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category: Art
published: Jan 2008
ISBN:9780921500919

Razzle Dazzle

The Uses of Abstraction = Les usages de l'abstraction

with Gil McElroy, foreword by David Aurandt

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0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $20
edition:Paperback
category: Art
published: Jan 2008
ISBN:9780921500919
Description

During World War One, and originating in Britain, military vessels were painted with strong geometric patterns and bold contrasting colouration so as to misinform U-boat captains. The intention was optical deception: to mislead the eye and manipulate visual perception of the size, distance, and even the direction of vessels to make their targeting difficult or impossible. These patterns came to be called "Dazzle," "Razzle Dazzle," or "Jazz." Arthur Lismer, an Official Canadian War Artist working in Halifax, documented the Dazzle ships in his work. Represented in the catalogue are the works of several other artists such as Jack Bush, Ray Mead, Guido Moninari, and Rita Letendre. From this, the use of abstraction may have shifted from the utilitarian needs of the military to the aesthetic concerns of the visual arts. An entire generation of mid-twentieth century Canadian artists thus directly or indirectly learned the lessons of camouflage - lessons that had critical impact upon the development of modernist abstract art.

About the Authors

Gil McElroy

A military brat, Gil McElroy was born in Metz, France, and grew up on air force bases in Canada and the United States. He studied English literature at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. His critical writing on art has been published in magazines in Canada, the United States and Australia, and he has worked as an independent curator since the 1980s, organizing exhibitions for galleries in Ontario and the Maritimes. From 1997 to 2000, he was Curator at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery and Museum in Charlottetown, PEI. He won the Christina Sabat Award for Art Criticism in 2001 for his curatorial essay on the visual poetry of bpNichol, “Ground States: The Visual Contexts of bpNichol.” He is also an artist, exhibiting gallery and site-specific installations based on his interests in cosmology. He has published poetry widely in Canadian and American periodicals and anthologies, and a book-length collection of his recent poetry, Dream Pool Essays, was released by Talonbooks in the fall of 2001. He currently lives in Colborne, Ontario.

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David Aurandt

A military brat, Gil McElroy was born in Metz, France, and grew up on air force bases in Canada and the United States. He studied English literature at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. His critical writing on art has been published in magazines in Canada, the United States and Australia, and he has worked as an independent curator since the 1980s, organizing exhibitions for galleries in Ontario and the Maritimes. From 1997 to 2000, he was Curator at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery and Museum in Charlottetown, PEI. He won the Christina Sabat Award for Art Criticism in 2001 for his curatorial essay on the visual poetry of bpNichol, “Ground States: The Visual Contexts of bpNichol.” He is also an artist, exhibiting gallery and site-specific installations based on his interests in cosmology. He has published poetry widely in Canadian and American periodicals and anthologies, and a book-length collection of his recent poetry, Dream Pool Essays, was released by Talonbooks in the fall of 2001. He currently lives in Colborne, Ontario.

Author profile page >

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