Elizabeth Zvonar’s work often uses iconic symbols from pop culture to reference art historical works, mixing images through collage or rendering popular forms using traditional methods and materials. In Sign of the Times, for example, a monumental hand forming the peace sign is carved in serpentine stone. Similarly, in a recent series of collages canonical works like Édouard Manet’s The Fifer is intercut with images of a bronze Horn Blower from Benin,Nigeria or, in Canadian terms, Tom Thomson’s Black Spruce In Autumn is layered with Lawren Harris’s Pic Island. Through material and mass-produced images, Zvonar manages to connect the aesthetic, social, and conceptual conventions of art history with those derived from the larger collectivity of popular culture.
On Time, Zvonar’s show for the CAG, carried this collision of representation into the realm of science, philosophy, and religion by examining how the desire to move between realms, earthly, spiritual or dimensional, is portrayed through invention, ritual, and, ultimately, image. Face Up, an exhibition I co-curated with Zvonar, used the work of three artists to articulate Zvonar’s interest in representations of the body: specifically how the body or images of the body can be broken down into single gestures. Repetition, exaggeration, and processes of making are common threads that tie the works together. In three works by Lee Lozano, the same gesture is repeated over and over through oil painting and pastel drawing, while Bruce Nauman’s silkscreen print suite Studies for Holograms presents five contorted facial expressions emphasized by the use of acid yellow, grey green, and inky blacks. Sarah Lucas’s Cigarette Tits II captures the full slump of a heavily bosomed, seated female form through an economy of means and material.
Are you a teacher looking to further educate your class about one of our exhibitions? Or, maybe you are planning a field trip and would like some further guidance.
Teachers’ Guides support educators who wish to visit the CAG with their students or who wish to carry out lessons related to CAG exhibitions in their classrooms. They include artist biographies, thematic exhibition overviews, suggested points of discussion, as well as recommended readings and references.
Lesson Plans are designed to bring the resources of contemporary art and artists to diverse classrooms. It is our goal to introduce students of all ages to the richness that engaging with contemporary art brings. Such breadth and diversity show that it can be used as a meaningful springboard in teaching a variety of subjects. Please feel free to adapt lessons to suit the specific needs of your class and curriculum.MORE