It's All About Style, 2013

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Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 01, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 08, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 10, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 13, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 18, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 19, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 31, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 38, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 40, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 44, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 45, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, No. 47, 2013

tape transfer

22 x 30 in. (56 x 76 cm)

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, 2013

installation at Corkin Gallery

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, 2013

installation at Corkin Gallery

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, 2013

installation at Corkin Gallery

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, 2013

installation at Corkin Gallery

Astman, Barbara

It's All About Style, 2013

installation at Corkin Gallery

Barbara Astman, It’s All About Style, 2013

 

It’s All About Style, reflects the seduction and saturation of the glossy pages of the style section of a newspaper.  Astman collages newspaper extracts creating unusual juxtapositions of colour and texture.  The lo-tech, handcrafted nature of her work introduces resourcefulness into the artistic process, inspiring her to explore the meaning and essence of the images through the materials from which they are made.

 

These works do not attempt to create logical narratives, nor do they comment on the news of the day. Instead, Astman playfully harnesses seemingly disparate visual material, whose only apparent commonality is their appearance in the “Style” section of a newspaper, to create juxtapositions that comment on the proliferation of hi-fi imagery in modern media. It’s All About Style deals with the overwhelming saturation of – and our collective obsession with – the images we encounter in our daily lives.

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.