ED PIEN

 
The Offering

www.edpien.com

The Offering, 2009, ink and Flashe on paper 152.5 x 171.5 cm (60" x 67.5"), private collection  

BIOGRAPHY / HIGHLIGHTS / WORKS FOR SALE  /  PFOAC EXHIBITIONS  / LINKS  /  ARTIST'S C.V.


BIOGRAPHY

Ed Pien is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto. Pien has exhibited nationally and internationally including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Drawing Centre, New York; Museum of Art and Design, New York; Centro Nacional é las Artes, Mexico City; the Goethe Institute, Berlin; Middlesbrough Art Gallery, UK; W139, Amsterdam; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; The Contemporary Art Museum in Monterrey, Mexico; Bluecoat, Liverpool; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and La Biennale de Montreal 2000 and 2002 and recently at the Moscow Bienale (2013), Sydney Biennale (2012) and in the Oh Canada exhibition at MassMoca. His ambitious large-scale installations, drawings and paper cuts are featured in the permanent collections of many Canadian museums including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. His work was featured in the Canadian Biennale of the National Gallery of Canada in 2011 and 2015.

Pien draws on sources both Eastern and Western to create his work, including Asian ghost stories, hell scrolls, calligraphic traditions and the works of Hieronymus Bosch and Francisco Goya, creating sensual, drawing-based installations using ink and translucent paper (like Earthly Delights in the collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts). The spectator is invited to walk into these floor-to-ceiling environments and approach the half-human, half-animal monsters within. In his most recent body of work, Pien has replaced ink and gouache with an xacto knife in order to produce large-scale paper cuts. In the summer of 2004, he travelled to China to continue research on myths and legends found in Chinese folklore; he returned from the trip excited about a form of art that is centuries old in its tradition.

The artist states: “I resort to the use of large-scale to counter this craft-based process and attempt to avoid and sense of sentimentality and preciousness that seem to go hand-in-hand with most paper-cuts”

Throughout his career, Pien has considered himself indebted to both Western and Eastern sources for his imagery. He has looked to American artist Kara Walker who took the tradition of paper silhouettes, producing large-scale installations of them that deal with race, gender and sexuality. Pien, in Night Gathering, a paper-cut that consists of three life-sized figures crouching and sitting in a tree (presented at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain in 2006) has directly referenced the work of 17th century graphic artist Jacques Callot. Callot was considered to be one of the first great artists to practice graphic arts exclusively. He is perhaps best remembered for a series of etchings documenting the Thirty Years’ War entitled Les misères et les malheurs de la guerre. The particular work that interested Pien was a gruesome etching of people hanging from a tree; Pien has toned down the violence of the imagery by placing his figures in the tree, lending work a more playful and poetic tone. The scale of the work (260 x 488 cm), however, continues to intimidate – we are unsure of what these figures are doing tucked away in the tree. Are they hiding or waiting to attack?

It is this incongruity in Pien’s work that is both disturbing and engaging: the delicacy of paper is juxtaposed to the night marish images that emerge from the intricate cuts, the folklore tradition of the paper-cut is turned inside out to reveal images that both alarm and lure us with their intricate beauty.


1. Gordon Hatt, Tila Kellman & Linda Jansma, “Ed Pien: In a Realm of Others”, Southern Alberta Art Gallery / Robert McLaughlin Gallery (01/2006), p36-37


HIGHLIGHTS

(click on images below for larger view, please ensure browser pop-up blockers are disabled)

Haven   Invisible

Haven, 2007, shoji paper cut installation, variable dimensions, installation view at the Musée d'art de Joliette (2008)
 
Invisible, 2008, 3M reflector and shoji paper cut, 274 x 366 cm, (108" x 144") collection of the National Gallery of Canada
     
The Queen   Cornice

The Queen, 2006, ink and Flashe on acid-free paper,
112 x 151 cm (44" x 59.5"), private collection
 
installation view, Ed Pien (solo), Cornice art fair (Venice),
Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth, June 2007
     
In the safety of trees   Night Gathering

In the safety of trees (away from the bear), 2006, ink on Shoji
paper cut, 155 x 193.5 cm (61" x 76"), private collection
 
Night Gathering, 2005, ink on Shoji paper cut, 260 x 488 cm
(102.5" x 192"), private collection
     
Earthly Delights   Water Gods Playing Tricks

Earthly Delights, 2001, ink on paper, variable dimensions
collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
 
Water Gods Playing Tricks, 2003, ink and Flashe, 350 x 600 cm
(138" x 236"), private collection



WORKS FOR SALE

For a current list of works in inventory please click here


PFOAC EXHIBITIONS

October 2016 - "Bordering the Fantastic" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain
March 2015 - "Open Studio" (solo), pfoac221
March 2015 - "Strangers in a Strange Land" (solo), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain
April 2014 - "Papier 14" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
October 2012 - "Toronto International Art Fair" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
October 2012 - "Toronto International Art Fair" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
July 2014 - "Luminescences MTL - TO" (group), at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain
March 2013 - "North-South Encounter" (solo), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain
April 2013 - "Papier 13" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
January 2013 - "Under Water" (solo), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain
March 2012 - "VOLTA 2012", New York (solo), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
July 2011 - "Corporel" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain
April 2011 - "PAPIER '11"(group), contemporary art fair of works on paper, Montreal, Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
October 2010 - "Toronto International Art Fair" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
October 2009 - "Toronto International Art Fair" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
May 2009 - "Treacherous Lines" (solo), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain
June 2008 - "Balelatina art fair" (solo), Basel, Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
October 2007 - "Toronto International Art Fair" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
June 2007 - "Cornice Art Fai"r (solo), Venice, Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
April 2007 - "Art Chicago" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
December 2006 - "Works on Paper" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain
November 2006 - "Toronto International Art Fair" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
July 2006 - "Verdure" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain
December 2005 - "Ed Pien" (solo), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain
April 2005 - "Art Chicago" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
November 2003 - "Toronto International Art Fair" (group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
October 2003 - "Art Forum Berlin"(group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
May 2003 - "Le Salon du Printemps de Montréal"(group), Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain booth
September 2002 - "Manifestations" (group), : Chosen Drawings by Edward Pien Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain


LINKS

Video tour of the exhibition Haven of Delight (2010) at the Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon)
David Balzer. "David Balzer's Top 3: Haunted Heroes" Canadian Art (online) 16 December 2010
Zoè Chan. "Ed Pien: Drawing in Many Forms." Canadian Art (online) 27 August 2009
Laiwan. "Ed Pien: Drawing Hauntology." Canadian Art (feature) 1 June 2007
Order books and catalogues about Ed Pien at ABC Art Books Canada


ARTIST'S C.V.

click here to download the Ed Pien's recent C.V. (03/2013)



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