Joyce Wieland


In the 1970's Joyce Wieland (1931-1998) was consumed by the production of her first (and only) full-length commercial feature film: The Far Shore. Based on the life of Tom Thompson but including a romantic triangle, the film was a major achievement for the artist having devoted most of the decade preparing, directing and promoting it. 

At the beginning of the 1980's Wieland had (a long-overdue) creative rush. Her work from this period not only embraced femininity and sensuality, but put these elements at the forefront of her work. The hazy erotic aesthetic was subversive and outside the tastes of the commercial art market, even as there was a renewed interest in figuration. Wieland's work from the early 1980's is characterized by pastels, invented feminine mythology and a defiant highly personal romanticism. 

This elaborate yet subtle colored pencil drawing is a paradigm Joyce Wieland's romantic illustrations.  The "Beloved Rose" from the title is possibly the artist's mother (Rosetta) who died when the artist was around 9 years old. Her mother's illness was a defining and traumatic episode. In Iris Nowell's "Joyce Wieland: A Life in Art" the author discusses how Wieland would always recall the experience of carrying out pans of her mother's blood and cleaning bloody sheets as her uterine cancer. 

In this image an array of characters frolic in a mythological landscape. Could this be an fantastical representation of Joyce's own family...complete with a young girl reaching towards the heavens while gripping a garland. 

This work has a significant exhibition history. In addition to the Art Gallery of Ontario labels verso, it was also shown at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and appears in their exhibition catalog for Joyce Wieland : Twilit Record of Romantic Love

Provenance: The Isaacs Gallery (Toronto), Bau-Xi Gallery (Vancouver, Toronto)

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

"Beloved Rose"

Signed and dated '81 by the artist.

Colored pencil on paper

14"H 18"W (work)

23.5"H 27.5"W (framed)

Very good condition 



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