Etienne Zack: Those lacking imagination take refuge in reality

May 28 - August 28, 2016

Opening reception: Friday, May 27, 6-10pm

This exhibition will present a series of recent paintings that continues Etienne Zack’s interest in the relationship between art and text. Following the conceptual line of previous work, these paintings are complex considerations of architecture, institutional power, redacted history, and the use of text as form, idea, and structure. Each painting is a highly composed study of accumulation, omission, and revision. Suggestive documents are stacked, slotted together, and carved into letter-like forms, while penetrating neon lights and electric cords ending in bare light bulbs glow in stark contrast to the shadowy slashes and blocks of paint that suggest the counterpoint to enlightenment: censorship and erasure. As Zack states, “The paintings explore an area where written language is either absent or implied, yet through their assembled architectures communication and thinking spatially materialize.” This is the first major exhibition of Zack’s paintings in Alberta.


The artist would like to thank The Canada Council for the Arts for supporting the production of this work.

  • Etienne Zack

    Born in Montreal, Etienne Zack currently lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions including: Museum of Contemporary Art of Montreal; Bergen Kunsthall; and Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga. Zack’s work was also been included in EASTInternational 2004, Norwich; The Model, Sligo; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Vancouver Art Gallery; 2008 Quebec Triennial; and Oh, Canada, MASS MoCA, North Adams, the largest survey of Canadian art in the United States. His work is in the collections of major institutions and museums, and can be found in corporate and private collections throughout the world. In 2005, Zack was the winner of the prestigious RBC Painting Competition.


  • Naomi Potter

    Naomi Potter is the Director/Curator of Esker Foundation in Calgary. Over the last sixteen years she developed numerous curatorial, artist, and residency projects in Canada and Central and Eastern Europe. From 2009-2011, she was curator of Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre where she produced solo projects and exhibitions with many artists including: Anthony Burnham, Geoffrey Farmer, Melanie Gilligan, Brian Jungen, Ragnar Kjartansson, Silke Otto-Knapp, and Ron Terada. More recently she has worked to develop solo projects at Esker Foundation with Peter von Tiesenhausen, Cedric Bomford, Cynthia Girard, Mia Feuer, Colleen Heslin, and Etienne Zack, to name a few. In 2003, Potter was awarded a year-long Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) artist residency in Istanbul, and from 2003 to 2007 was co-director of the international artist residency program at CESTA in the Czech Republic. In 2015 she was a guest of both the Australian Arts Council and British Council International Curatorial Visit programs. Potter holds a BFA from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and an MFA in sculpture from Concordia University, Montreal.