Traffic comes to NSCAD - and Halifax
March 16, 2011

Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980, the nationally touring exhibition – and the first to focus on the influence and manifestations of conceptual art in Canada – has arrived in Halifax.

Presenting more than 450 works by over 100 artists from across Canada, Europe and the United States, Traffic runs until May 8 at four university art galleries: NSCAD’s Anna Leonowens, Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s and Mount Saint Vincent.

As part of Traffic, NSCAD Professor Jayne Wark, BFA ’79; Wallace Brannen, NSCAD ‘74, BFA ’04, BA’09 and former NSCAD President and Professor Garry Neill Kennedy discussed the history and impact of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design’s Lithography Workshop in a public panel discussion on Sunday, March 27at the MSVU Art Gallery.

NSCAD also hosted a one-day Symposium on Conceptual Art on Saturday, April 16 in the Bell Auditorium.

Organized around urban and regional centres of art production, the national exhibition is intended to capture the exuberant “traffic” between them during the inaugural phase of conceptual art, one of the most transformative art movements of the late 20th century.

Here in Halifax, Dalhousie Art Gallery is presenting work from Ontario, curated by Barbara Fischer (Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto), and Montréal, curated by Michèle Thériault with Vincent Bonin (Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University). MSVU Art Gallery is hosting work from Halifax and Atlantic Canada, curated by Jayne Wark; while Saint Mary's University Art Gallery is displaying work from British Columbia, curated by Grant Arnold (Vancouver Art Gallery), and the Prairies, curated by Catherine Crowston (Art Gallery of Alberta). From March 22 to April 2, the Anna Leonowens Gallery augmented the exhibition with a selection of our unique collection and archive materials.

Featured in the four-gallery Halifax exhibition are works by Vito Acconci, David Askevold, John Baldessari, Bruce Barber, Wallace Brannen, James Lee Byars, Eric Cameron, Ian Carr-Harris, Sylvain Cousineau and Francis Coutelier, Greg Curnoe, Jan Dibbets, Graham Dube, Gerald Ferguson, Michael Fernandes, Dan Graham, John Greer, Hans Haacke, Douglas Huebler, Richards Jarden, Donald Judd, Pat Kelly, Garry Neill Kennedy, Joseph Kosuth, Les Levine, Sol LeWitt, Lee Lozano, Allan MacKay and Lionel Simons, Brian MacNevin, Barry MacPherson, Albert McNamara, Ian Murray, N.E. Thing Co., Dennis Oppenheim, Bruce Parsons, Harold Pearse, Yvonne Rainer, Ellison Robertson, Michael Snow, Theodore Wan, Douglas Waterman, Lawrence Weiner, Joyce Wieland, Martha Wilson, Jon Young and Tim Zuck.

Traffic opened in Toronto, where it ran from September 6 - December 4, 2010.  After Halifax, the show goes to the Art Gallery of Alberta (June 25 - September 18, 2011), the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal (January 21 - April 7, 2012) and the Vancouver Art Gallery (May 26 - September 9, 2012).

To learn more about NSCAD’s role the Canadian conceptual art movement, read Professor Wark's catalogue essay, Conceptual Art in Canada: The East Coast Story.

Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980 is supported by the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.