Etienne Zack

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What Is My Work About? 

My current paintings depict books and stacks of paper together with other objects,icons and symbols conceptually assembled in architectural spaces.The canvasses are produced through reading and taking notes:no visual source material is used. Readings range from history and architecture to psychology, and sociopolitical material.The work establishes links between European disciplinary and judicial techniques developed in the 18th and 19th centuries,the history for the control of population,protection of assets,and security,and the complex contemporary mechanisms attempting to control online information,content,markets and ultimately democracy itself.Each work operates within its own conceptual system and explore unique facets of matters,relating to,institutional power,violence,surveillance,technology,architecture and language:intrinsic to enforcing these mechanisms.The series considers the means in which language and text weighs and transforms our psychological and physical realities.

 

Artist Statement

I think fiction rescues history from its confusions. – Don DeLillo

A central aspect of my work considers how our collective writing of history is shaped. In a very tangible way all history is manufactured, a merging of fact and fiction through which documented history is destined to become redacted history, a reflection of those who write it, and no less a conscious construction than the architectures which I paint. My work is produced through reading and taking notes, and no visual source material is utilized. My paintings are the result of numerous eclectic readings from different fields of thoughts and interests ranging from history, art history and architecture, to philosophy, psychology, and current socio-political matters. My interest rest partly in the many analogies between the recording of history as the process of accumulation, omission, and revision of information, and the process and methodologies of thinking through painting itself.

My previous paintings have considered notions relating to archeological sciences, hence, interrogating archeological sciences with my own fictitious methodologies and depicting uncertain or suggestive historical accounts. Other series of work source their compositions and conceptual logic in scientific systems and diagrams, uniquely connecting basic notions of physics and forensic studies with art history consequently revisiting specific moments in art through alternate systems of thinking.

My current work connects and explores unique facets of matters and motifs relating to, institutional power, violence, technology, and language: as intrinsic to enforcing these mechanisms. These new paintings indirectly acknowledge text and language based conceptual work of the last forty years. And while this might be in part an homage to conceptualism and the importance of its legacy, this project also resists language and text, the text being only brushstrokes that mimic text. Hence any immediate transference of information is completely lost yet communication is pervasive.

This body of work is a multi-layered project invested with making the link between European disciplinary techniques developed in the 18th and 19th centuries, the history for the control of population, assets, and security, and the complex contemporary mechanisms attempting to control online information, content, markets and ultimately democracy itself. Michel Foucault’s ideas relating to Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon were certainly on my mind when imagining these architectural paintings. So too were Benjamin’s Arcades Project and the work of Haussmann in renovating the architecture and streets of 19th century Paris, commanding population control and order, while securing investments in the city. These paintings are imbued with a peculiar confluence of dark surreal violence that looms over the scenes depicted. The underground and artificial light settings in this work are deliberate devices and have their own historical precedent. Perhaps, the atmosphere and motifs suggested in this work are reflective of our digital times and clears and isolates a space to consider matters such as private cloud data storage spaces, information sifting and gathering online, public access to information, dominion over online information and content, and the application of these systems and structures. While digitization is indeed an interesting aspect of this project, my attention lies more with the digital world as it weighs and transforms our psychological and physical realm and realities, hence the reason for utilizing paint as a medium to channel through this information.

The cognitive functions involved in reading the materiality of paint, its meanings and styles, is where language plays a secondary role. This channeling through paint connects both past and present simultaneously and is perhaps where painting, as a technology, is most effective, interesting and generous in providing unique kinds of sensory understandings and intelligences.

Unlike text, being linear and unified, I live in what I perceive to be a complex and fractured world, the realities and understandings are in constant shift. This shift is comparable to how a painting functions for me. My canvasses materialize through the extensive manipulation of the paint and, inherently, the process is akin to notions concerning the various ways history itself is “worked out”. Similar to the geological sedimentation process, the paintings are slowly formed in my mind, breaking down and settling the information I have gathered into structures. The paintings in many ways are unique documents in themselves, reflections or memories on and of their own philosophical fabrication and textured provenance.

