Looking Back at You: Masks by Artists
The mask is an exemplary device of the artist. Associated with concealment, disguise, and performance, it is an identity-shifter, a site of transformation, a second skin. But it is also an identity-fixer; from the death mask to the theatrical mask, it concentrates and preserves human expression. In either case, it is an agent of self-transformation, but it can also be an instrument that transforms speech, acting upon a community. The terrain of the mask is that of identity, where reality and appearance meet. It has thus long held importance as a medium for communication with other worlds, in ritual, and as a bearer of news from beyond. Looking Back at You brings together a diverse array of artworks that depict and/or employ the mask as a structuring device. Long a trope of the modern artist-Picasso’s appropriation of and influence by African masks is part of the legend-the works in this exhibition demonstrate its continuing fascination and power.
-Pan Wendt, curator
Featured artists: Miles Collyer, Francis Coutellier, COZIC, Brendan Fernandes, General Idea, Brian Jungen, Murray Laufer, Patrick Lundeen, Allan Harding MacKay, David Neel, Alfred Pellan, Erica Rutherford, Dan Starling, Diana Thorneycroft, Becka Viau