David Askevold, Harbour Ghosts, HFX, detail

David Askevold: Once Upon a Time in the East

Saturday, 13 April 2013 to Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Curated by: David Diviney

After visits to the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa in 2011 and to the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown and the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasedena, Los Angeles in 2012. David Askevold: Once upon a Time in the East has come home to Halifax as the last stop of this internationally acclaimed touring exhibition. It was identified by Artforum magazine as one of the top 50 shows of 2011.

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.

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

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.

Once Upon a Time in the East is accompanied by a full-color, hardcover, 144-page book published by Goose Lane Editions and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and edited by David Diviney, available in both English and French. It includes texts by Diviney along with Ray Cronin, Director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Aaron Brewer, artist and writer; Peggy Gale, curator and writer; Mario Garcia Torres, artist; Richard Hertz, former director of Graduate Programs at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena; Tony Oursler, artist; and Irene Tsatsos, Chief Curator, Armory Center for the Arts. A fun family guide is also available for this exhibition in both English and French.

This fully bilingual exhibition was made possible with funding from the Museum Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.