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Artist IAIN BAXTER& talks about key works in new exhibition (videos)

March 31st, 2012

Check out these video clips of artist IAIN BAXTER& talking about some of the art that you will see when you visit IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. For 50 years BAXTER& has been radically redefining the role of the artist, integrating photography, installation, sculpture, painting, drawing and performative aspects into his work. This exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958–2011, invites visitors to become collaborators, by engaging with the artist and his work.

In 2005 BAXTER& legally added an “&” to his name, reflecting his collaborative approach to art and his fundamental belief that art requires a strong connection with the viewer. “Life,” says BAXTER&, “seems to be about ands. After we leave this life and this planet, only an & remains.”

Ecology and the environment are key themes in this exhibition.

1. Zero Emissions


IAIN BAXTER& (Canadian, born 1936) Zero Emissions, 2008 taxidermied animals, car exhaust pipes, and painted metal C-clamps dimensions variable Collection of the artist Photo: Art Gallery of Ontario ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

IAIN BAXTER& (Canadian, born 1936) Zero Emissions, 2008 taxidermied animals, car exhaust pipes, and painted metal C-clamps dimensions variable Collection of the artist Photo: Art Gallery of Ontario ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

2. Paris Beauty Spots

Iain Baxter (Canadian, born 1936) Reflected Paris Beauty Spots (Louvre), 1980 14 large-format Polaroid photographs 77.5 x 55.9 cm each Purchased 1985 with funds provided by the Alberta 1980’s Endowment Fund From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection Photo: Jane Edmundson, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

Iain Baxter (Canadian, born 1936) Reflected Paris Beauty Spots (Louvre), 1980 14 large-format Polaroid photographs 77.5 x 55.9 cm each Purchased 1985 with funds provided by the Alberta 1980’s Endowment Fund From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection Photo: Jane Edmundson, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

3. Vacuum form works

Iain Baxter (Canadian, born 1936) Landscape with One Tree and Three Clouds, 1965 acrylic paint on vacuum-formed plastic 81.3 x 95.9 x 6.5 cm Gift of David P. Silcox and Linda Intaschi, 1990 Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Photo: Art Gallery of Ontario ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

Iain Baxter (Canadian, born 1936) Landscape with One Tree and Three Clouds, 1965 acrylic paint on vacuum-formed plastic 81.3 x 95.9 x 6.5 cm Gift of David P. Silcox and Linda Intaschi, 1990 Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Photo: Art Gallery of Ontario ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012
Take the Ampersand Challenge on Flickr and win tickets to see IAIN Baxter& every week until the show closes

 

Custom QR codes in IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011

February 23rd, 2012

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958-2011
March 3 – August 12, 2012

If you visit IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011, on the 4th floor of the AGO, you’ll notice a series of small square green and grey squares sprinkled liberally throughout the exhibition. These stickers are QR codes – scannable objects that will take you to a website or other piece of online content.  Eighteen custom-designed QR codes populate the exhibition in total, letting smartphone users watch, share and comment on videos, audio and behind-the-scenes content in the Wi-Fi enabled Gallery.

Around 45% of Canadian mobile users now have smartphones. This means that nearly half of you are coming to the Gallery with a huge amount of technology sitting in your pocket that you can use to learn more about the art you see on display. Scan a code and you will be able to learn more about the piece of art next to it. From archival photos to videos of IAIN BAXTER&’s eco art van, each code is an opportunity to get under the skin of this fascinating and prolific Canadian contemporary artist.

This blog post also contains a complete list of the codes found in the exhibition and the URLs so you can continue to explore and learn once you get home.

For scanning QR codes we recommend Qrafter for iPhone and Barcode Scanner for Android. For all other cellphones please visit your app store.


Some things you can see when you scan a QR code in IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011

A video of N.E. Thing Co.’s inflated works (a cloud and a flower) in the group exhibition Sculpture ’67 outside Toronto City Hall in 1967. http://j.mp/zGoA09

A video of vacuum formed and bagged works in the exhibition “Gas, Plastic & Bagged Works” at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in 1966. http://j.mp/x9VpHe

A video of Iain Baxter using food items to create sculptural art works in the exhibition Food for Thought at the Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff in 1987.  http://j.mp/xipBQf

A video of Monopoly with Real Money performed in the Toronto-Dominion Bank branch at York University in 1973. http://j.mp/wSbJhT

A series of N.E. Thing Co. advertisements broadcasted over the radio in 1970. http://j.mp/Afw2M5

A photograph of Iain Baxter conducting field studies in the Raft River Range, Idaho in 1958. http://j.mp/ynvys7

A page from Iain Baxter’s notebook outlining how to make byobu screens. http://j.mp/xDej8K

Pages from a photo book Iain Baxter published in 1979 titled “Vancouver Beauty Spots.” http://j.mp/yWpB35

A photograph of the interior of Eye Scream. http://j.mp/yzfZXq\

A photograph of the exterior of the N.E. Professional Photographic Display Lab and the site where Eye Scream was later built http://j.mp/xCyOXn

A video about the IAIN BAXTER& ECOARTVAN, which travelled to elementary schools and libraries in Toronto in 2010 to raise awareness about environmental issues. http://j.mp/y4qfxs

A photograph of Iain Baxter’s first light box work from 1965. http://j.mp/wrJUGG

A photograph of an ACT certificate. http://j.mp/AybO7K

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012

BAXTER&BITE: REFLECTED PARIS BEAUTY SPOTS

February 5th, 2012

This blog post is part of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario entitled IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011. Visitors can scan QR codes in the exhibition space to see additional content relating to specific works in the show such as this image below:

Baxter with model shooting Reflected Paris Beauty Spots -with Paris Beauty Spots (room 411, east wall) Baxter Studio/Set 2-June 21/_MG_1064

Baxter with model shooting Reflected Paris Beauty Spots -with Paris Beauty Spots (room 411, east wall) Baxter Studio/Set 2-June 21/_MG_1064

 

While living in Paris in 1980, Baxter completed a series titled Paris Beauty Spots, applying the phrase “beauty spots”¬–generally used to describe birth marks on humans–to architectural landmarks in a city. He photographed the reflection of fourteen iconic sites using a round handheld mirror and a Polaroid SX-70 camera. Later that year Baxter worked with a large-format Polaroid 20 x 24 camera in Amsterdam, one of three in the world, which printed instant images measuring seventy-eight by sixty centimeters. He used the special camera to shoots details of a female model’s naked body, each time with a different Polaroid from the Paris Beauty Spots series placed beside a real beauty mark on her body. He titled this complementary work Reflected Paris Beauty Spots.

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012

BAXTER&BITE: WELDING

February 5th, 2012

This blog post is part of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario entitled IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011. Visitors can scan QR codes in the exhibition space to see additional content relating to specific works in the show such as this image below:

Hand Welder -with bagged works (room 402, north wall) Baxter Studio/Set 2-June 21/_MG_1027

Hand Welder -with bagged works (room 402, north wall) Baxter Studio/Set 2-June 21/_MG_1027

Baxter began bagging objects in plastic in 1966. At first, he used a heat sealer to form clear plastic bags around assorted objects such as rocks, goldfish and moldy sliced bread. He then progressed to using a hand-operated high frequency welding machine. He used an old machine at Arrow Tent and Awning Company after hours, which he later was able to purchase with funds from the Canada Council. With this tool, he constructed more advanced bagged works using clear plastic bags with landscape motifs made of coloured vinyl stitched to it. Concurrently, he constructed three-dimensional sculptures using welded vinyl filled with air.

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012

BAXTER&BITE: DPMA

February 5th, 2012

This blog post is part of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario entitled IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011. Visitors can scan QR codes in the exhibition space to see additional content relating to specific works in the show such as this image below:

N.E. Thing Co. booth at DPMA conference -archival room (407) Baxter Studio/Batch 1/X-03456

N.E. Thing Co. booth at DPMA conference -archival room (407) Baxter Studio/Batch 1/X-03456

In 1970 the N.E. Thing Co. participated in a series of professional conferences. It rented a booth in the Data Processing Managers Association International Conference and Business Exposition at the Seattle Trade Center, exhibiting alongside the likes of established technology companies AT&T, Eastman Kodak, General Electric, IBM and Xerox. The N.E. Thing Co. marketed its consultancy services at a booth populated with the artwork Go (in the shape of a stop sign) and a giant, inflated banner shaped like a computer punch card. It also dispensed branded manila folders, ingeniously sized to store other companies’ brochures.

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012


BAXTER&BITE: FENCE

February 5th, 2012

This blog post is part of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario entitled IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011. Visitors can scan QR codes in the exhibition space to see additional content relating to specific works in the show such as this image below:

Exhibition at the Douglas Gallery

Exhibition at the Douglas Gallery (installation view), 1967, photograph -with Fence (room 403)

 

The Douglas Gallery, located in Vancouver, hosted an exhibition N.E. Thing Co., Centennial Project in 1967 to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the nation. Working with the theme of a camping trip, the N.E. Thing Co. displayed many different kinds of three-dimensional landscapes, including store-bought chain-link aluminum fencing and custom-designed tents. This turned the gallery into a mock-up landscape, collapsing the distinction between art and life.

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012

BAXTER&BITE: ACT CERTIFICATE

February 5th, 2012

This blog post is part of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario entitled IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011. Visitors can scan QR codes in the exhibition space to see additional content relating to specific works in the show such as this image below:

ACT Certificate by IAIN BAXTER&

ACT certificate -with ACTS (room 409) Baxter Archive/Sept 28/_MG_6547

In 1968 the N.E. Thing Co. developed a system of issuing aesthetic judgments on sundry items experienced throughout daily life: places, objects, and other artists’ work. They were classified as either ACTs, short for Aesthetically Claimed Things, or ARTs, short for Aesthetically Rejected Things. The N.E. Thing Co. photographed these items and then placed a seal of approval or disapproval on the printed image. An accompanying certificate was made for each claimed or rejected item, stating that it had or had not met “the stringent requirements of sensitivity information as set forth by the N.E. Thing Co.”

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012

BAXTER&BITE: EARLY LIGHTBOX OF VACUUM-FORMED PAINTBRUSH

February 5th, 2012

This blog post is part of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario entitled IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011. Visitors can scan QR codes in the exhibition space to see additional content relating to specific works in the show such as this image below:

Early Lightbox by IAIN BAXTER&

Early lightbox of vacuum formed paintbrush (installed in Beyond Regionalism), 1965, vacuum-formed plastic mounted to light box/exit sign -with lightboxes (room 410) Baxter Archive/Batch 1 Fonds 1-6, 38/Baxter130

Iain Baxter first exhibited light box works as early as 1965, but with vacuum formed plastic inserted into them instead of photographic transparencies, which he began doing in 1968. The light box housing was a re-purposed exit-sign box. Two of these were exhibited in the group exhibition Beyond Regionalism at the UBC Fine Arts Gallery in Vancouver in 1965.

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012