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Peter von Tiesenhausen: Songs for Pythagoras


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Writing by Natasha Chaykowski, Ellie Epp, Lucy Lippard, and David McGregor.
Published by Art Gallery of Alberta with support from Esker Foundation.

The craftsmanship that has gone into the fabrication of this limited-edition career monograph underscores the very nature of Peter von Tiesenhausen’s artistic practice. For von Tiesenhausen, the landscape of Alberta has been a primary source of inspiration, with sustainability being a constant thread that has woven its way through his work over the course of his long career. Most often working with natural materials such as wood, ice, and the land itself, von Tiesenhausen has also incorporated discarded industrial materials such as wire cabling, glass, and metal sheeting into his work. Addressing ideas of time, life, nature, and re-generation, he engages audiences with issues related to extraction, production, and our impact on the environment. As well as providing a thorough overview of von Tiesenhausen’s career, this hand-finished publication showcases a work made especially for the exhibition, inviting visitors and readers on a journey from dark to light, from weight and sombreness to radiance and reflection. The images, objects, and sounds encountered reveal the stories of their own past, yet in their re-formation and re-presentation, they ask us to consider how we are creating our own future.

Peter von Tiensenhausen: Songs for Pythagoras is a hard cover, cloth-bound book, with a debossed tipped-in image on the front cover. Each book is individually marked inside by the artist, and includes a inserted artwork and a limited edition press flexi disk of a 7 minute outtake of audio from the sound and video installation Reservoir, produced in collaboration with Jen Reimer and Magnus Tiesenhausen.

Peter von Tiesenhausen is an Alberta-based multidisciplinary artist whose practice has grown from landscape painting to installation, sculpture, performance and from simple media to complex combinations of media and multifaceted collaborations. He has had over fifty solo exhibitions and has participated in over sixty group exhibitions. Von Tiesenhausen was the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artists Award.

Natasha Chaykowski writes for Carbon Paper, esse: arts + opinions, Canadian Art, and the Journal of Curatorial Studies. Lucy Lippard is the author of David Wojnarowicz: Brush Fires in the Social Landscape: Twentieth Anniversary Edition (Aperture, 2015) and Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West (The New Press, 2014). David McGregor is a Winnipeg-based cinematographer. Ellie Epp is a Vancouver-based artist and filmmaker.

ISBN 978-1-77179-027-7
96 pages, hardcover, original drawing insert, and audio disk
40 colour illustrations
24.4 x 30.5 cm


Additional information

Weight 1.5 kg
Dimensions 30.5 × 24.4 × 4 cm