Joyce Wieland


Joyce Wieland (1931-1998) was one of the most accomplished and versatile Canadian artists of the 20th century. Emerging on the Toronto art scene at the beginning of the 1960s, over the course of her career Wieland explored the role of women, the body, nationalism, and intimacy using a variety of mediums.

As well as drawing and painting, the artist utilized untraditional materials such as quilts and lipstick. Traditionally seen as feminine and craft-like, Wieland renegotiated the ‚Äėlow art‚Äô or inherently misogynistic labels of these materials, engaging with feminist dialogue in subject matter and medium. Wieland was also committed to the figure, sketching and drawing quirky characters, even when the avant-garde was dedicated to abstraction.¬†¬†

After a lengthy and often frustrating sejour in New York City, Wieland returned to Toronto. Her marriage to fellow Canadian artist, Michael Snow, had dissolved. During the 1970's Wieland was consumed by creating a feature-length film entitled "The Far Shore" about Tom Thompson and a love triangle. Gradually in the 80's Wieland became reunited and recommitted to her visual art production, and embraced mythology, feminist discourse, ecology and themes of sexuality and intimacy.

‚ÄúPastel Lovers‚ÄĚ depicts a familiar subject matter to Wieland‚Äôs oeuvre, a male-female couple in nature. Here there are three couples in intimate embraces near a body of water. Many of Wieland's images combine a cartoon-like aesthetic with romance and sexuality.¬†

Next to one of the couples reads a cursive phrase "really nicely _____". These whimsical details along with others like the patterns and colors of the subjects' clothing, a moon, and a paper boat (collaged to the paper) page exemplify Wieland's work from the last chapter of her life. 

Wieland established new benchmarks for what was possible for a female artist to achieve. Notably, she was the first female artist to have a solo exhibition at the National Gallery (Ottawa) in 1971.

Wieland's works can be found in numerous public collections across Canada including the National Gallery, Museum London and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto). 

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

Signed by the artist.

Untitled ("Pastel People")

Canada, circa 1985 

Colored pencil, ink and collage on paper

6"H 9"W (work)

9"H 12"W (framed)

Very good condition


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