All That includes a series of oil paintings and encaustic drawings that present the human experience from a female-focused perspective and address the complexity of female identity, rites of passage and bullying and their place within our social hierarchy.

Holst’s paintings draw from the familiar plots of fairy tales, personal experiences and her research into feminine interactions and social development. Relationships between women and the destructive characteristics of covetousness, jealousy and vanity are depicted in portraiture, with the underlying psychological tensions emanating through a classic indirect painting technique utilizing a piercing red ground.

Holst’s characters represent the typical range of perceived forms of female bullying, such as exclusion from the group, gossip, rumour mongering and mental intimidation, culminating in mysterious and dark narratives about human nature.

Dana Holst is an artist based in Edmonton, working primarily in painting, drawing and printmaking. Holst’s work is an ongoing investigation into the human experience, focusing on the self and its place within society. Social stereotyping and power struggles between the sexes are ongoing themes for Holst, whose work often depicts the female experience in conflict. Holst received a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo, Ontario. Her work is included in private collections in North America and the public collections of Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Art Bank and Glenbow Museum.

The RBC New Works Gallery features new artworks by Alberta artists. Initiated in 1998 and named the RBC New Works Gallery in 2008, this gallery space continues the Art Gallery of Alberta’s tradition of supporting Alberta artists. Presented with the support of the RBC Emerging Artists Project.


Art Gallery of AlbertaThe Art Gallery of Alberta is a centre of excellence for the visual arts in Western Canada, connecting people, art and ideas. The AGA is focused on the development and presentation of original exhibitions of contemporary and historical art from Alberta, Canada and around the world. The AGA also offers a full-range of art education and public programs. Founded in 1924, the Art Gallery of Alberta maintains a collection of more than 6,000 objects and is the oldest cultural institution in Alberta. It is the only museum in the province solely dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of art and visual culture.

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a not-for-profit organization that relies on the support of its Members, donors, sponsors and government. The AGA is grateful for the generous support of the many public and private donors and sponsors who have made the AGA’s New Vision possible, as well as the ongoing support of the City of Edmonton, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts and our Members.