Week Two: June 5 to June 11 | UNB

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College of Extended Learning

Revelations: Week Two

East Gallery

Artist statement

Hysteria has been a sexualized disease, even in its earliest conceptions. Its unlimited manifestations were attributed by Greco-Roman thought to the influence of a restless, wandering womb. The disturbance would continue until the womb was placated, luring it back into place by fumigating the vagina with pleasing smells, but preferably by placating it with the (sexual) love of a man. Later on, in Galen’s time, it was believed to be caused by a retention of female semen which could be released by inducing orgasm. In the Middle Ages, hysterics, sexually disordered creatures often became victims of the witch craze. Although the uterine origin of hysteria was eventually discarded, it has continued to be considered a female malady. It was perceived to be a disease of the weak; something that women were susceptible to due to their irrational, overly emotional natures.

This body of work visually references Victoria-era psychiatric photography. I am specifically interested in the work of Jean-Martin Charcot with hysterics at the Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. This was a state-run insane asylum, to which poor women were committed, and unable to leave, thus making them ideal subjects for study.

The disease seems to be a fashionable field of scientific study. Charcot, in fact, would parade his patients out each Tuesday to perform for colleagues in an uncanny (but very popular) sort of pageant. In their zeal to clearly demonstrate the ‘characteristic’ physical signs of mental illness, some doctors coached their patients in particular postures using props, costumes, and the like. It has not escaped my notice that the doctors defining the roles of these women were all men.

It can be said that ‘identity’ is nothing more than a continuous, compulsive re-editing of the past, to select a kind of composite which serves as “I” for that instant alone. The process is only brought to a conclusion by death.

For the Victorian doctor/photographers, the static image arrested the ever-elusive spectre of the disease, freezing it (and its victims) into poses, roles, and stereotypes that could be studied and categorized. These disorderly lives have been summed up. But even these final definitions are subjective since they have been created by a subjective other who is, himself, fictional. What then, is the real self? If one’s identity cannot be finally determined until existence has been completed, then it will be those who come after who will decide who we were, an identity even less real than the one we construct moment-to-moment.

These works now in the UNB Permanent Collection were from the exhibit Femmes held at the UNB Art Centre in 2003.

Artist bio

Hazel Hatch PhotoHazel Hatch received her diploma in Fine Craft in 2001 from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, Fredericton. Graduating with Honours, she was awarded the Governor General’s Bronze Medal for highest academic standing and the Duffie-Crowell Award for most promising graduate. As a student she received the Dr. H. Hagerman Award (1999) for first-year Drawing, the Photo Fredericton Award (1999) for an outstanding returning student in Photography, the Association of Universities and the Colleges of Canada Fairfax Financial Holdings Scholarship (1999-2000) for exceptional academic standing in the first year and the Appleby Colour Lab Award (2000) for outstanding photography student. She is also a recipient of a New Brunswick Arts Scholarship (2000/2001) awarded to exceptional students and arts professionals pursuing a career in the arts.

She has worked as a student coordinator at Gallery Connexion in Fredericton (now Connexion ARC) and as an Assistant Instructor at NBCCD and as a freelance photographer. Her student practicum was in the studio of Diana Thorneycroft. She has participated in several group exhibitions in venues in Fredericton and at the Saint Norbert Arts and Culture Centre in Winnipeg.

She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and held a solo exhibit The Invisible Trouble at the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax in 2002. She completed an MA in Fine Arts at the University of Wales Aberystwyth (now Aberystwyth University) in 2005. She now lives in London, Ontario, with her wife and two children.

Sadly, ;Hazel never fully recovered from hysteria and now lives permanently in a madhouse.

Interview with the artist

List of works

Les Attitudes Passionelles, 2002

Attaques d’hysteró épilepsie
Monochromatic dye-sub prints
51 cm X 76.4 cm

Quote: Susan Sontag, On Photography.

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West Gallery

Danse Macabre

Artist bios

Brigid Toole Grant (1938-Current)

Brigid Toole Grant PhotoThough born in Montreal, Brigid Toole grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick. More specifically, she grew up at the University of New Brunswick where both her mother Norah and father Frank taught chemistry. The family lived in the Old Arts Building now known as Sir Howard Douglas Hall until 1945.