This work is interested in the physicality of language therefore using the idea of text and written information into an architectural/sculptural body. Instinctively this work is also interested in law, specifically as law assembles text into a system, a structured vehicle that organizes language for the purpose of regulating and normalising. These paintings set up contexts to consider the many ways in which language and architecture define and prescribe our psychological and physical realities.

 

CV

Education

Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada

Concordia University, Montréal, Canada

College Saint-Laurent, Montréal, Canada

 

Solo Exhibitions

2013
“Aforementioned”, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2012
“In Itself”, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2011
‘’BCC’’, Torrance Art Museum (sculpture patio), Torrance, USA

2010
‘’Etienne Zack’’ (catalogue), Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
“Non-Narrative Notes”, Equinox Gallery 2, Vancouver, Canada
“Autopia”, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
“NameMediumSizeYear (Untitled Circuit)”, Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, Vancouver, Canada

2008
Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada
“Occulture”, Art 45, Montréal, Canada

2007
“Authorshop”, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Art 45, Montréal, Canada

2006
“According to This”, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway
Thomas Dane Gallery, London, England, (two person exhibition)
Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Wrong Gallery Edition #125, curator: Babak Golkar Lobby Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2005
Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2004
Galería Marina Miranda (catalog), Madrid, Spain

2002
“Superpositions’’, Annexe III, Galerie Trois Points, Montréal, Canada
“Awry”, Artcore Gallery, Toronto, Canada
“Nothing Really Happens”, Third Avenue Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2001
“tropes”, Third Avenue Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2015
(upcoming), “Oh Canada” (touring exhibition), curator: Denise Markonish, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada
Schneiderei, curator: Steven Tong and Bernadette Phan, Vienna, Austria

2014
“Zach Harris-Etienne Zack”, Secret Recipe, Los Angeles, USA
“Oh Canada” (touring exhibition), curator: Denise Markonish, Confederation Centre for the Arts, Charlottetown, Canada
“Painted Past: A History of Canadian Painting from the Collection”, curator: Ian Thom, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
“Out of Site: New Acquisitions”, curator: Stephanie Rebick, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
‘’Territoires Imaginés’’, Centre d’exposition de Rouyn-Noranda, Rouyn-Noranda, Canada
“Territoires Imaginés’’, Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides, St-Jérôme, Canada
‘’Support Papier’’, Ateliers Marie-Victor, Kingsey Falls, Canada

2013
“Building on Ruins”, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
“Corner Thru”, Choi & Lager Gallery, Cologne, Germany
“Storage Wars”, 5490Projects – Beacon Arts Building, Los Angeles, USA
Soundtrack: Volume 1, Division Gallery, Montreal, Canada
Soundtrack: Volume 2”, Division Gallery, Toronto, Canada
‘’Territoires Imaginés’’, Loto-Québec Collection, Montréal, Canada

2012
“Corner Thru”, Union Gallery (catalogue), London, England
“Oh Canada” (catalogue), curator: Denise Markonish, MASS MoCA, North Adams, USA
“Up the Walls”, The Model, curator: Séamus Kealy, Sligo, Ireland
“Vision Machine”, Surrey Art Gallery, curator: Jordan Strom, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, Canada
“Cut and Paste”, Equinox Project Space, Vancouver, Canada
“Dissolutions’’, René Blouin Gallery, Montréal, Canada
‘’La Collection selon… Les Impatients’’, Collection Loto-Québec, Montréal, Canada

2011
Art from the Audain Collection: Shore, Forest and Beyond” (catalogue), Vancouver Art Gallery, curator: Ian Thom, Grant Arnold, Vancouver, Canada
Between the Cracks (Picturing the Fourth Dimension)”, Curator: David Elliott, Oboro, Montréal, Canada
“Unreal”, Vancouver Art Gallery, curator: Daina Augaitis, Vancouver, Canada
“Some Paintings”, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2010
“It Is What It Is” (catalogue), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

