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Gardiner Museum presents major retrospective of work by acclaimed Canadian artist Steven Heinemann
Steven Heinemann, Blink, 2016. Slip-cast earthenware, 20 x 69 x 24 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photography by Taimaz Moslemian.


TORONTO.- The Gardiner Museum is presenting a major retrospective of work by internationally-acclaimed Canadian artist Steven Heinemann. On view from October 19, 2017 through January 21, 2018, Steven Heinemann: Culture and Nature examines the artist’s fascinating and evolving process to reveal how he uses form, texture, pigment, and imagery to achieve his wondrously tactile bowls, pods, and other universal shapes.

The comprehensive survey—comprising more than 70 objects spanning Heinemann’s career since 1979 and featuring new work—is organized by Gardiner Museum Adjunct Curator Rachel Gotlieb.

Heinmann’s process can stretch over months and even years, firing a piece multiple times, and reworking the surface by sandblasting, scratching, polishing, and stenciling to evoke glyph-like motifs.

Heinemann’s studio has been evoked in the gallery through an installation of sketchbooks and source material, including original photographs and a wall of ceramic test tiles. A time-lapse video shot by the artist documents a treated clay surface as it dries, warps, and cracks according to chance and calculation.

“Over the past 35 years, Steven Heinemann has transformed the medium of ceramics in Canada. The permanency and tranquility of his sculptures defy the way we live now and persuade us to stop, experience, see, feel, and most of all, to wonder about our place in culture and nature,” said Gotlieb.

“Ceramic has unique potentials unmatched by any other medium. It’s enormously responsive and records, eternally, even the slightest touch,” said Heinemann.

The exhibition catalogue features essays by curator Rachel Gotlieb, contemporary art critic Janet Koplos, and an artist interview by Gardiner Museum Executive Director and CEO, Kelvin Browne.

Since completing his MFA at Alfred University in 1983, Steven Heinemann (RCA) has taught widely in Canada and the United States. He has exhibited continuously since his first solo show at the Ontario Crafts Council in 1982, and his work is part of numerous public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Museum Of Fine Arts (Boston), Icheon World Ceramic Centre (Korea), National Museum of History (Taiwan), the Museum of Art and Design (New York), Museum Boymans van Beuningen (Rotterdam), and The Contemporary Museum (Honolulu).

Heinemann has received national and international awards including the Bavarian State Prize (Germany), the Juror's Award (Mino, Japan), Fletcher Challenge (New Zealand), and in 1996, he was granted the Saidye Bronfman Award, Canada’s highest recognition of achievement in contemporary craft.

Heinemann lives and works near Cookstown, Ontario.





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