Ian Hugh Wallace

Ian Hugh Wallace, artist (born at Shoreham, England 25 Aug 1943). He moved to Canada in 1944 and is an influential Vancouver artist and teacher known for his conceptual art, painting, photographic murals and critical writings. He received his MA in art history from the University of British Columbia in 1968 (thesis on Piet Mondrian) where he was an Instructor (1967-70). He has taught at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design since 1972.

Wallace is the senior member of a group of Vancouver artists that includes Jeff WALL (whom Wallace instructed at UBC), Rodney GRAHAM, Stan Douglas, Ken Lum and others who have made international reputations making art that attempts to turn the concerns of conceptual art back toward earlier modernist impulses, such as the depiction of social reality and ideological contradictions, in forms that advance the theoretical discussion of art.

Wallace's work with photo-murals and texts from 1973 to 1979 culminated in an exhibition at the VANCOUVER ART GALLERY in 1979. These works revealed an interest in society from the point of view of the artist-flâneur and the melancholic artist-dandy, although the presentation was ironic and paradoxical.

In 1980 he began to integrate painting and photography. It was with this work that he began to show in Germany, France, Spain and the United States. Taking the lead from Andy Warhol's diptychs of monochrome and photo-silkscreen panels, Wallace works within the dialogue between the theoretical exploration of painting (monochrome as the end point of painting) and the possibilities of representing society.

Wallace's work has been in many important European exhibitions since 1980. He was given a retrospective at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1988 and in 2004 received a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. In 2008 and 2009 an exhibition titled "Ian Wallace" toured to the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Witte de With, Rotterdam, and Kunsthalle Zürich. Also in 2009, he was awarded the Molson Prize for "outstanding lifetime achievements and ongoing contributions to the cultural and intellectual life of Canada." In 2012, Wallace's work was again featured at the the Vancouver Art Gallery. Ian Wallace: At the Intersection of Painting and Photography was a large survey that focused on the artist's development over five decades and was accompanied by a major publication produced in cooperation with Black Dog publishing. In recognition of his contributions to contemporary art in Canada, Ian Wallace was made an Officer of the ORDER OF CANADA in 2012. He is represented by galleries in New York, Cologne, Vancouver and Valenciennes.