Wieland, Joyce

 Joyce Wieland, artist, filmmaker (b at Toronto 30 June 1931; d there 27 June 1998). Wieland studied at Central Technical School, Toronto, and in 1960 held her first exhibition of paintings at the Isaacs Gallery, Toronto. There she showed paintings in an abstract expressionist genre as well as drawings and cartoons and later her constructions. From 1962 to 1970 she and her then-husband, artist Michael SNOW, lived in New York, where she became an important figure in the experimental film world with such award-winning films as Rat Life and Diet in North America (1968) and La Raison avant la passion (1967-69). She was also widely known for her feature-length film The Far Shore (1976).

Wieland's work was exhibited throughout Canada, in the US and in Europe. The NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA'S 1971 exhibition, "True Patriot Love," was that gallery's first major exhibition devoted to the work of a living Canadian woman artist. In April 1987, the ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO mounted a major travelling exhibition of Wieland's work, its first retrospective of a living Canadian woman artist. In September 1987 Wieland was awarded the Toronto Arts Foundation's Visual Arts Award. Later solo exhibitions included shows at Canada House in London, England (1988), McMaster University Art Gallery, Hamilton (1990) and the AGNES ETHERINGTON ART CENTRE, Kingston (1994-95).

Passionately concerned with the aesthetic perspective of the woman artist, Wieland drew inspiration from Canadian history, politics and ecology. Her search led her to challenge the dominance of painting and the traditional materials of high art through the use of domestic and craft materials. Challenging accepted hierarchies, her works included not only painting, lithography, collage and film, but also cartoons, embroidery, knitting, quilting, and, for "True Patriot Love," an exquisitely decorated cake. In her fabric work and in her films, Wieland made use of female imagery, but also the materials which women employ in their daily lives. She also explored models of collaboration and collective creation. In later paintings, Wieland turned to visionary landscape and figurative imagery.

Her commissions included the 1972 Canada Post office commission for a World Health Stamp; Defend the Earth/Défendez la terre, a quilted wall mural for the National Science Library, Ottawa (1972-73); the quilted cloth assemblage, Barren Ground Caribou, for the Spadina Subway, Toronto (1977-78); Celebration, a Cineplex Odeon Mural Commission for Toronto's Pantages Theatre (1987); and The Ocean of Love, commissioned for Via Rail's Transcontinental train (1990).