JERRY GREY: ON THE GRID 1968-1978
Susan Crean and Michelle Gewurtz
The Ottawa Art Gallery
95 pp col. ill. 10 x 8 in softcover
$25.00 Can. $27.00 U.S.
Working in oils, watercolour, pastels and glass media, Jerry Grey explores themes of nature, politics and history. Her work from the 1970s links directly to her time participating in the highly influential Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops in Saskatchewan. Modern painting in North America was evolving toward ever more austere, reduced realms of colour and form and Grey participated in the 1964 and 1965 Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops, which were jointly led by painter Jules Olitsky & composer Stefan Wolpe (’64) and artist Lawrence Alloway and John Cage (’65). The works she produced between 1968-1978 stand as meditative monuments to the grid as a visual structure that continues to offer up transformative possibilities. Every mark on the surface of each work represents a well-thought-out exploration of space. Each stroke of paint speaks to a practice of controlled study of the interplay between colours. While her grid paintings demand a certain level of introspection, Grey's work simultaneously implies both a mapping of the space of the canvas and an acknowledgement of the world beyond the frame. The paintings and colour studies reproduced and discussed in this exhibition catalogue speak to the power of the grid as a visual structure that continues to offer up transformative possibilities. Born in Vancouver, Jerry Grey studied at the Vancouver School of Art and at the University of Saskatchewan's Emma Lake Artists' Workshop. Her works are found in numerous public, private and corporate collections, including the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters in Kuwait, the National Library of Canada, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Jerry Grey has taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts, The Emily Carr School of Art, the University of Ottawa, and the Ottawa School of Art, and has completed several important public art commissions. She lives and works in Ottawa. In English and French.