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Art Canadian

Carl Beam

The Whale of Our Being

with Joan Murray

foreword by David Aurandt

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
Initial publish date
Jan 2002
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2002
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This is the first exhibition focussing on current First Nations art to be originated by The Robert McLaughlin Gallery. After learning the visual language of modernism in art schools, Beam began thinking about a synthesis of ideas. From that process there emerged the rhetorical strategies of his work. Like many artists of the 1970s, who were reacting against abstraction, Beam turned to photo-based imagery as the medium most suited to his themes of identity. If this exhbition makes a case for any particular point of view, it is a pragmatic pluralism. What matters here is not a transcendent aesthetic ideal but the particular realization of a singular sensibility through the adroit use of wide-ranging materials.

About the authors

Joan Murray, an independent curator and art historian, is considered one of the most accessible of Canadian art writers and has studied and exhibited Tom Thomson for four decades. Since the late 1960s, she has been a curator of several institutions, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, and director of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa (1974-99) and the McMichael Canadian Art Gallery in Kleinburg (2005-6). Murray was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1992 and has been honoured with the Senior Award from the Association of Cultural Executives, the Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries and the Order of Ontario. She lives in Toronto, Ontario

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