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John Hall   The Tourist Series/ The Toys Series



December 4, 1982 - January 3, 1983

This exhibition brings together John Hall’s two major series of works which were completed over the past three years. The Tourist Series emanates from Hall’s nine-month sojourn in New York. Removal from the familiarity of his Calgary environment created a sort of cultural dilemma which resulted in Hall’s auto-biographical examination of his role as a “tourist” in a strange city. The paintings begun after Hall’s return and became more diffuse in their meanings as they began to allude to aspects of his past other than the New York Period. Hall suddenly became a tourist in his own life, turning over events that held meaning for him, examining them and culling symbolic bits and pieces from his experience to transfer, as tightly conceived images, onto small square canvases. Repeated appearances of various objects sustain the work s as a series and built personal meaning. In the last work of Tourist X, three objects reappear to be examined in isolation, as if the artist is bidding them farewell before relinquishing them to the past.
Hall’s next series, Toys takes off naturally from this point. His interest in the examination of objects and their layered meanings is focused on cheap toys which become transformed from disposable playthings into cultural artifacts. The artist’s photographically exact rendering of high-key colour serve him well as he continues his exploration of life in the context of our society.

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