Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, 2006

installation at Corkin Gallery

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, audreyhepburn, 2006

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

17 x 114 in. ( 43.2 x 289.6 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, directbluebrush, 2006

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

17 x 114 in. ( 43.2 x 289.6 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, dysfunctionalfamily, 2006

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

17 x 114 in. ( 43.2 x 289.6 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series,furworks, 2006

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

17 x 114 in. ( 43.2 x 289.6 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series,jackblack, 2006

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

17 x 114 in. ( 43.2 x 289.6 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series,pinkhand, 2006

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

17 x 114 in. ( 43.2 x 289.6 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, redhead, 2006

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

17 x 114 in. ( 43.2 x 289.6 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, rollover, 2006

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

17 x 114 in. ( 43.2 x 289.6 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, yakuzathugs, 2007

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

26.3 x 45 in. (66.7 x 114.3 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, blackabby, 2007

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

26.3 x 45 in. (66.7 x 114.3 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, bluecomic, 2007

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

26.3 x 45 in. (66.7 x 114.3 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, esperanza, 2007

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

26.3 x 45 in. (66.7 x 114.3 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, furworks, 2007

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

26.3 x 45 in. (66.7 x 114.3 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, highstyle, 2007

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

26.3 x 45 in. (66.7 x 114.3 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, monster, 2007

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

26.3 x 45 in. (66.7 x 114.3 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Jewish, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Carry Grant, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Chretien, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Detail 1, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Detail 2, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Detail 3, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Detail 4, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Detail 5, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Detail 6, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Detail 7, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Detail 8, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Detail 9, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Detail 10, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Detail 11, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Fire, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Hair, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Hand, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Hockey, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Lamb, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Liz Taylor, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Pink Hand, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Prada, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Pretty Boy, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Shoes, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Sunglasses, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Tennis, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Tomatos, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Tut, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, Ydessa, 2011

digital newspaper collage on archival paper

13 x 19 in. (33 x 48 cm)

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, 2006

installation at Corkin Gallery

Astman, Barbara

The Newspaper Series, 2006

installation at Corkin Gallery

Barbara Astman

The Newspaper Series, 2006-2007

 

From 2006, The Newspaper Series reminds us of the ritual of reading the morning paper, a custom easily taken for granted.  At that time, Astman read several newspapers daily, collecting and stacking them 3ft high around the perimeter of the walls of her studio for an entire year. Newspapers for Astman were a place for discovery. By photographing them and digitally stitching them together, she created 52 unique strips, deliberately invoking the passing of one year.

 

In accumulating images representative of our media-obsessed culture, Astman mimics the daily and weekly cycles of news media, and in doing so she offers a reflection on our collective obsession with mass media and its underlying influence.  On closer examination, Astman highlighted stories of tragedy, scandal, political instability, and local frenzy. Her image plays on our fascination with media, as well as its contradictory aspects as a compromised vehicle of communication.

 

This conceptual project is about a year of media. Each strip can be hundreds of photographs digitally stitched together representing a week of papers. In stacking them 7ft high, the installation references the seven days in a week.

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.