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Carol Wainio is a graduate of Concordia University, Montreal, where she now teaches in the Department of Painting and Drawing. Although she has been exhibited extensively in Eastern Canada through the 1980s, and was included in the Aperto at the Venice Biennale in 1990, this is her first exhibition in Western Canada.
The tonal and formal qualities that make Wainio’s painting immediately recognizable have been a consistent part of her work since 1981. One of these qualities is the presence of motion in landscape, depicted by paint that has been dragged and scraped over the picture plane. Another is the combination of meticulously painted miniature figures, found throughout the post-1983 works, with other larger figures revealing the paradoxical scale variations she employs. The results and contrast may be seen as a differentiation of historical structures of power, or as a way of depicting depth in space/time.
Carol Wainio's paintings are about history but not in the traditional sense. Her paintings are about the difficulties encountered in describing history, particularly those of the participants and victims who pictorially occupy Wainio's work. As Serge Bérard puts it in his catalogue essay,
“If Wainio's painting is first and foremost history painting, there is nevertheless an appreciable distinction: Wainio's painting is about history itself. In other words what is represented in the dynamics of the historical process itself. These paintings do not relate a past event but show how the past has produced the present. Thus it is no longer the singular event which is considered, but rather…the manner in which events are linked and precipitated."
Supporters & Sponsors The Board of Directors of the Contemporary Art Gallery thanks the following people and organizations for their support with various aspects of this exhibition: The Canada Council, the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Recreation and Culture, and the City of Vancouver for their ongoing support of our programme; and the S.L. Simpson Gallery, Toronto and Galerie Chantal Boulanger, Montreal for their support of the exhibition catalogue. We are extremely grateful to guest curator Serge Bérard for initiating this project for the Contemporary Art Gallery and for his thoughtful catalogue essay.