2009
National Gallery of Canada, Permanent Collection Exhibition, Ottawa, Canada

2008
“Rien ne se perd, rien ne se crée, tout se transforme’’ (catalogue), The Quebec Triennal,
Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2007
Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2006
“Paint” (catalogue), Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2005
“In a Certain Place”, Nicole Klagsbrun, New York, USA
“RBC Canadian Painting Competition”, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Canada
“RBC Canadian Painting Competition”, Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, Canada
“RBC Canadian Painting Competition”, Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
“RBC Canadian Painting Competition”, Galerie Sussex Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
AP4-ART, Geneva, Switzerland
“No Place As Home: New Art From Vancouver”, curator: Séamus Kealy, AP4-ART, Geneva, Switzerland
“No Place As Home: New Art From Vancouver”, curator: Séamus Kealy, Projektraum Viktor Bucher, Vienna, Austria
“Living-it”, Center A, curator: Sally Lee, Vancouver, Canada Artcore Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2004
“East International 2004” (catalogue), Norwich Gallery, Norwich, England, selectors: Neo Rauch, Gerd Harry Lybke
Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Canada Artcore Gallery, Toronto, Canada
KBK Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico
“Futuribles: Las Américas”, ARCO, Madrid, Spain, curator: Bruce Grenville
“Disasteroids”, INFEST, Video In, Vancouver, Canada

2003
Artcore Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2002
“Génération Montréal Generation”, Montréal, Canada
‘’Failure’’, Belkin Satellite, Vancouve, Canada, curator: Séamus Kealy

2001
Third Avenue Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2000
Third Avenue Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
“X-Pollination”, Palace Session, Vancouver, Canada, curator: Kelly Deck
“Passage 1999-2000’’ (catalog), Centre d’Exposition de Rouyn-Noranda, Rouyn-Noranda, Canada, curator: Jean Dumont
“Location of Space”, curator: Abigail Scholar, Antechamber Gallery, Regina, Canada

1999
Third Avenue Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

 

Artfairs

2014
Feature Art Fair, (Equinox Gallery), Toronto, Canada

2011
Art Toronto, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, (Equinox Gallery), Toronto, Canada

2010
Toronto International Art Fair, (Equinox Gallery), Toronto, Canada
Toronto International Art Fair, (Art 45), Toronto, Canada

2008
Toronto International Art Fair, (Equinox Gallery), Toronto, Canada
Toronto International Art Fair, (Art 45), Toronto, Canada

2006
Frieze Art fair, (Thomas Dane Gallery), London, England

2005
Frieze Art Fair, (Thomas Dane Gallery), London, England
Toronto International Art Fair, (Equinox Gallery), Toronto, Canada
Turin Art Fair, (AP4-ART), Turin, Italy
MiArt 2005, (AP4-ART), Milan, Italy
Scope New York, (Artcore Gallery), New York, USA
Art Bologna, (Artcore Gallery), Bologna, Italy

2004
Art Basel, (Artcore Gallery), Miami Beach, USA
Toronto International Art Fair, (Equinox Gallery), Toronto, Canada
Art Cologne, (Artcore Gallery), Cologne, Germany
FIAC, (Artcore Gallery), Paris, France
Scope London, (Artcore Gallery), London, England
MACO, (Artcore Gallery), Mexico City, Mexico
MACO, (KBK Arte Contemporaneo), Mexico City, Mexico

2003
Art Basel, (Artcore Gallery), Miami Beach, USA
FIAC, (Artcore Gallery), Paris, France
Brussels Art Fair, (Artcore Gallery), Brussels, Belgium

2002
Art Basel, (Artcore Gallery), Miami Beach, USA
Turin Art Fair, (Artcore Gallery), Turin, Italy
Art Cologne, (Artcore Gallery), Cologne, Germany
Toronto International Art Fair, (Third Avenue Gallery), Canada
Chicago Art Fair, (Artcore Gallery), Chicago, USA

 

Selected Bibliography (print only)

2012 Mass MoCA (Exhibition Catalogue), “Oh Canada”, curator: Denise Markonish, May 2012
2012 Artforum International, “Oh Canada”, Previews, by Kayla Guthrie, May 2012, p.154
2012 The Georgia Straight (Feature story), “Art Star: Etienne Zack hits home turf again”, vol 46, #2312, April 12-19, 2012 by Robin Laurence

