Steven Shearer at the Venice Biennale 2011

The National Gallery of Canada presents Vancouver artist, Steven Shearer at the 54th Venice Biennale

Many FAP readers know about the Venice Biennale and what it means to an artist’s career to be selected to exhibit. But for those who are hearing about this event for the first time, I’d like to share news about this years featured artist (and FAP client) Steven Shearer.

But first a short background

The Venice Biennale takes place once every two years (in odd years) in VeniceItaly. The Biennale boasts an attendance today of over 300,000 visitors, who tour through a series of international pavilions to experience (and enjoy) contemporary artworks by young to mid-career contemporary artists. Many exhibitions are installation-based and may include sculpture, performance or audio based works in combination with painted, illustrated or photo-based art (pretty much anything goes). Which is what makes it such a popular event for the public, critics and the media. Past exhibitions have gained international attention for their provocative and social messages, such as Rebecca Belmore (2005) video installation that (I am told) had guests waiting in long line-ups to see. The Venice Biennale is not for everyone, however if you are an art lover, have an open-mind and enjoy the extraordinary this is a “must-do” art event.

Steven Shearer at the Venice Biennale

The 2011 Canada Pavilion features the work of Vancouver artist, Steven Shearer. His solo exhibition includes a selection of paintings, drawings and sculptures, featuring new and never-before-seen works, which are draw from diverse influences such as art history and popular culture.

We’ve been following Steven’s work since we had the pleasure of working for him in 1999 as printmaker for his over-size printed pieces featuring pop-culture icon Leif Garrett. We’re really excited for him, and that he is Canada’s feature artist for 2011.

And don’t worry, he didn’t let Canada down.

Outside the Canada Pavilion Shearer created a nine-metre-high free-standing mural in response to the architecture of the neighbouring British and German Pavilions.  This monumental mural features a new poem written by the Steven, said to be drawn from the vocabulary of Black and Death metal music. It’s obviously grabbing attention, as a single Google search surfaced many personal blogs and Flickr sites with photo’s of the mural—featuring a happy guest standing in front of the unique (message) artwork.

I completely agree with Canadian Art Magazine writer, Bryne McLaughlin when he says:

“Let’s hope it sets a precedent for seeing more of his work on our home turf”. Read full article

Great work Steven. We’re looking forward to seeing what you’re working on next!

Related articles about Steven Shearer

Canadian Art Magazine: 2011/06/16

Canadian Art Magazine, Venice Preview

David Balzer for Canadian Art Magazine

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