DAMIAN MOPPETT + RON MOPPETT (EVERY STORY HAS TWO SIDES)
Patricia Kelly, Jonathan Shaughnessy and Nancy Tousley
Art Gallery of Alberta
96 pp 70 col. ill. 10.5 in x 9 in hardcover
$40.00 Can. $40.00 U.S.
This unprecedented pairing explores the commonalities and intersections of two major artistic practices. Ron Moppett has been one of Canada’s most prolific artists for 50 years and is renowned not only for his vibrant, large-scale paintings, but for his work as a teacher and curator. Damian Moppet has built an international career working in all forms of media, including photography, sculpture, painting, video, and drawing. They are also father and son. This exhibition catalogue looks at practices separated by generation and medium yet conjoined by an ongoing dialogue with the history of art. In their separate ways, both Ron Moppett and Damian Moppett investigate how artists throughout history have tried to resolve problems, such as those related to representation and of abstraction. Drawing inspiration from a variety of historical and cultural styles, Ron Moppett offers a diverse view of pop culture and a glimpse into the "dailiness" of life. A brilliant colourist, he distills shapes with oil and acrylic paint, creating complex picture puzzles that hold multiple layers of meaning. Damian Moppett employs a variety of media to explore art-historical movements. His self-reflexive engagement with his references highlights similarities that exist between seemingly divergent events and ideas. For him, art history is itself a rich medium in which to work. Featured side by side, their works embody an intriguing dialogue about the artist as both creative subject and site.
Born in England in 1945, Ron Moppett emigrated to Canada in 1957. He has exhibited extensively and two major surveys of his work have been organized by the Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre (1982) and Glenbow Museum in Calgary (1990). Ron Moppett's work can be found in many collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Glenbow Museum, and the MacKenzie Art Gallery. He lives and works in Calgary. Born in Calgary in 1969, Damian Moppett has exhibited widely, notably at the National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, Witte de With (Rotterdam), Galerie Yvon Lambert (Paris), and the Rennie Collection at Wing Sang and Presentation House Gallery (Vancouver). Damian Moppett’s work can be found in the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Vancouver Art Gallery and National Gallery of Canada. He lives and works in Vancouver.
Patricia Kelly is Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at DePaul University. Previously she taught at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She has published numerous catalogue essays and journal articles. Jonathan Shaughnessy is Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada. He has contributed to numerous publications, notably Shine a Light: Canadian Biennial (2014) and The Painting Project: A Snapshot of Painting in Canada (2013). Nancy Tousley is an art critic and independent curator. She has contributed to numerous publications, notably Chris Cran: Sincerely Yours (2016) and The News from Here: 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art.