2010 National Gallery of Canada, “It Is What It Is: Recent Aquisitions of New Canadian Art” (Exhibition Catalogue, by Rhiannon Vogl, National Gallery of Canada, 2010, ABC Art Books Canada, p.152-153
2010 Museum of Contemporary Art of Montreal (Exhibition Catalogue), “Etienne Zack”, by François Letourneux and Séamus Kealy, Museum of Contemporary Art of Montreal, Canada, ABC Art Books Canada, 86 pages
2010 Border Crossings, “Crossovers : Visual Arts- Etienne Zack”, by James D. Campbell, volume 29, number 3, issue no.115, p.135-136
2010 The Georgia Straight, “Etienne Zack turns on the art machines with Autopia”, March 25, 2010 by Robin Laurence
2010 Le Devoir, “Les musées, entre ombre et lumière”, by Marie-Ève Charron, January 16, 2010, Arts Visuels
2010 Le Collectif, “Exposition : Etienne Zack”, by Émilie Lagacé, March 22, 2010
2010 The Globe and Mail, “L’atelier du peintre et ses visions fantasmatiques”, by Sarah Milroy, Saturday April 3, 2010
2010 Galleries West, “Etienne Zack, Autopia, Equinox Gallery, March3-31, 2010”, Canada Exhibition Reviews
2010 Le Devoir, “L’atelier du peintre et ses visions fantasmatiques”, by Marie-Ève Charron, Saturday and Sunday, February 14, 2010, De Visu, E6
2010 National Post, “Abstract Exposition”, by Leah Sandals, Tuesday, February 9, 2010, Avenue : Questions and Artists, B7
2010 Métro, “Etienne Zack au MACM”, by Marc-André Lemieux, February 12-14, 2010, Culture, p.21
2010 Le Journal de Montréal, “Trois nouvelles expositions au musée d’art contemporain”, by Dany Bouchard, Monday February 8, 2010, Arts et Spectacles, p.58
2010 La Presse, “Etienne Zack : Le peintre et son double”, by Mario Cloutier, Saturday March 6, 2010, Arts et Spectacles, p.17
2010 Vie des Arts, “Etienne Zack : Vertigineux Abîmes”, by Émilie Granjon, #218-Spring 2010, p.40-41

2009 OVNI Magazine 03, “La peinture est une technologie”, Fall 2009, p. 2, p. 21-25, p .72

2008 Carte Blanche, “Vol. 2: Painting”, Magenta Foundation, 2008, p. 206-207
2008 Le Devoir, “Bravo les artistes: Remise de prix”, by Jacque Grenier, Friday November 28, 2008, Week-End: Culture, B2
2008 Le Journal de Montréal, “La force créative de nos artistes”, by Murielle Chatelier, Saturday November 29, 2008, Art Visuels, p. 54
2008 Vie des Arts, “Prix Pierre-Ayot”, no. 213, Winter 2008-2009, p.15
2008 Vie des Arts, “Nothing Is Lost, Nothing Is Created, Everything Is Transformed”, by John K.Grande, no. 212, p. 8-9
2008 Montreal Mirror, “Epic, outstanding and creepy: Triennial and push”, by Stacey DeWolfe, December 25-January 7, 2008, p. 56
2008 Canadian Art, “Object World”, by Robin Laurence, Fall 2008, Vol. 25, no.3, p.114-117
2008 La Presse, “Suspense et mystère”, by Jocelyne Lepage, Saturday May 31, 2008, Arts et spectacles: Arts visuels, p. 17
2008 The Globe and Mail, “Is Montreal the real capital of Canada?”, by Sarah Milroy, Saturday May 31, 2008, Visual arts: Review, p. R5
2008 Vie des Arts, “L’art contemporain au service du public”, by Bernard Lévy, no. 211, Summer 2008, p. 76
2008 Vie des Arts, “Un air de légèreté”, by Bernard Lévy, no. 211, Summer 2008, p. 79, 83
2008 Concordia Journal, “Concordia artists take the MAC”, by Barbara Black, June 12, p. 12
2008 The Blackwood Gallery ( Exhibition Text), by Séamus Kealy, The Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Canada
2008 Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (Exhibition Catalogue), ‘’Rien ne se perd, rien ne se crée, tout se transforme’’, The Quebec Triennial, , Montréal, Québec, Canada
2008 Página 12, Lilian Rodríguez, 06/10/08

