Skip to content
Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Admission always free

Today's hours
12 pm - 6 pm
4 Apr 08until1 Jun 08

Stephen Waddell

B.C. Binning and Alvin Balkind Galleries

Two large scale framed photographs hang on adjacent corner walls in the gallery. One depicts tree roots covered in litter and the other a figure sitting on a tree stump near a body of water.

This solo exhibition of Berlin and Vancouver based artist Stephen Waddell is curated by Roy Arden and will present works from 1997 to 2006 in paint, film and photography. Waddell began his career as a painter but eventually came to concentrate on photography. Studying at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, he moved to Berlin in 1998 but now maintains a studio in Vancouver and spends time living and working in both cities. Waddell's early paintings focused on anonymous urban spaces. These were usually unpopulated, lonely scenes that seemed like memories of experiences of derealisation. He used the camera to make studies for his paintings and these snapshots and polaroids lead him to take up photography full-time. Waddell also made super 8 film studies of urban pedestrians that paved the way for his tableau-scaled photos of solitary figures for which he has become known. These photos are largely unposed studies of strangers caught at work, in transit or at leisure that reinvent the Impressionist project of "the painting of modern life." Like other painters turned photographers, Waddell's indifference toward criteria established within a strictly photographic tradition permitted him to breathe new life and purpose into the medium. His works are better understood as pictures than photographs in that they draw as much from the history of painting as the history of photography.

Guest curated by Roy Arden