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The LAB 4.4: Ralph Stanbridge Daumier and Dystopia (Drawn from History, Drawing from the Present)

November 25, 2004 - November 25, 2004

The French artist Honor? Daumier (1808 ?1879), through his caricatures, paintings and sculptural works, presented his contemporaries with images of the folly and absurdities of the social issues of his time. As one of art?s earliest social realists, he was able to illuminate the economic disparities, injustices, and the marginalization of many members of nineteenth century French society.

Victoria artist Ralph Stanbridge?s interest in Daumier?s work, and in social commentary as a choice of subject matter, was established when he taught Modern Art History at Camosun College from 1977 to 1984. This, combined with his interest in appropriation of art historical images, led him to construct two large sculptural installations utilizing reproductions of Daumier?s work Third Class Carriage and Don Quixote. Stanbridge?s re-presentation of this work, Carriage (After Daumier) 1984?85, runs concurrently with The French Masters exhibition, which includes one of the original versions of Daumier?s Third Class Carriage, Stanbridge?s subject of study.

The exhibition includes a second work from Stanbridge’s latest projects: a series of animated studies using computer assisted traditional animation processes, reflects on current art and political life, referencing editorial cartoons and illustrations that address the new folly and absurdities of the 21st century. Inspired by the early socio-political animation of the Zagreb School of the 60s and 70s, and encouraged by the work of contemporary artists, such as South African William Kentridge, Stanbridge investigates the current social injustices of an over-consuming and security obsessed world.

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