Dreaming Impressionism, 1998

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Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Double Faced, 1998

digital output on canvas

31 x 69 in. (79 x 175 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Female Head with Hand, 1998

electrostatic transfer

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Gazing Woman, 1998

ektacolour mural

29 x 57 in. (74 x 145 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Still life with Fruit, 1998

electrostatic transfer

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Still life with Pears, 1998

electrostatic transfer

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Double Male Gaze, 1998

electrostatic transfer

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Fingerpointing, 1998

electrostatic transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Paintbrush & Man with Beard, 1998

electrostatic transfer

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Red Head Flying, 1998

ektacolour mural

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Tahitian Woman Gazing at Back, 1998

electrostatic transfer

13 x 19.5 in. (33 x 50 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Tahitian Woman Gazing at Back, 1998

electrostatic transfer

13 x 19.5 in. (33 x 50 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Torso, 1998

electrostatic transfer

13 x 19.5 in. (33 x 50 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Touching Yellow, 1998

digital output on canvas

3.6 x 5.6 ft. (1 x 1.7 m)

Astman, Barbara

Dreaming Impressionism, Still life with Tea Pot, 1998

electrostatic transfer

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Barbara Astman
Dreaming Impressionism, 1999

 

Barbara Astman is a photo-based artist and educator.  She teaches experimental concepts and techniques in photography at Ontario College of Art and Design.  In Dreaming Impressionism she has created striking, innovative large-scale canvases. 

 

Appropriating familiar images from old masterworks, Barbara Astman reinterprets conventional concept of female portraiture.  This series re-examines Impressionism –images that had profoundly influenced the artist in her formative years – by recontexualizing the subject and the thematic focus of traditional paintings.  Barbara Astman’s Dreaming Impressionism centers on hands, bodies and faces of the subjects, shifting the viewer’s gaze and eliciting a different response in its viewing.

 

These works, rich and saturated with colour, defy classification: Are they paintings?  But the texture of the surface is “double faced”, according to Barbara Astman.  The works incorporate photographs, polaroids, ink and computer graphics – a process that results in a seamless layering of images.  

 

BARBARA ASTMAN belongs to a visionary group of artists who have continued to radicalize visual culture since the early 1970s by defining new ways of seeing. Over four decades, she has explored a wide range of photo-based media and produced work that has received national and international recognition. She is represented in important public, corporate and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Deutche Bank, New York; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Her artist’s archives are held in the E.P. Taylor Research Library & Archives, AGO.

 

Astman has an extensive and prestigious solo exhibition history, most recently the two-part Looking: Then and Now (Corkin Gallery, 2016) and BarbaraAstman: I as artifact. The latter featured a new series accompanied by a comprehensive publication (McIntosh Gallery, 2014). In May 2011, her installation, Dancing with Che: Enter through the Gift Shop (Kelowna Art Gallery, 2013) toured across Canada. And her touring retrospective, Barbara Astman: Personal/Persona – A 20 Year Survey, was curated by Liz Wylie (Art Gallery of Hamilton, 1995). Astman has been included in major group exhibitions, such as: Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 (AGO, 2016), Living Building Thinking: Art and Expressionism (McMaster Museum of Art, 2016), Look Again: Colour Xerography Art Meets Technology (AGO, 2015), Herland (60 Wall Gallery, New York, 2014), Light My Fire Part I: Some Propositions about Portraits and Photography (AGO, 2013), and Beautiful Fictions (AGO, 2009). Canadian Art featured a profile of her career in its Spring 2014 issue. 

Astman was commissioned to create an installation for the inaugural exhibition at the Koffler Gallery (Toronto, 2013). She has completed several public art commissions, including the Murano on Bay in Toronto, comprised of 217 windows with photo-based imagery (2010); a public art installation for the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, Germany (2005); and a floor installation for the Calgary Winter Olympics (1987).

 

Active in the Toronto arts community, Astman has served on numerous boards and advisory committees, including the AGO Board of Trustees (2009-2013). Currently, she is the Chair of the Art Advisory Committee, Koffler Gallery, Toronto and President, Board of Directors, Prefix (ICA) Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto. In addition, she has co-curated an installation titled The Emergence of Feminism: Changing the Course of Art, featuring work by Joyce Wieland, Suzy Lake and Lisa Steele (AGO, 2008).

 

Astman holds degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology, School for American Craftsmen, and Ontario College of Art. She has been a professor at OCAD University, Toronto since 2001.

 

Text by Georgiana Uhlyarik, Fredrik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art, AGO. For more information, please visit www.barbaraastman.com.