The Tooles were a prominent New Brunswick family, well-educated and civically engaged, known not only for their academic contributions but for their contributions to the community at large. Toole Hall at UNB is named for her father, Dr. Frank J. Toole, who by the 1950s had become the Dean of Chemistry. Her mother Norah was active in the Women’s Council, the YM/YWCA, and in the 1940s worked with Senator Muriel McQueen Ferguson to fight for the right of women (who didn’t own property) to vote in municipal elections.

As a child, Brigid was very influenced by the artists associated with the early days of the UNB Art Centre, in particular Lucy Jarvis, Alfred Pinsky, Fritz Brandtner. She continued her artistic training at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and l'École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal. She studied at the Art Student League in New York and the City and Guilds School in London, England. She also studied at the University of New Brunswick where she received a BA in History and Philosophy in 1961. In 1964, she married Dick Grant and they have one daughter, Hannah.

Brigid Toole Grant is a versatile artist with a keen appreciation for the landscapes, faces and interiors of her adopted province. In addition, she brings a social conscience to many of the subjects she portrays. Her drawings, watercolours, paintings, and in particular her woodcuts, show the influence of David Shapiro from her early days at the Art Student League. In 1967, she completed a sculptural piece representing New Brunswick in the Atlantic Pavillion at Expo ’67. She is a founding member of the Fredericton Arts Alliance and has been on the Board of Directors for Connexion ARC. She has been a juror for the NB Art Bank, the Strathbutler Awards, and others. In addition, she was the Maritime delegate for ANNPAC, and an ARTFORUM panelist advocating for the rights of artists. As well, she has written articles for ArtsAtlantic and her work appears on many of the covers of the Fiddlehead magazine.

As well as a talented artist, Brigid Toole Grant is a respected teacher who has given workshops across the country, has taught at the University of New Brunswick’s Department of Extension and also offered painting courses in its latest iteration as the College of Extended Learning. For many years she taught at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design where she was Head of the Drawing Studio. She also taught with Molly Lamb Bobak at Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre in St. Andrews, NB.

Brigid Toole Grant has been a continuing advocate for arts and education but also for social justice. She is a member of Science for Peace, the Aboriginal Rights Coalition, and she serves as a national board member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.

SOURCES:
https://www.gallery78.com/artists/brigid-toole-grant
https://unbhistory.lib.unb.ca/Toole_Hall

Bruno Bobak (1923-2012)

Bruno Bobak PhotoBorn Brunislaw Bobak in Wawelówka, Poland (now Skalat, Ukraine) in 1923, Bruno Bobak moved to Canada with his family as a child. He is a celebrated Canadian artist known primarily as a painter, but who also produced a great number of woodcuts and prints. Bobak studied at Central Technical School in Toronto with Carl Schaefer and Elizabeth Wyn Wood and later at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario) under the Group of Seven’s Arthur Lismer.

Bobak enlisted in the army at age twenty in 1942 and after winning first prize for a watercolour he submitted to an art exhibit, was appointed as an official Canadian war artist, becoming the youngest to win the honour. In 1945, Bobak married fellow painter Molly Lamb, Canada’s first official female war artist and settled in Ottawa. The couple moved to Vancouver in 1948 where they continued working as artists and Bruno taught at the Vancouver School of Art. The Bobak's moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick, in 1960 where he served as Artist-in-Residence at the University of New Brunswick. He was later appointed Director of the UNB Art Centre in 1962, a position he held until his retirement in 1986.

Bobak received many prestigious awards during his lifetime, including a Canada Council Senior Fellowship, the Jesse Dow Prize, C.W. Jeffries Award, membership in the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977. In 1984, he received an Honorary Degree from St. Thomas University and another from the University of New Brunswick in 1986. Along with his wife, Molly, Bobak received the Order of Canada in 1995. In 1982 Bobak’s painting, “Campus Gates,” was chosen by Canada Post to represent New Brunswick. In 1998 Bobak’s 1970 painting, “The Farmer’s Family” was featured as part of the Masterpieces of Canadian Art postage series. He participated in over 250 group exhibits and over 80 solo exhibits. Bobak passed away in 2012 at the age of 88.

