Smash Your Face In. The exhibition present 20 of Ostrem's austere black and white photos, twelve of the more whimsical colour prints, and six previously unseen, and rather dark, cibachrome prints. These images are largely studio still-lives depicting tabletop arrangements of diverse objects.
The exhibition has been curated by Roy Arden
for the Or Gallery in Vancouver, this exhibition
will present 20 of Ostrem's austere black and
white photos, twelve of the more whimsical
colour prints, and six previously unseen, and
rather dark, cibachrome prints. These images
are largely studio still-lives depicting tabletop
arrangements of diverse objects. Ostrem
managed to give form to his mindscape in
compositions, which can now be interpreted as
time capsules providing a very personal
reflection on the realities of an era. References
to current events and the recent past are
affected through the inclusion of news, popular,
and sub cultural printed matter.
Rock & roll, notions about art, Vietnam, hippie 'freak' culture, and the banal everyday coincide or collide in sometimes unsettling, other times humorous allegory. In recent art there has been a resurgence of some of the aesthetic strategies and subjects engaged by these works, which makes this reconsideration timely and appropriate.
David Ostrem was born in Portland, Oregon in 1945. A â€˜Baby Boomerâ€™ who saw the Vietnam war as a "crime against an emerging nation", Ostrem â€˜dodged the Draftâ€™ and arrived in Vancouver in April of 1969. Ostrem recalls that he was not exposed to contemporary art until his early twenties. An animated film of a Manhattan street scene by Red Grooms, along with the work of Warhol were among his first inspirations.
In 1974 he enrolled at the Vancouver School of Art and specialized in Photography. The still-life photographs in this exhibition represent his first mature works. They reflect both the Pop Art aesthetic which was predominant among artists and students of the time and the Conceptual and Minimalist strategies that Ostrem was introduced to by artists and instructors such as Ian Wallace and N.E. Thing Co.
Ostremâ€™s photographic still-lifes were followed by the paintings and silk-screen prints for which he has since become well known.
Norwich School of art & Design St George Street, NR3 1BB
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