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 in the early 1960s, throughout her career Wieland explored the politicized role of women, the body, nationalism, and intimacy using a variety of mediums.

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

Her artistic practice was arguably most fruitful during the late 1960s / early 1970s during her last days in New York City, with then-husband Michael Snow, and return to Toronto. 

This piece, "The Arctic Belongs to Itself" features four rows of red lips, a distinct motif that appears in other iconic works such as "Squid Jiggin' Grounds" and "O' Canada". 

The technique is carried out by Wieland pressing her lips onto the lithographic stone while singing / speaking, creating the illusion of movement (while tempting the viewer to do the same).

Wieland's wide-ranging activism is reflected in this work's direct title. Wieland's work prioritized ecological preservation from the 1960s onward. In this edition we find a fascinating (and cheeky) intersection between feminism, ecology, and nationalism. 

This work can be found in numerous public collections across Canada including The Art Gallery of Ontario, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and York University to mention a few. 

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

"The Arctic Belongs to Itself"

Canada, 1973


Signed and numbered by the artist, bottom right

From an edition of 50

13"H 17"W (work)

15.5"H 19.5"W (framed)

Very good condition

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