Bruno Bobak’s work can be found in many local private and public collections including that of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the University of New Brunswick and the NB Art Bank, but also in the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian War Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Vancouver and the National Portrait Gallery.

SOURCES:
https://www.gallery78.com/artists/bruno-bobak-painter
https://www.gallery.ca/collection/artist/bruno-bobak
https://www.klinkhoff.ca/artists/254-bruno-bobak/

Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945)

Kathe Kollwitz PhotoBorn Käthe Schmidt, Käthe Kollwitz was a German artist, born in 1867 in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). She completed over 275 works in a variety of media including, painting and sculpture, yet it is her prints, particularly her woodcuts, lithographs, and etchings that hold a particular emotive power. Her most famous art cycles centered around the themes of war, loss, hunger, power, and the struggles of the working class.

“It is my duty to voice the sufferings of humankind, the never-ending sufferings heaped mountain high...This is my task, but not an easy one to fulfill.”1

Her gift for observation and drawing emerged at an early age and she studied at the Berliner Künstlerinnenschule (Berlin Academy for Women Artists). It was at this time that she became acquainted with the work of Max Klinger and the series Ein Leben (A Life) and Eine Liebe (A Love), which influenced her greatly. She also studied at the Academy for Women Artists in Munich from 1888-1890 where she worked from the nude model for the first time and became acquainted with Max Liebermann.

In 1888 she married physician Karl Kollwitz who was a social democrat and had close ties to the Freie evangelische Gemeinde (Free Evangelical Community). Kollwitz spent most of her adult life living in Berlin, working from the apartment she shared with her husband and children.

In1899, she exhibited in the first exhibition of the Berliner Secession and became a member in 1901-1913. This movement was formed by Max Liebermann in reaction to the rigid standards of the Academy system which had rejected works by Edvard Munch and others. The Berliner Secession included other notables like Emile Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Max Beckman.

Following the loss of her youngest son in the First World War, Kollwitz produced several more art cycles, including Krieg (War) and Death. It was during his period that she became a pacifist.

In 1928, Kollwitz became the first woman to be elected into the Prussian Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts) where she was a regular faculty member. She was forced to resign for her support of the Dringender Appell (Call for Unity), which was signed by dozens of German artists, scientists, and authors against the Nazi Party in 1933. Kollwitz was banned from exhibiting in Germany and was continually threatened by the Gestapo with imprisonment.

Her apartment/studio was hit in a bombing raid, and many of her etchings, drawings, and other documents were destroyed. She and her family were evacuated from Berlin in 1943. Kollwitz passed away on April 22nd, 1945, in Moritzburg, Saxony, Germany, 16 days before the end of the war in Europe. Kollwitz is considered to have been one of the “Greats” of German Expressionism, and her surviving artwork can be found in the Getty Research Institute, Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Käthe Kollwitz Museum in Berlin.

SOURCES:
1 http://www.artnet.com/artists/k%C3%A4the-kollwitz/
https://www.kollwitz.de/en/biography

Blumberg, Naomi. “Käthe Kollwitz” in Encyclopaedia Britannica. Published April 18, 2020, by Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Kathe-Kollwitz

Interview with the artist

List of works

BRIGID TOOLE-GRANT
Into the Blue, 1973
Woodcut on paper, 1/5
51.0 X 86.0 cm

BRUNO BOBAK
The Embrace
Woodcut on paper, Artist’s Proof
61.0 X 80.5 cm

BRIGID TOOLE-GRANT
Lovers, 1967
Woodcut on paper
51.0 X 29.0 cm

BRUNO BOBAK
Father and Son
Woodcut on paper, 3/30
122.3 X 60.8 cm

KÄTHE KOLLWITZ
Death and Mother Struggling over Child, 1911
Etching, restrike
23.0 X 28.0 cm

BRUNO BOBAK
Consolation, 1976
Serigraph, 20/50
58.2 X 73.5 cm

Quote: Henri Cazalis (1840-1909) Egalité, Fraternité...Text from the poem was the inspiration for Camille Saint-Saëns Danse Macabre (Opus 40), 1875.

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