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The Art Gallery of Alberta opens three exciting exhibitions to finish the 2015 season
Dorothy Henzell Willis, Children in the Wood, date unknown. Oil on paper. Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Permission granted from the holders (Carol Heiman) and Lender (AFA).

EDMONTON, AB.- The Art Gallery of Alberta presents three exciting exhibitions –Rough Country: The Strangely Familiar in mid-20th Century Alberta Art, Dana Holst: She’s All That, and Living Building Thinking: Art and Expressionism – to close out the 2015 season.

Rough Country: The Strangely Familiar in mid-20th Century Alberta Art, open now until Sunday, January 31, 2016.
This exhibition brings together the work of five Alberta artists—Maxwell Bates, Laura Evans Reid, John Snow, William Leroy Stevenson and Dorothy Henzell Willis—to demonstrate the impact of art movements in Europe, such as Expressionism, on representations of Alberta life following World War II. All born before 1918, these artists bring a perspective on the province and its people that belies the standard myth of Alberta as a land of prosperity and singular beauty. Rough Country represents ongoing research into artistic practice in Alberta and is an example of the AGA’s lively and ongoing commitment to Alberta art of the past and present.

Co-curated by Ruth Burns and Mary-Beth Laviolette. Organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta.

Living Building Thinking: Art and Expressionism runs from October 24, 2015 - February 15, 2016
This exhibition explores the development and trajectories of Expressionism in art from the early 19th century to present day. The term Expressionism is most often associated with art and social activism in Germany between 1905 and 1937. It encompasses the visual art, literature, philosophy, theatre, film and photography, and architecture of that era. This exhibition expands the view on the subject, showing how the impulses behind and results of Expressionism suggest that it remains relevant today. The relationship between artists and society, the visual expressions that circulate through shared hopes for social awareness and change across national borders, these all prompt artists to respond in the spirit of a moment and trigger impulses to express the human condition through art.

Drawn from the extensive collection of the McMaster Museum of Art, this exhibition includes almost 100 paintings, drawings, prints, books, camera work and video—from formative historical works of the 19th century (hallmarks of the modern age by artists such as William Blake, Paul Gauguin, Edvard Munch Egon Schiele and Wassily Kandinsky ), through German Expressionists by the likes of Otto Dix, Emil Nolde, Erich Heckel, Kathe Kollewitz, George Grosz and Max Beckmann to contemporary works by Canadian artists (such as Gershon Iskowitz, Gary Pearson, and Natalka Husar) that underscore Expressionism’s relevance in society today.

Dana Holst: She’s All That runs from October 24, 2015 - February 15, 2016. Edmonton artist Dana Holst’s solo exhibition She’s All That includes a series of oil paintings and encaustic drawings that present the human experience from a female-focused perspective and address the complexity of female identity, rites of passage and bullying and their place within our social hierarchy.

Holst’s paintings draw from the familiar plots of fairy tales, personal experiences and her research into feminine interactions and social development. Relationships between women and the destructive characteristics of covetousness, jealousy and vanity are depicted in portraiture, with the underlying psychological tensions emanating through a classic indirect painting technique utilizing a piercing red ground.

Holst’s characters represent the typical range of perceived forms of female bullying, such as exclusion from the group, gossip, rumour mongering and mental intimidation, culminating in mysterious and dark narratives about human nature.

Dana Holst is an artist based in Edmonton, working primarily in painting, drawing and printmaking. Holst’s work is an on going investigation into the human experience, focusing on the self and its place within society. Themes of social stereotyping and power struggles between the sexes are habitual for Holst who obsesses with depicting the female experience in conflict. Holst received a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo, Ontario. Her work is included in private collections in North America and the public collections of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Canada Council Art Bank and Glenbow.

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The Art Gallery of Alberta opens three exciting exhibitions to finish the 2015 season

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