2007 Radio-Canada TV, Capsule Culturelle, Le Téléjournal, 08/12/07
2007 Radio-Canada Radio, “Le pont des arts”, interview by Yolène Mottet, 28/11/07
2007 Western Living, “Westerly: Western Artist Etienne Zack”, by Jaqueline Moore, December 2007, p.13
2007 Art Le Sabord, Fall 2007, p.12-16
2007 Fashion Magazine, “Art and commerce”, by Kevin Chong, October 2007, p. 128-133

2006 Vancouver Art Gallery (Exhibition Catalogue), “Paint”, Monika Szewczyk and Neil Campbell, Vancouver Art Gallery publication, Canada
2006 Prague Art future 2006 (Exhibition Catalogue), “Tina B”, Prague, Czech Republic
2006 Canadian Art, “In Review – Etienne Zack, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver”, by Sean Alward, Fall 2006, p. 139
2006 Modern Painters, “View from Vancouver – Art and Lifestyle in Hollywood North Peripheral Visions”, by Christopher Mooney, July-August 2006, p. 100-101
2006 Galleries West, “Etienne Zack – Junk and the Realm of Ideas”, by Dylan Cree, Fall/Winter 2006, p. 56-59
2006 The Vancouver Sun, “A cheerfully subversive artist”, by Clint Burnham, Saturday, May 20, 2006, p.12
2006 The Georgia Straight, “Etienne Zack” by Robin Laurence, Vol. 40, No. 2003, May 11-18, p. 55

2005 The Georgia Straight, “Artists Exhibit Fresh Talent”, Fall Arts Season Preview, Visual Arts, by Robin Laurence, Vol. 39, No. 1969, September 15-22
2005 Canadian Art, “Etienne Zack, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver”, Rewind, Fall 2005, p. 154-155
2005 Border Crossings, “Etienne Zack Image Crusher”, by Lee Henderson, p. 71-79, Issue No. 95
2005 Flash Art, “Etienne Zack”, by Dion Kliner, p. 124, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 243, July-September

2004 Flash Art, “Mixed Paint: Survey of Contemporary Painters”, p. 98, Vol. XXXVII, No. 239, November/December
2004 East International 2004 (Exhibition Catalogue), by Keith Wallace, Norwich School of Art
2004 Galería Marina Miranda (Exhibition Catalogue), “Overwhelming the Image”, by Eugenio Castro

  

Awards/Grants/residencies

Emily Award 2014

Residency at The Model Museum, Ireland, 2011

Canada Council for the Arts – Travel Grant 2011

Canada Council for the Arts –Project Grant 2010

City of Montréal Pierre-Ayot Prize – 1st Prize 2008

RBC Painting Competition (National Competition)– 1st Prize 2005

Canada Council for the Arts – Travel Grant 2005

Canada Council for the Arts – Travel Grant 2004

Canada Council for the Arts –Project Grant 2002

Brissenden Scholarship – 1999

Mary Catherine Gordon Memorial Scholarship – 1999

 

Collections

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

The Model Museum, Sligo, Ireland

Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

National Fine Arts Museum of Québec, Québec, Canada

Fine Arts Museum of Montréal, Montréal, Canada

Museum of Contemporary Art of Montréal, Montréal, Canada

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Montréal, Canada

Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, Canada

Glenbow Museum, Canada

Zabludowicz Collection, London, England

Canada Council Art Bank, Canada

City of Montréal, Montréal, Canada

National Bank of Canada, Montréal, Montréal, Canada

Toronto Dominion Bank, Toronto, Canada

Bank of Montréal Collection, Montréal, Canada

Royal Bank Collection, Montréal-Toronto-Vancouver, Canada

Loto-Québec, Montréal, Canada

Polygone, Vancouver, Canada

Granite Club, Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Heenan Blaikie, Montréal, Canada

Canaccord Capital, Canada

Fasken Martineau Du Moulin, Vancouver, Canada

Senvest Collection, Montréal, Canada

 

Artist Talks/Lectures

Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto, Canada

Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

Concordia University, Montréal, Canada

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, Halifax, Canada

University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada

Université du Québec, Québec City, Canada

Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, Canada

Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto in Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada

Canadian Art – Gallery Hop (Equinox Gallery), Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver Island School of Art, Victoria, Canada