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Decades ? Part IV: Art of the 1970s

September 26, 2003 - September 26, 2003

This final installment of the popular four-part series Decades profiles works from our permanent collection produced in the 1970s and demonstrates the relationship between art, its time and its history.

In Canada and abroad, the 1970s were a period of continued interest in abstract painting. Many artists, including Kenneth Lochhead, involved themselves in an exploration of lyrical abstraction on a large scale. Other artists, such as Victoria’s own Pat Martin Bates, expressed a new emphasis on minimalism, while still others pursued new interests in hard-edge abstraction. Interest in minimalism and geometric pattern initiated in the 1960s, found a number of proponents including Sol Lewitt. Conceptual art, where the idea becomes the piece, is reflected in the work of Iain Baxter of N.E. Thing Co. fame.

The formal aspects of the work of art continued to intrigue sculptors such as Robert Murray, working in folded and cut steel painted in monochrome enamels. At the same time, certain new trends appeared on the Prairies with the folksy populism of Vic Cicansky’s ceramics.

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