The Centre for All Canadians
The Nova Scotia Project: Once Upon a Time in the East, 1993, video and color laser prints, 365.7 x 792.4 cm . Collection of Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, National Gallery of Canada

David Askevold: Once Upon a Time in the East

The Nova Scotia Project: Once Upon a Time in the East, 1993, video and color laser prints, 365.7 x 792.4 cm . Collection of Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, National Gallery of Canada
This full-career retrospective exhibition considers the four strains of Askevold’s exploratory journey—sculpture/installation, film and video, photo-text works, and digital images, and includes key pieces from each stage of his career.

Nova Scotia artist David Askevold (1940-2008) is recognized as one of the most important contributors to the development and pedagogy of conceptual art. His work was included in the seminal exhibition Information at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1970 that cemented conceptualism as a genre. Further recognition during this period led to his inclusion in Lucy Lippard’s book Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972, illustrated coverage in Rosalind Krauss’s article “Notes on the Index: Seventies Art in America”, the devotion of the entire April 1975 edition of the German publication Extra to his work, and a spot in documenta VII in Kassel, Germany. Throughout his forty year career he remained at the vanguard of contemporary art.

Askevold was born in Conrad, Montana. After studies at the University of Montana, Brooklyn Museum Art School and Kansas City Art Institute, he moved to Halifax in 1968 to lecture at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. During the early 1970s, his famous Projects Class brought such artists as Sol LeWitt, Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Dan Graham, and Lawrence Weiner to work with his students, focusing critical attention on his adopted city and on his own unorthodox approach to making art. 

This exhibition features the various strains of Askevold’s pioneering practice – sculpture and installation, film and video, photo-text works and photography, and computer generated imagery, including key pieces from each stage of his career as well as collaborative works undertaken with two former students, Los Angeles artist Mike Kelley and New York artist Tony Oursler.

Organized by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia with the support of the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Nova Scotia Department of Communities Culture, and Heritage. 

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